A Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Dinner

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the best way to get back “on track” after an indulgent weekend or few days is to make a veggie-heavy dinner that’s so delicious it reminds you how good it tastes and feels to eat clean, real food. On my way back to Massachusetts on Monday afternoon, I remembered that I had bought a baby eggplant the week before. Since I hate to waste food, and have been waiting for an excuse to take my dad’s homemade sauce out of the freezer, I decided that eggplant parmesan would be a great meal to make. Per usual, I knew I wanted to doctor up the sauce a bit, so I added in some browned lean hamburger (it was about half the price of ground turkey or ground chicken and it was 85% lean so I went for it) and extra veggies.

To cut back on carbs a bit, I cooked up a small spaghetti squash. This is one of my favorite healthy substitutions because if you have a good sauce and other things to keep your mouth happy, you won’t even notice that you’re not eating pasta! Lastly, a side of baked kale was the finishing piece of the meal… because you can never have too many veggies, right?!eggplant parmesan

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small-medium eggplant
  • sea salt
  • approx. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • EVOO
  • 2 cups of sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • herbs and seasonings of your choice



1. Cut open the spaghetti squash, clean out the seeds and put it into a pot of boiling water. Boil for about 15-20 minutes. While that is cooking, place the sauce in a pot and add in the chopped veggies. When the spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from the water and use a fork to shred the squash. Set aside.

2. Brown the beef and add that to the sauce and veggies.


3. Clean and cut up the kale (removing the stems) and massage with about 4 tbsp. of EVOO, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and herbs/seasonings of your choice. Place in a baking dish and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 350*. Cut up the eggplant into 1/4-1/2″ slices and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle some sea salt onto one side and let sit for a few minutes. Flip the slices over and sprinkle more salt on them. I heard that this helps to remove some of the excess moisture in the eggplant- anyone know more about this?


5. Heat a pan with a little EVOO. Scramble an egg in one bowl and put the panko/breadcrumbs in the other bowl. Place the eggplant slices into the egg and then into the panko/breadcrumbs and then onto the warm pan. Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes.

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6. When each side of the eggplant slice has browned, place a small spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of cheese onto each and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Place the kale in the oven as well, stirring halfway through.


7. Serve yourself a bowl of spaghetti squash, topped with the meat/veggie sauce and eggplant medallions and a side of kale. Enjoy!

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This meal was so delicious and can be simplified even more by replacing spaghetti squash for regular spaghetti and skipping the breading process on the eggplant. I just had time and love being in the kitchen so I went all out!

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Questions for you: Do you like eggplant parmesan? Do you make your own sauce? What’s your favorite green veggie?



Spinach, Red Pepper & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Whenever my sister and/or I go home, our parents always ask us what we’d like for a “special” meal. It’s not that I don’t cook nice meals on my own, it’s just that there’s something about cooking when I’m home (or having my parents cook for me) that makes a meal EXTRA good. Amiright?

Over Easter weekend, my sister and my parents (I sat at the kitchen table, drank wine and kept them company….) whipped up a delicious stuffed chicken meal and ever since then I’ve been thinking of different variations that I could make. I think the key to making stuffed chicken meals even more delicious is including cheese in them, right? Lately, I’ve been a big fan of using Laughing Cow Cheeses in my dishes (Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Chicken with a Laughing Cow Cheese Sauce and Creamy, Cheesy, Sauteed Veggies), so I decided to continue the streak and use them in my stuffed chicken recipe.

Spinach, Red Pepper & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients (serves 2-3 people, depending on how big your chicken breasts are)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • thin slices of red pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-3/4 cups marinara sauce


1. Pre-heat your oven to 350*. Cut up your red peppers and onion and gather your spinach.

2. Rinse the chicken and cut a big slit into each breast horizontally (just make sure not to cut them in half!) so that you can stuff it with your ingredients. Layer the spinach first, then cut each wedge into smaller pieces and place on top of the spinach. Lastly, place the red peppers on top. Close the chicken breast and put a toothpick on either end to hold everything together.


3. Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of EVOO. Once it is warm, place the chicken breasts in the pan as well as the onions. Let everything cook for 5-7 minutes.


Clearly I didn’t have toothpicks and had to cut up some extra long matches to do the trick. Hey- whatever works!

4. When the chicken has browned on the outside, spread a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place the chicken breasts and onions on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink).


