Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce | Mimi's Fit Foods

I’ve said it before, but my hubby is not the biggest fan of traditional Spaghetti (thus this and this), but I am.  We had a lengthy discussion about this and what it came down to was the sauce.  He’s just not a fan of the bottled/canned sauces that are available to purchase on the grocery isle.  So, I set out to make us a homemade sauce that would make all of our tummies smile.  Here’s what did the trick!

The secret to most GREAT sauces is the opportunity to let them simmer for a nice amount of time.  While this sauce takes only a few minutes to prepare, it does require a nice 45-minute simmer.  So, plan ahead.  The simmering is where all the magic happens, so don’t be messing with that step if you mess with anything.  

I love the balance of textures found in the sauce.  I used a combination of diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and I think it yielded some fabulous texture.

The spice combination is pretty perfect too!  If I wasn’t feeding a 2-year-old, I may have added a bit more crushed red pepper . . . but what I have in the recipe is definitely enough to give is a slight punch without really even noticing it’s there. And, you’ll find all your traditional Italian spices in there too.

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce - Mimi's Fit Foods

I must note that I used no added sugars.  Sugars are typically added to most spaghetti sauces.  I was hoping that this sauce would taste well without it, and I am happy to report that it’s not even missed . . . not one bit!  

You can easily use lean ground beef in the recipe.  I chose to use ground turkey to save a little on calories and fat, but they can be interchangeable.

This recipe makes a lot of sauce.  I like it that way because then I can freeze it and use it for later (without having to do any of the work).  It freezes beautifully. 

I like to serve this sauce on top of whole wheat noodles of any kind.  It would also be delicious served over spaghetti squash.  Seriously  . . . I’m so glad to have this recipe because now we can have spaghetti a little more often with smiles all-around!  Homemade is always better, isn’t it!?

[yumprint-recipe id=’10’] 

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Easy and Simple Cheeseburger Pizza

Easy and Simple Cheeseburger Pizza - Mimi's Fit Foods

You need another easy-peasy (and cheesy) week-night meal, don’t you!?  I think we can NEVER have enough of these recipes.

This recipe is definitely tasty, but it isn’t going to blow-your-socks off.  I debated on sharing it because (A) – the pictures don’t make it look super pretty and (B) – it’s pretty simple in taste.  However, I decided to share it with you because it’s super easy to throw together, the simple taste fits virtually all palettes, and the short ingredient list is all stuff that I always have on hand.  These reasons are truly why this even got put on the menu one night.  I was tired and hadn’t really thought about dinner until, well, it was time to eat.  I scrambled for something easy and fast and this is what came out of it.  My little Evie Doll ate it like it was her new favorite food and Beau and I enjoyed it just fine too.  I gotta be honest and tell you that I was glad there were leftovers because that made lunch the next day a slam dunk!

I used my easy whole wheat pizza dough recipe for the crust.  I love this recipe because it requires no rising time.  And, when I don’t think of making dinner until the last second, this is perfect since I don’t have time to wait hours for dough to rise.  Lately when I make pizza I’ve been rolling it in a rectangular shape to fit my rectangular pizza stone (or a cookie sheet).  I can cut it into equal sections and it seems easier to cut up for my baby.  However, you can totally make it round too.

If you feel up to it and have more energy than I did the night I made this, you can definitely make your pizza more snazzy by adding chopped tomatoes, onions, and maybe even chopped pickles when it comes out of the oven.  But, if you’re like me most nights . . . making it as written will usually win you some smiles without a whole lot of effort.

Easy and Simple Cheeseburger Pizza
Mimi’s Original

For the Dough:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon lecithin
1 cup hot water (as hot as you can get it out of your tap)

For the Pizza:
3/4 cup Marinara/Tomato Sauce
(you can also us a canned spaghetti sauce like Prego Heart Smart)
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese  (I used 4 cheese Mexican blend)
1 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained

For the dough:
Mix dry ingredients.  Add lecithin and water.  Mix in until dough combines, approximately 1 minute and check for consistency (use your dough hook on your mixer).  Dough should be a little sticky.  If dough is too dry, add more water.  Mix for 5 minutes on a medium speed (this will knead your dough).

Using a rolling pin, roll into your desired shape and place on a lightly greased pizza stone (or cookie sheet).   (Lately, I like to roll mine into a rectangle because it fits nicely on my rectangle pizza stone or on a cookie sheet.  However, I sometimes roll into a circle and use my round pizza stone too.)  Your crust is now ready to put all your toppings on.  You do not have to wait for this dough recipe to do any rising.  Awesome!

