Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce

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I've officially eaten this meal three weeks in a row. Obsessed yes, overboard yes, but delicious enough to eat week after week. 

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Over the past few months I've loved getting plugged into a new community group through my church. They found out I had a food blog and quickly decided that a cooking class was a must. I easily obliged. We finished our study going over this book (which I love, have read twice now, and highly recommend) two weeks ago. We used last week's meeting as a time to have fellowship over food and conversation instead of our regular study. 

Sticking to what I know, I led a them through how to make this beloved new dish of mine, and paired it with Perfect CCCs of course!

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Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce
yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 - 3 spaghetti squash, halved
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium zucchini, shredded
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 (15 ounces) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 cups raw spinach, tightly packed
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dairy free or regular shredded mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Microwave each spaghetti squash for 5 minutes (this makes it easier to cut in half). Take out of the microwave and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds. Arrange spaghetti squash halves on a roasting sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

While your squash is cooking, in a large pan over medium heat, cook the turkey in the 1 tbsp. of olive oil until almost completely cooked. When just a little bit of pink is left add the zucchini, carrots, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spinach and spices. Stir to combine and let cook until the spinach has wilted. Turn to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. 

Once your spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scrape the insides and create the “spaghetti noodles.” Layer a spoonful of sauce, draining some of the liquid of the sauce and using more of the meatiness, over the top of each squash. Turn on your broiler. Sprinkle the top of each squash with some cheese. Place under your broiler for 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Fresh cracked black pepper over the top and you are ready to serve!

*The sauce makes a ton. I like to pile on the sauce, but any leftovers store well in the fridge or freezer. When cooking for myself I prep one squash at a time and keep the sauce in the fridge. I take a cooked squash and the sauce and heat in the microwave. Then repeat the broiler step for a fresh hot meal each night. 

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The meal went over well with the group and the cookies scored a win. Hope you love it as much as I do! 

Annie 

Healthy Funfetti Cake Balls + An Announcement

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I hate cake balls, anyone else? Now you are probably like why the heck is this girl giving me a recipe for cake balls if she hates them? These Healthy Funfetti Cake Balls actually taste more like cookie dough to me, but when I think of funfetti I think of the box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix not cookies. So here we are with a cake ball instead of a cookie dough recipe.

But really, the moist, mushy inside of cake balls made from mixing cake and icing together just does not jive with me. Let's also all take a moment to cringe while we say the word, moist. OK, moving on. 

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Protein balls, you've seen them all over Pinterest and instagram, protein bites, energy balls, energy bites whatever you want to call them. I even have a few recipes found here and here. They are basically just a cop out on a real dessert, but also pretty genius to have stored in your fridge when you need something sweet or need a tiny bit of substance before a workout class or something of that nature. I love how this funfetti version came out because 1. i mean how cute? and 2. the ingredient list is short and if you are a borderline health food junky like myself, you most likely have these ingredients in your pantry. If you don't...come over to my house, I'll make you some!

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Healthy Funfetti Cake Balls
yields 9-10 cake balls

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 scoops Arbonne Vanilla Protein powder
6 pitted dates
3 Tbsp. Almond milk
2 tsp. Cashew butter (or any nut butter, I use Georgia Grinders)
1.5 Tbsp. Multi-colored sprinkles 

Directions:
Add coconut into a food processor and blend until it becomes tiny grounds of coconut.

Add everything else but the sprinkles, pulse until it becomes thick crumbs (dough is pretty dry, you can add more almond milk if needed). Pour into a bowl and stir in sprinkles. Using a cookie scoop, press and roll into golf ball size bites! Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving! Keep in an airtight container in the fridge! Good for 1-2 weeks.

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Now for the announcement. If you have been keeping up with Take A Bite, you probably are not blind to see that I have been incorporating some of Arbonne's nutrition products into my daily routine over the past couple months...hello protein shakes. Well, after thinking it over and going back and forth, I pulled the trigger and decided to start selling Arbonne myself. I truly love the products and use them everyday. Their nutrition line is something I completely agree with and have personally reaped the benefits of since starting to use them. I swore I would never sell something like this, but I just really love the products and want to be a source for others who are interested in trying them or who may already love them too. 

*I promise not to turn Take A Bite into a sales platform for my Arbonne business
*I promise not to spam you with only Arbonne
*I promise to stay true to myself and my brand and organically show you how I use Arbonne in my daily life
*I promise you will love these products and if you have any questions or want to hear more about the nutrition line please email me at annie@takeabiteblog.com

Annie

Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)

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Let's take a walk down memory lane. My food photography is nowhere where I want it to be, but compared to this Thai Curry recipe from 2014, I'd say I've come along way. Now let's just keep that hidden in the archives and focus on this updated Thai Curry recipe. 

One of my roommates, Lindsay and I first made this curry during early fall and we were obsessed. Anything Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest makes is sure to be perfect. Thanks for the inspo HBH!!

