Lean & Green Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats – Protein Pasta

Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta, a higher protein and gluten-free option for dinner!

So, how does a plate of pasta fit in with my higher protein diet? Let me tell you! As many of you know, I’ve been eating a higher protein diet for the last several years and really scaled back the amount of carbs that come in the form of bread, baked goods, rice . . . and pasta! You may have read one or two of my posts on the importance of protein, there have been many!

Jennifer Fisher Yoga Side Plank

A higher protein diet helps me stay lean and mean for running, Crossfit, yoga and all my other fitness endeavors. Oh yeah, and for LIFE — that especially!

As a long-time athlete, I decided it was time to take a closer look at what I’ve been eating and how wit as or was not fueling my goals. While carbs have their time and place on my plate (like leading up to and during an endurance event and, of course, pretty much any and all vegetables whenever I want), kicking up my protein intake has really helped me build some much-needed muscle I need to stay competitive as I creep up into the shadows of being 49 years old!

Explore Asian Organic, Gluten Free Pastas

So, until I recently found the Explore Asian line of higher-protein pastas, I had been eating my beef ragu on top of zucchini, my stir-fry on top of spinach and my chicken noodle soup without, err, noodles – you get the idea! As much as I love the extra servings of veggies, sometimes it’s nice and comforting to have pasta to twirl around on your fork or slurp from a spoon. Explore Asian has given me back pasta options – and options that are ridiculously healthy and can be quickly cooked into a nutritious meal that fills me up and helps me stay lean and strong. I’m winning already!

Explore Asian Organic, Gluten Free Pastas

All in all there are five flavors, but I especially love these three Explore Asian products- Black Bean Spaghetti, Edamame Spaghetti and Thai Brown Rice Noodles. Every batch is made with the finest, organic NON-GMO ingredients that are also vegan, gluten free, organic, Kosher certified and come in low on the Glycemic Index (around 20).  Additionally, Explore Asian has about 400% more protein and fiber and 60% fewer carbs than other pasta making them a great option for diabetics, vegetarians or those following a low-carb, high-protein diet!

Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta makes a high-protein vegetarian meal.

I’m sharing a yummy, easy “pasta” recipe (Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats) using the Edamame Spaghetti from Explore Asian the pasta, coming straight out of the bag, is simply made from edamame beans and water, that’s it!  One serving of this bean-based pasta offers 24g of protein in a 2 ounce dry serving – this is pretty much spot on with the recommended 25 – 30g recommended per meal. You don’t really need to add any additional protein, but I threw on a few extra edamame beans to get to the upper range and flavored it up with some zesty kumquats and feta cheese.

Explore Asian Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta

The pasta is so easy to boil up too! It basically cannot be overcooked and the fiber content from the beans offers a great texture that keeps this pasta in a constant state of just-right al dente! This means the pasta products will work well in a crock pot and left overs hold up beautifully for reheating the next day! Check out this other recipe I made earlier in the year with the Black Bean Spaghetti — Black Garlic & Steak Curry!

Black Garlic Beef and Bean Curry

You can find Explore Asian gluten-free pastas at Whole Foods, Costco and Fairway stores as well as at http://www.explore-asian.com/.  Costco is now even selling the Edamame Spaghetti in 2lb boxes!

Use the STORE LOCATOR to find the retailer closest to you.

Try this gluten-free, organic, high-protein pasta out for yourself! If you do, take a picture of your recipe using Explore Asian products and enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Whole Foods.  Head over to the recipe database for inspiration, get cooking, and then send a photo of your finished dish to info@explore-asian.com no later than December 24, 2015.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Explore Asian.

 

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Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta makes a high-protein vegetarian meal.
Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta
Print Recipe
Make a quick and healthy dinner of edamame pasta tossed with feta and kumquats - this gluten-free, high-protein spaghetti is perfect fuel for the athlete.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta makes a high-protein vegetarian meal.
Edamame Spaghetti with Kumquats and Feta
Print Recipe
Make a quick and healthy dinner of edamame pasta tossed with feta and kumquats - this gluten-free, high-protein spaghetti is perfect fuel for the athlete.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, Srirracha, and olive oil.
  3. Put edamame beans, chopped kumquats and sauce into pot with drained pasta and toss until everything coated.
  4. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
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Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms – Vegan #MeetChef

Thanks to Gardein for introducing me to their Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Ground and for sponsoring today’s post.