For the Pizza:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread marinara/tomato sauce all over dough, reaching to the sides.  Top with 1/2 cup of cheese, crumbled ground beef, and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake in 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Cut into 12 equal pieces.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Slices)
Calories:  375
Protein:  28.7g
Carbs:  45g
Fat:  10.1g (4.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  7.3g
Sugars:  6.7g

Fit and Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Healthy Baked Spaghetti - Mimi's Fit Foods

Here is another way to make spaghetti.  I’ve said it before, but my cute husband doesn’t really like traditional spaghetti.  However, he’ll eat this.  I’m sure the addition of cream cheese helps, but hey . . . I’ll take it . . . and so should you.  Think pasta, cream cheese, rich marinara sauce, and more cheese.  Uh huh . . . dreamy, right?  I’ve seen versions of this meal floating around blogs and Pinterest with raving reviews so I just had to give it a whirl.  I trimmed the recipe up a bit and we absolutely adore this meal.  It’s hard to not go back for seconds!  My little baby gobbles it up right along with us.  It’s made in a casserole dish, so it makes a great family-style meal.  Since we are a small family we always have leftovers.  And, well, since it’s summer I am completely in love with leftovers because we are so busy playing these days that sometimes we don’t want to take a break to make dinner (or maybe mom is simply too tired from all the play  – let’s be honest!).  If you want a delicious spin on traditional spaghetti, add this to your lineup.  It’s so yummy (and easy, mind you!).

Fit and Creamy Baked Spaghetti
Adapted from The Blonde Can Cook

6 ounces multi-grain angel hair pasta, dry
2 cups spaghetti sauce
 (I used Prego Heart Smart)
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces light cream cheese
(1/3 less fat), room temperature
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to directions on package, only to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, garlic salt, salt and pepper.  Brown the ground turkey until cooked through.  Stir in your spaghetti sauce.

Drain and place cooked pasta back into your pan. Add in the cream cheese and Italian seasoning. Stir until cream cheese is melted (this is easier if your cream cheese is at room temperature, but it will still work if it isn’t).

Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish (a 9×13 baking dish would work too). Spread a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes on 350 or until bubbly.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/8 the Recipe)
Calories:  311
Protein:  20g
Carbs:  14.5g
Fat:  7.2g (3.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.5g
Sugars:  0.4g

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches - Mimi's Fit Foods

Cucumber Sandwiches!  What an easy snack idea.  It probably goes without saying that these are a breeze to put together.  I mean, it’s hardly a recipe at all, but rather an idea.  I say that because you can be a little versatile with this.  You can use different varieties of cheese and sandwich meats.  I also think these are good dipped in mustard, as well as sprinkled with spices (cracked black pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, etc.).  There are a variety of options that still help to keep these babies low in calorie count, high in protein, and low in carbs.  Whoohooo!

For calorie counting purposes, I’m giving you the quantities for one serving.  However, you can easily punch out a bunch of these . . . . . say, for after-school snacks or any other purpose you may find a need to sneak these into your household.

Cucumber Sandwiches

8 slices of peeled cucumber, 1/4-inch thick
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 4 slices
1 ounce deli roast beef (at least 96% lean)

Take one slice of cucumber and top with a slice of cheese and 1/4 ounce of roast beef.  Top with another cucumber slice.
Repeat with remaining cucumber slices, cheese, and roast beef.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  123.7
Protein:  14.7g
Carbs:  2.5g
Fat:  5.1g (3.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  0.8g

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups-Mimi's Fit Foods

This is a fun twist on a traditional taco.  It’s very flavorful, but baking the taco gives it a little crunch without deep frying it.  This came together in a cinch and I was WAY happy with the results.  If you’re looking for a yummy, healthy, crunchy taco . . . well, I just found you one (or two).

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups
Adapted from Du Su Mama

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey (93% lean)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup reduced fat cheese (I used Mexican blend)
10 corn tortillas (I used Mission Thins)
non-stick cooking spray (I used Canola)
kosher salt, optional

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add chopped onion and cook until broken down and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, taco seasoning, and cumin.  Cook until no longer pink, crumbling the meat into small pieces.  Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.  Remove from heat; allow mixture to cool slightly.  Add cilantro and cheese and stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray (or by using a Silpat linter)

Warm tortillas before placing filling inside.  (I do this in the microwave in batches.  I place two damp paper towels in the microwave, put 2-3 tortillas between the towels, and heat for 30-40 seconds.)  Put about 1/4 cup of filling inside a warmed tortilla, roll tortilla, and place on baking sheet with seam-side down.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Lightly spray each of the rolled tacos with cooking spray.  If desired, sprinkle with kosher salt.

Cook for 15-18 minutes, or until rolled tacos are golden brown.  If desired, serve with salsa.