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I couldn't decide how I wanted to prepare this dish so I took to y'alls opinion. I polled you all on my Instagram story the other night to see if you were still geeking out over crock-pots or if they are old news. Results were 84% "YAS CROCK-POTS," 16% "Crock-Pots are so 2017." Well...I used my trump card and decided we were going old school and using a good old regular stovetop pot for this recipe. From start to finish this recipe takes makes 45 minutes. You can do it people, step away from the Crock-Pot. 

BONUS, this recipe is Whole 30 compliant for all you January Whole 30ers. I mentioned on my Instagram the other day that I am not participating in Whole 30 this month. Whole 30, like Crock-Pots, is also “so 2017,” in my opinion. But, I do love cooking Whole 30 style dishes and plan on posting some to give you all inspiration. 

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Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)
yields 4-5 servings, adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, shredded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
2, 14 ounce cans full fat coconut milk
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
packaged cauliflower rice for serving
chopped cashews, pomegranate arils, basil and lime wedges for serving

Directions:
In a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and cook on both sides until cooked through. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped ginger to pan with the remaining oil and browned bits from the chicken. Sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk and fish sauce. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Shred chicken using two forks. Add shredded chicken and broccoli florets to curry. Simmer for 20 minutes until broccoli is softened and curry has thickened. Stir in chopped basil right before serving.

Serve each bowl with a helping of cauliflower rice*, a lime wedge, chopped cashews, pomegranate arils and a sprig of fresh basil.

*I let the heat of the curry soften the cauliflower rice. If you prefer to soften it before, just place in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water, and steam in the microwave for 30 seconds to a 1 minute. 

P.S. I firmly believe the prettier your food is the better it tastes! All those toppings aren’t just for the gram. They help, but they also enhance the dish as a whole! So, invest in the pomegranate, cashew and lime toppings. #worthit

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Disclosure: If you are in a loving relationship with your crock-pot, follow Tieghan's cooking method to prepare this dish.

  Annie

Bites of My Life

One week 'till Christmas! I've really loved this Christmas season. It seems to me the older you get the more holiday parties and Christmas celebrations there are. I must mention that all the events can sometimes be exhausting, but I've really enjoyed all the reasons to be together with various groups of people who mean the most to me. This past week including various meals in bowls (LOL, but really see below), a concert, a catering(!!!), a floral arranging class, best friends Christmas party, a visit to see my sweet Gaga, a visit from cousins I haven't seen in forever, precious time with my Elle girl and playing Mrs. Claus delivering fresh baked cookies to my besties. 

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-Turmeric smoothie bowl made with the help of these and this.
-Robert Earl Keen with my Fam-O-Lee made for my 4th time seeing REK, but this time at The Jones Assembly!
-While battling a nasty cold at the beginning of the week, I had a major craving for some healing oatmeal. I made a big batch of steel-cut oats and ate them various ways through the week. Seen here as a savory version served with a sunny-side up egg and avo for lunch. 
-Bowls, bowls, all type of bowls. I prefer to eat smoothies and protein shakes from a bowl.
-Oats appearing again with cinnamon apples!
-Peppermint Mocha Protein Shake, bowl style.
-Take A Bite caters! Loved getting ask to make the food for a friend's company Christmas party! 
-Donut dreams came true thanks to Holey Rollers
-What breakfast looks like most days. Shoveled in to my mouth with one hand while applying mascara with the other. 
-Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Elle and Annie!
-Special day at Elle's baptism. 
-Perfect CCCs decked for Christmas made for the best edible gift for my besties.

Bites of My Life

It's the down hill slope to Thanksgiving and the holidays in general for that matter. I have something on the books for every night this week (Thursday being Friendsgiving!!). The rush of the season is here. The busyness helps me stay productive, but also sends little stress waves through me. Regardless, this really is the most wonderful time of the year! *Cue the Christmas music*

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-First Lite Bite post! Peppermint Mocha Protein Shake. 
-Fall breakfast quickly taken back inside since the mornings have been so chilly around here!
-Died a little inside when I heard of RX Bars new seasonal flavor Gingerbread, but after trying it, the excitement was gone. Gingerbread is a favorite flavor of mine but these lacked flavor completely.
-The StudioHop crew came to OKC on Tuesday for a Glow + Flow class at one of my favorite new studios. If you haven't checked out The Yoga Box, text me and let's go flow together. They also have a food bar inside and these little dark chocolate pomegranate bites they made are being recreated ASAP!
-New coffees and teas at work make for a caffeinated photoshoot!
-Really proud of my creativity on this. Took leftover spaghetti sauce, added some spices and cracked in two eggs for a version of shukshuka!
-Protein shake #2 of the week is this Gingerbread version. Vanilla protein, frozen cauliflower, almond milk, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves!
-My kryptonite as of recently. It's like a not terrible for you cross between popcorn and Cheeto puffs. 
-My other current obsession is rice cakes. I mentioned them a couple weeks ago. Not sure what my craze is for eating something that resembles Styrofoam, but I think the fact that it's just another vessel to shovel almond butter into my mouth could be why...
-Game day, just like we were students again!
-Spent Sunday afternoon talking plants and healthy eating with my new friend Emma!
-Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup for Sunday dinner (and lunches the rest of the week). Forgot how good this recipe was...

Annie