While this recipe did take some time to assemble (and requires touching raw chicken…), it was absolutely worth it in the end. I served my stuffed chicken along side a bowl of spaghetti squash, sauce and a bunch of wine-sautéed veggies. Ending my weekend on a healthy meal is the best way for me to get back on track for the week ahead. Anyone else do this?


I’ve loved enjoying these leftovers all week- having a healthy dinner ready to quickly reheat after a long day and tough workout is my life saver!

Questions for you: What are your favorite ingredients to stuff chicken with? Do you like to end your weekend with a healthy meal or do you prefer to start fresh on Monday morning?


A jam-packed weekend full of working out & dining out

Do you ever have those weekends where you’re so busy you feel like you need another day just to breathe and catch up on everything you didn’t catch up on over the weekend? That was me last weekend… and, well, all of last week, actually. I have spent the majority of the beginning of this week catching up on everything I wasn’t able to do last week or this week- my floors need to be washed desperately, but that keeps getting pushed further and further down my list, which is totally ok 🙂

Anyway! After work on Friday, I met up with someone for drinks at Vintage Lounge, which I hadn’t been to in years! From there, we headed to Sakurabana for sushi (as a Catholic, I’m not supposed to eat meat on Friday’s during lent, so sushi was a perfect option!).


Saturday started with kickboxing (loved seeing Jen, Mary, Valerie, Dani and all the other familiar faces!) as my first workout and then I met my sister at Exhale Spa for a Core Fusion Cardio class with my sister. We met up with our friend, Jessi, for lunch at Anthem. It was such a beautiful day in the city- perfect for walking around and having lunch out (actually, who am I kidding- any day is a great day for lunch out in my mind!). We shared a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the Fondue (cannot go there without getting it- SO SO SO good) and a pizza.

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I did some serious bar/restaurant hopping on Saturday night, which was great at the time, but not so great when I had to wake up at 7:45am on Sunday to teach a 9am class, after having gone to bed at 1:30am and losing an hour of sleep due to the time change. Womp. Oh well, I made sure to not drink too much so at least I wasn’t hungover! My Saturday night locations included: Prima E Dopo, Back Bay Social Club, M Bar at the Mandarin Hotel and finally Towne… phew! I wasn’t kidding when I said I hopped around 😉

Sunday I taught my 7th class of the week, puttered at Target and then did my CPR recertification. Not really my favorite way to spend a Sunday, but I didn’t really have a choice!

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Lunch at Pizza Etc. after the recertification did make me happy… I’ve missed their Greek salad with grilled chicken. When I lived in Brighton, Rachel and I would get that salad once a week!

By the time I grocery shopped and got home, the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner. I ended up going to Santarpio’s to grab pizza… not the healthiest choice, but I had been craving it for a while so I decided to just do it. It did give me a crazy bad stomach ache later on- I wonder if it was the pizza or just the fact that I had eaten out literally all weekend.

By the time Monday rolled around, I was so ready for my usual clean eats! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out and would never deprive myself of it, but my body just likes it better when I don’t eat out consecutively for days in a row. I used to let it bother me when I would eat out a lot, but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten to a place where I just let it go and enjoy it because I know as soon as Monday rolls around, I’ll be back on track with my eats. No better way to do that then kale & onion stuffed turkey meatballs served over spaghetti squash and sautéed veggies, right?


I’ve been enjoying this all week!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you try any new workouts/classes/studios? Did you go to any new restaurants? Have you been to any of the ones that I went to over the weekend? Do you beat yourself up after indulgent weekends of eating out and drinking? What’s the first thing you do to get back on track?

A Productive, but Relaxing Sunday

Hey everyone! How’s it going? I’m headed to Atlanta today for work, but I should have time to blog at the airport or hotel. I want to post my recent stations workout for you tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll find time to get that together!

I was in bed embarrassingly early on Saturday night, but the couple of cocktails I had in the afternoon wiped me out! I woke up Sunday feeling more rested than I have felt in a while- it was great! After breakfast, Danielle and I got right to the most dreaded task of the weekend: cleaning the apartment. Since we’ve all been gone for a number of weekends, the apartment cleaning sessions were severely neglected! I always at least wipe down the bathrooms once a week, but we needed a deep cleaning in a bad way. Luckily, when there are two of us doing it, we can do it in a little over an hour.