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Rolled Tacos)
Calories:  275.6
Protein:  23.9g
Carbs:  22.5g
Fat:  10.8g (3.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.3g
Sugars:  5.3g

Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole

Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole1 - Mimi's Fit Foods

The other night for dinner I was at a loss at what to make.  I wasn’t in the mood to make anything gourmet and I was tired and didn’t want to be in the kitchen all night.  So, I went through my “recipes to try” file and came across this recipe.  I had all the ingredients, looked like it would come together in a snap, and I was SUPER curious to know if it really would taste like a cheeseburger.  Thus, this was the winning recipe for the night.

Sure enough; it came together in a snap and was super easy.  And, even more amazing was the fact that it truly did taste like a cheeseburger.  I mean, it has all the elements (burger, cheese, tomato, onion, mustard, and pickle) so I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised.  I was a bit weary of putting chopped pickles on the casserole after it had baked, but it was seriously awesome.  I was definitely a fan.

This will definitely go in my file of recipes to make when I want something fast and delicious.  Enjoy!

Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole - Mimi's Fit Foods

Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole
Adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

6 ounce whole wheat rotini pasta (dry)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 ounces diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
1/4 cup dill pickles, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 2-quart casserole dish (or a 9×13 baking dish) with cooking spray.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente and drain well.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned.  Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes and mustard.  Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2-5 minutes.

Toss the meat mixture with the pasta and spread it into the prepared baking dish. Top with the cheese and bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle the chopped pickles over the top and serve.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approximately 1 1/2 Cups)
Calories:  334
Protein:  26.9g
Carbs:  33g
Fat:  12.4g (4.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.2g
Sugars:  6.6g

If desired, you can go with a smaller serving size of 1 cup.  That would mean the casserole would feed approximately 9 people.  The nutritional information would then calculate as follows:

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approximately 1 Cup)
Calories:  222.8
Protein:  17.9g
Carbs:  22g
Fat:  8.3g (2.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.1g
Sugars:  4.4g

Mexican Lettuce Wraps

Mimi's Fit Foods

Do you ever have days when you just don’t feel like eating anything in particular for dinner?  Well, this was one of those days and so I asked my husband what he wanted because I REALLY was at a loss and figured if he had a dinner option on his wish list, I would make it for him.  Well, he was no help and was in my same boat.  Thus, we were SOOOO close to just having eggs/omelets.  But, then I made one last effort to peruse the refrigerator to see if anything would jump out at me.  That’s when I came up with these babies.

I was too lazy to follow a recipe, so I just made up my own.  I threw in some ground turkey with onions and peppers and a few Mexican spices, added some fire-roasted tomatoes for additional flavor, some kidney beans for fiber/antioxidants/vitamins (and gobs of other good purposes), and some green chilies for a little heat.  With a little tomato paste added to the skillet, the mixture thickened right up and it fit beautifully in my little lettuce shells.

Lettuce is also a smart way to “wrap” up your food.  It has very, very little calories (like 7-10 for 1 cup).  I loved adding the carbohydrates to the mixture (rather than eating my carbs in a wrap) and, since the lettuce is so low in calories, I could eat as many “wraps” as my serving of mixture would allow.  You can do the same by adding as much mixture from your serving to each individual lettuce wrap.  You could walk away eating as low as 2 wraps, or as many as 6.  Of course, the amount of mixture you eat is the same but sometimes it does my mind good to think I was able to eat 6 lettuce wraps from dinner.  Ha, ha!

I included a list of optional toppings below.  Depending on your end goal, you’ll want to be careful with the toppings as they do add a smidge of extra calories.  I decided to top mine with a light sprinkling of reduced fat cheese, salsa and  Fit Ranch Dip (which I made using Hidden Valley’s Spicy Ranch flavor).

Not only did this come together fast, looks pretty and fun, but they tastes yum, yum, yummy!  I was so pleased with the outcome that I’m adding these to my quick, weeknight dinner meals rotation.  Heaven knows we all need more of these meals in our collection!

Mexican Lettuce Wraps
Mimi’s Original

1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used a red and yellow combination.)
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or powder)
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
Lettuce for serving (I used baby Romaine.  Butter lettuce or iceberg would work well too.)

Optional Toppings:
reduced fat cheese
salsa
light sour cream
diced avocado (or guacamole)
Fit Ranch Dip

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, peppers, ground turkey, taco seasoning, cumin, and garlic salt.  Cook until onions and peppers break down and ground turkey is no longer pink, stirring often to break up ground turkey.  Add tomatoes, green chilies, and tomato paste.  Stir to combine.  Simmer until mixture thickens and a lot of the juice from the tomatoes evaporates, about 10 minutes.  Stir kidney beans into mixture and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile prepare lettuce leaves by washing, separating leaves, and patting them dry.  Fill leaves with turkey mixture and, if desired (and you can spare a few extra calories), top with optional toppings.

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information
(Per Serving = 1/5 of the Recipe, about 1 C. of Mixture, W/O Toppings)
Calories:  213
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  17.6g
Fat:  6.9g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.4g
Sugars:  5.4g