Meatless Monday: Giveaway Winner + The Perfect Spaghetti Squash

Happy Meatless Monday! 

I have a giveaway winner!  The winner is entry number 25, so the 25th entry(skipping my own comments about your favorite meals of course) is Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean!





See, those extra twitter entries really helped!  I’ve already emailed you, Lindsay.  Let me know if you didn’t get the email!!

On to the spaghetti squash!

Have we all had Spaghetti Squash before?  If not, you should most definitely try it!!

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash, and when it’s cooked the flesh falls away in strands that look like spaghetti.  And it clocks in at only 42 calories per cup!

I’m about to give you THE perfect way to cook a spaghetti squash. 

Are you ready?  I mean really get ready, because this will possibly blow your mind…


Take your spaghetti squash…



And cut it in half widthwise, NOT lengthwise (this is where my tutorial differs from others!). 




Scoop out all of the seeds and the stringy things.  Place both halves on a plate and cover with saran wrap.




Place in microwave and cook for 10-15 minutes until you can easily pierce through it with a knife. (depending on the size of your spaghetti squash it may take a little longer)

Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle the squash, then carefully scrape out the strands with a fork.




My favorite way to eat spaghetti squash is with steamed veggies (usually broccoli) and covered in my favorite spaghetti sauce!  And with a big hunk of bread on the side of course!!




I know what you’re possibly thinking right now.  But every other tutorial on spaghetti squash says I should cut my spaghetti squash in half LENGTHwise!  And to that I say no no no!

Here’s why you should cut your spaghetti squash in half widthwise instead of lengthwise…

  • you’ll get longer prettier strands!!  (look at the inside of a spaghetti squash- have you ever noticed that the strands don’t run lengthwise?  They run in a circle around the width of the squash)
  • it’s easier to cut in half when you cut it this way.
  • it cooks faster (when I cut it lengthwise it takes me around 30 minutes to cook it, this took me 10!)
  • you can cook both halves in the microwave at once! (you can’t really do that when you cut it in half lengthwise- unless you have a really big microwave)


We eat spaghetti squash like it’s going out of style around here!  So much food for so few calories- I can totally get on board with that!!

What does everyone else top their spaghetti squash with??


Meatless Monday: My Favorite Vegetarian Cookbooks + GIVEAWAY!

I’m not going to lie- the recipe I was hoping to have for this week’s Meatless Monday was a total fail.  It needs some major tweaks, but hopefully I’ll have it for next week!

In the meantime, how about a giveaway??  Keep reading to find out the deets!

I’m a bit of a cookbook hoarder.  When I went veg I actually got rid of quite a few of them that I knew I would never use again.  But I still have a lot.  Some are not vegetarian, but are fairly veg friendly or easy to make the recipes veg with a few simple substitutions.

But let’s talk about my favorite vegetarian cookbooks!  I get asked that question a lot- besides “where do you get your protein?!”, this is the most asked question I get… “what are some good vegetarian cookbooks?”

I am SUPER picky about my cookbooks.  They have to include a simple ingredient list.   I prefer cookbooks with pictures, but I’ll make exceptions for this if it’s gotten really great reviews.  They also have to have ingredients that are accessible to me and easy to find- NO obscure items that I would have to order online!

Here are a few of my faves that have passed the test!

All my veg cookbooks (I have many more that are not totally veg though…).




My favorite vegan dessert cookbooks…



I use this one time and time again- it has never failed me!  It’s worth buying just for the apple cake and cinnamon roll recipes alone.  To. Die. For.



This one is fantastic, but honestly I prefer my own cupcake and buttercream recipes.  I do always come back to this book for inspiration and ideas though!


My absolute favorite overall veg cookbooks…


Want a cookbook that’s PACKED with nutrition and some seriously delicious and simple recipes??  These are the cookbooks for you!  I can’t say enough about both of them. They’re both based on the findings of Dr. T. Collin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s research and the book “The China Study”. (Also, I really encourage you to see Forks Over Knives- it’s available on Netflix!)  P.S. don’t be fooled by the word “diet” on the engine 2 cookbook.  It’s not a “diet”.  I promise.



I have made many many recipes from this book (including a holiday meal!) and it has never lead me wrong!  LOVE it, and love the author!



This one is my newest obsession!  I have a major crush on Mama Pea and I just love this book.  This book is SO perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  It’s great for someone that’s just wanting to add a few more vegetarian meals to their arsenal!  I’ve tried several recipes from this cookbook and haven’t been disappointed yet!


And now for the GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a vegetarian cookbook of your choice!  It does not have to be one that I listed above- the sky is the limit! 

Is there a cookbook that you’ve been wanting to try but you weren’t sure you wanted to spend the money on it?  Are you wanting to try more meatless recipes but aren’t sure where to start?  Well, here’s your chance!

This giveaway will be running from the moment I hit publish until 5:00 pm CST on Friday September 16th! 

Also, this giveaway is limited to the United States and Canada only because of shipping expenses.

To enter the giveaway:

You can get up to three entries in this giveaway. 

  1. Simply leave a comment below stating your favorite meatless meal! 
  2. Tweet about this giveaway or facebook it if you don’t have twitter (and then leave a comment here telling me that you tweeted/facebooked it)
  3. Link to this giveaway in a blog post (and then leave a comment here with a link to your post)

That’s it.  No games to play, no hoops to jump through (don’t you hate it when there’s a giveaway on a blog and you have to jump through hoops just for one entry?  So silly!)

Good luck!!!


Frustrations and free salads

I’m frustrated with my schedule for next semester.  Because I got hosed by financial aid I have to work A LOT this year, which also means I have to take fewer classes.  And there just aren’t many classes offered next semester that will fit into my criteria, so it looks like I will only be taking two classes next semester.  A&P(which I had this semester but dropped and I’m SO glad I did- there’s no way I would have survived the semester if I hadn’t dropped it!) and Food Microbiology.  And since I can only take 2 classes that officially puts me at least a semester behind where I wanted to be with my degree plan.  :(  And I don’t think I’ll be able to take classes this summer(see above note about getting hosed by financial aid).  This super sucks!  Maybe next year the financial aid office won’t be so incredibly horrid to me and I can take an extra class or two to make up for this year…

Anyway, enough with the heavy!  Who wants some FREE SALAD?!  Like forever ago foodbuzz/fresh express sent out a bunch of salad coupons and I completely forgot about them!  I found them the other day and I was like yipee! 

Want a coupon?

The first FIVE people that leave a comment (on my actual blog, not on facebook or twitter) will get some free salad!  Just comment telling me your favorite things to put on your salad and that coupon is yours! 


P.S. thanks foodbuzz and fresh express!!!


Last night I had this really yummy salad for dinner…

Spinach, Annie’s Goddess Dressing, mushrooms, carrot, chickpeas, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.  NOM!


Well, gotta run!  I’ve got juice to juice, a paper to write, homework to do, and a test to study for!