After cleaning, I drove Danielle to the airport since she is traveling for work all week. Before I came home, I swung by the Cambridgeside Galleria because I wanted to get new sneakers and a new dress from H&M. I got to the mall at 11:25 and was shocked (and really annoyed) to see that the mall didn’t open until 12:00!!! I understand a late opening on Sundays, but 12? That seems a little late! I had to practice some serious patience while I waited for the mall to open. I grabbed an iced coffee, wandered around and as soon as the clock struck 12, I was in H&M. I grabbed the dress and headed to Olympia Sports. I have and Edge card with them and had a $10 birthday gift card and a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $30 or more. I wasn’t supposed to combine them, but I put on my nicest smile and asked if there was any way they could combine them. Score for me! I got $20 off my sneaks! I tried on Reebok’s that I really loved, but they were more aimed for cross training, which is great for me, except for the fact I went there looking for new running sneakers. I ended up getting the same ones that I currently own, just in a different color.



I tested them out later that afternoon for a 5 mile run and I loved them!

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Between shopping and running, I was able to catch some rays on my back patio! I also enjoyed lunch out there, finally.  The weather this spring has not been conducive to patio dining, unfortunately. I also spent time cleaning up the side of the apartment. There is a path along the apartment from the patio to the driveway, but it gets overgrown with weeds SO quickly! I hate the looks of it, so I cleaned it up for the 3rd time on Sunday.



Since I knew I was traveling this week and would be gone two nights, not to mention I won’t be around Friday night- Sunday night for dinners, I decided to keep dinner easy: spaghetti squash, sautéed veggies and the chicken tenders from Saturday night. I didn’t measure anything, just eye-balled the veggies as I cut them.



Paired with a glass of vino and I was a happy girl! The whole time I ran, I thought about enjoying a glass of wine when I finished… hey, anything that gets you through a run, right?



Other than that, my Sunday night was pretty quiet. It felt great to have a clean apartment, clean room, no laundry, etc. to start the week. Anyone else feel this way? Food prep and cleaning and organizing might be a pain to do in advance, but to me, it is SO worth it once it’s finished!

Questions for you: What kind of sneakers do you run in? Do you wear different ones for running than you do when you take a class? Do you have any “mantras” or anything that gets you through a run (or a walk!)?

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

So, I teased you yesterday when I posted a picture of the meal I made on Tuesday night, so I figured it was only fair for me to share it with you now! We are in the midst of getting ready to host Amy’s sister, and our dear friend, Sara’s baby shower, so things are likely a bit hectic in our household!

I bought a spaghetti squash last week, but never got around to making anything with it (I made this meal instead.), so I figured this was a great week to use it before it went bad.  Plus, after I’ve been away on a little trip where I’ve eaten out and eaten more indulgent foods and desserts than normal, I always like to “detox” a bit upon my return by eating loads of veggies.  This meal certainly helped to get me back on the right track! Loaded with veggies, chicken breast and some light cheese, you can enjoy a generous portion, guilt-free.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole



  • 1 small-medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 1/2 cup summer squash
  • 3/4 cup broccoli
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2-3 thinly sliced chicken breasts, cut up into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Italian Herbs & Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1-2 cups of pasta sauce
  • Little bit of shredded cheese



1. Start a pot for the spaghetti squash (refer to this post for better instructions!) and begin to cut up your veggies. Heat a pan with a little bit of EVOO and add in the onions and minced garlic. Let those soften and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the green peppers and let those cook with the onions for another 2 minutes or so.  Finally, add in the remainder of the veggies. Add in your spices of choice. I like to add in a couple heavy dashes of wine, because well, “wine not” (as my mom says).

0412. When the water is boiling for the spaghetti squash, place it in the pot and boil for 15-30 mins (depending on the size of the spaghetti squash that you get).

3. When the veggies are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Cut up your chicken and cook it in the same pan you cooked the veggies in.

0444. Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, remove, let cool and use a fork to get the “spaghetti” out. Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the veggies and mix together. Add in the cheeses, bread crumbs, 1 tbsp or oregano and 1 tbsp of Italian Herbs & Seasoning and a few dashes of basil. Stir well to ensure that the cream cheese and goat cheese melt. Add in 1-2 cups of sauce and place mixture into a baking dish. Top with cheese and bake for 20 mins at 375*. I broiled mine at the end to get that nice, crispy topping.


046Get a bowl, serve yourself a nice heaping of this, and add some extra sauce on the side if you need more (I always need more sauce).

049Voila! here you go. This meal did take some time, but it was worth it. My sister came home from travel and had some and was raving about it! I think this would also freeze well, so if you made a big batch, you could have some for later.

Questions for you: Do you feel like you need a “detox” when you get home from a trip? What’s your favorite healthy meal to make or eat? I love Life Alive if I’m not cooking:)