How About Spaghetti Squash for Lunch?

I remember the good ole days when I only had preschoolers and there was never any discussion about what was for lunch. If it was lunch time, I was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not only was life very simple, but I was also thinner and healthier!

But somehow, as the kids got older, lunch became a topic of discussion each day, and became much less healthy as well. I often give in to really unhealthy junk. Like frozen pizza rolls. Really? WHY? They are totally, completely bad for my children. They are expensive. They take a while. There is a pan to scrub. And still, we eat them. Ugh.

Although I give in to that fun food sometimes, I do put my foot down every now and again. Spaghetti Squash has become one of the favorite healthy options. While spaghetti squash is not a super food or anything, they do have vitamins C and B6, and trace amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral. They have over 90% water content, so they are low in calories, although they have a decent amount of fiber, so they are filling.

AND THEY ARE EASY!

The most difficult part of having spaghetti squash for lunch is cutting these babies open.

I get one squash for every two people.

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Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.

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Brush a little olive oil on the insides, along with any other seasonings you would like. I mostly use oil and garlic.

Place them on a cookie sheet, inside facing up, and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and scrape with a fork to make the spaghetti-like strands. We like to leave the squash right in the skin and eat it from there.

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Some of my kids like it this way the best, with nothing added. Just the garlic and oil, then maybe a bit of salt and pepper.

Some like to add parmesan cheese.

It’s great to make this the day after you have made an Italian dinner and have left-over spaghetti sauce.

My favorite is to have this after nacho night, when I have left-over taco meat.

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It’s really a good, hardy lunch.

The squash can also be microwaved, although I have never tried that.

Get creative with your toppings. Although it is great to leave the squash in the skin for lunch, you can scoop several squash into a casserole dish and add meats and vegetables to make a fantastic dinner.

If you don’t think your kids will like it – just start out making some for yourself and don’t offer them any. It works every time;)

Tabouli

Tabouli is a middle eastern salad that is wonderful in the summer, and it was my official diet food each time I had a baby and was anxious to lose weight.  I did, in fact, lose weight after eating tabouli for breakfast and lunch every day for a month or so.

There was only one problem. Continue reading “Tabouli”

Bacon and Pepper Linguini

I have had this recipe written down forever and ever, but haven’t made it recently. I typically double (at least) all of my recipes and doubled this one last night. The thing is – I evidently doubled it when I originally wrote it in my recipe book. Tonight we could have fed all of China.

But this dinner couldn’t be any simpler. Especially for me, since I only supervised;)

The only thing that made it a little difficult for Janie was that she wanted to use a cooking set she got for her birthday a couple of years ago. This was a lot of cutting to do with children’s knives!

But it was fun.

Our entire family does enjoy this. It’s not exactly a FAVORITE of the kids, but as long as we don’t have it too too often, they do enjoy it.

This is all there is to it:

1 package of bacon

2 large onions

4 garlic cloves

3 green peppers

1 red pepper

4 jalapeno peppers

3 cans diced tomatoes

linguini noodles (some of my family prefers this on rice)

  • Cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces and brown in a soup pot.
  • While the bacon is cooking, slice and dice the peppers and onions, and mince the garlic. Cut the peppers and onions into thin bite-sized strips.
  • Before the bacon is crisp, remove and drain. Then put it back into the pot and add everything but the diced tomatoes. Cook and stir on a medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes.
  • Turn it down and simmer with the lid on while you cook your pasta. The peppers are done just as soon as the onions and peppers are as soft as you like.
  • This has so much flavor that there are no seasonings needed. I do not add salt, but you might like to add a bit. Be careful though – with that bacon, it would be easy to add too much. I do have salt in my pasta as it cooks as well.

I forgot to get a picture of the finished product, and it’s so pretty:(

Break It or Make It

So often, the fun and/or educational projects for our kids require buying kits or supplies.  We had a fun Break It or Make It day that didn’t require anything except a few tools and broken appliances. Continue reading “Break It or Make It”

Is the Church Causing our Kids to Abandon our Faith?

We have all read the statistics of young adults leaving the church as quickly as they leave home and the articles usually point out all of the things that the church does that are wrong.

And I have my own share of complaints… However, Continue reading “Is the Church Causing our Kids to Abandon our Faith?”

DIY Bath Salts

Janie loves to make bath bombs. Our bath bombs turn out nice and round and beautiful – when they are for us.  Then we try to make them for gifts and, well, our Christmas cookies are the same way:(

But THESE. These are super, they are fool-proof, they are easy! Continue reading “DIY Bath Salts”

Summer Cooking School – Boys’ Edition – Pork Roast with Carrots, Rice Pilaf, and Asparagus

Boys need to learn to cook, too.

First they needed a “Summer Bathroom Cleaning Refresher Course,”

but once we had that taken care of, we got started on a couple of pork roasts.

boysdinner5 Continue reading “Summer Cooking School – Boys’ Edition – Pork Roast with Carrots, Rice Pilaf, and Asparagus”

Summer Cooking School – Lemon Pepper Chicken, New Potatoes, and Arugula Salad

 

I love Summer!

I love when we don’t have any evening sports practices or other events!

I love when school is out!

But the learning doesn’t totally stop – how about a summer cooking school?

I think we all enjoy it. Last night, it was lemon pepper chicken, new potatoes, and arugula salad for two teen girls. Continue reading “Summer Cooking School – Lemon Pepper Chicken, New Potatoes, and Arugula Salad”

Siesta Key Beach

I’m not a huge beach fan.  Well I would love it if I lived there! It’s mostly just crowds that I hate, so I’d much rather hang out by the pool than drive to the beach, find a parking spot, carry all my junk forever… and if you throw in a couple of trips to a public restroom… blah. I’ll hang out at home by the pool. lol I know, I know.  Every party’s got to have a party pooper.

But I do love the beach if I get there very early, or if we take a picnic in the evening and watch the sunset later.  Or if I get there before schools let out for the summer! So we are trying to get to the beach a couple of times before the crowds and the heat.

Siesta Key has beautiful, calm, clear, warm water.

I’m very wimpy when it comes to cold water, so this warm water is just right for me.

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The bad news is that there are no shells on this beach, but the good news is that makes for some smooth, perfect sand. Do not ask my kids to bury you in the sand, though.  There are actually three kids in this picture…

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Model v-8 Engine

This Revell Model of a v-8 engine (here) turned out to be really great.  There are much more expensive models available, so I kind of worried that the cheapest one might not work so well.

I was very surprised at how smoothly and perfectly everything moves. It has a fan belt and ignition wires.  All the pistons move when you turn a hand crank.

My son is 12.  It took him about a month to finish, but he was not working on it often.  I would highly recommend it.

Here’s a little 3-second clip so that you can see how it works.

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