Making a big stuffed mushroom for dinner is so satisfying and pairs so well with beef!  But, what if you’re not into beef as much as I am and are looking for a vegetarian or vegan option? You should check out The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein – it’s amazing! Being the beef girl that I am (who also does meatless meal, too – variety is the spice of life),

Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.

I was skeptical of the product. I had a carnivorous family member coming over for dinner who is making some changes in diet and lifestyle and I wanted to put this meatless product to the ultimate test.

Prepping a meatless dinner is super convenient with Gardein Beefless Ground.

Prepping a meatless dinner is super convenient with Gardein Beefless Ground.

I created a recipe for Pesto-Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms and used The Ultimate Beefless Ground as the primary protein source – I served up the dish and didn’t say a word about the ingredients.  I thought was absolutely delicious and studied the face of my guest – what was he thinking?  Well, I got complement after complement on my recipe and when I finally broke the news that we were having a #MeatlessMonday meal, jaws dropped. Everyone gave the The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein a thumbs up on taste and texture. And, as the chef, I have to say it was so simple to make —  I just tossed the beefless ground in my skillet with a little olive oil, spinach, pesto sauce and vegetable broth and within about 2 to 3 minutes, my portabella mushrooms were ready to stuff!

Pesto Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Each ½ portion of the beefless ground (on its own) has just 80 calories with 12 grams of protein and no cholesterol or transfat. It’s also gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and kosher.  In addition to my easy stuffed-mushroom recipe, this plant-based protein is excellent in everything from tacos to chile to pasta or crumbled on nachos. All Gardein products are found chillin’ in the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery store.  Save yourself a dollar with this coupon (available for download until May 31, 2015).

Mushrooms ready for the oven!

Mushrooms ready for the oven!

The roasted garlic I used in the recipe is so insanely good and easy to make. Roasting in the oven takes the bite out of garlic and gives it a milder, sweeter taste. The recipe is simply to take peeled garlic cloves, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 F degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once. You’ll definitely want to make a big batch and use in salads, on pizza, mash up as a paste to marinate!

Roasting garlic is super easy and takes out the bit, leaving a mellow and sweeter flavor that is great in so many recipes

If you are looking for other vegan and vegetarian dinner options, you will like my Teriyaki Chick’n Chop Salad.

 

Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.
Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms - Vegan
Print Recipe
Pesto, spinach and mellow roasted garlic come together in a delicious portabella mushroom that makes an easy dinner for meatless monday or when you need a vegetarian or vegan recipes. Uses The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Pesto, Spinach and Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms are made with Beefless Ground and makes a satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner.
Pesto, Spinach & Roast Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms - Vegan
Print Recipe
Pesto, spinach and mellow roasted garlic come together in a delicious portabella mushroom that makes an easy dinner for meatless monday or when you need a vegetarian or vegan recipes. Uses The Ultimate Beefless Ground from Gardein.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In medium skillet, add spinach, beefless ground, garlic and vegetable stock. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until protein crumbles are cooking and spinach is wilting.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in pesto sauce, coating everything.
  3. Brush outsides of cleaned mushrooms with olive oil. Stuff gilll side high with half the mixture each. Top with a cherry tomato and extra garlic, if desired.
  4. Bake in 400 F degree oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until mushroom is softened and juicy.
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Blackberry Melon Smoothie Bowl – #ILoveSilkSoy

Blackberry Melon Hemp Smoothie Bowl - thefitfork.com

It’s fantastic there are so many alternative milk options at the market these days, there is seemingly something for everyone! However, it can sometimes become overwhelming to decide which carton to grab, but I can always count on Silk Original Soymilk to be a great option for me and my family.

original silk soymilkOne of the things I love most about Silk Original Soymilk is that no other dairy-free milk brand offers more protein ounce for ounce!  I’m a huge advocate of getting enough protein and portioning it at optimal times through the day – just read my recent post on the #proteinchallenge.  Each 8-ounce serving of Silk Original Soymilk has 8 grams of heart-healthy, plant-powered protein and a creamy, yummy taste.  And because Silk is plant-based, it’s naturally low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol and also has 50% more calcium than dairy milk.

silk ligh vanilla soymilkI also am a big fan of the Silk Light Vanilla Soymilk — so yummy in coffee, tea and smoothies. With that hint of vanilla flavor and fragrance, everything tastes like a treat splashed with a bit of this silky goodness.

Glass of Silk Soymilk

My three active teen boys can drain a carton of milk faster than I can scream “wait, save some for your cereal in the morning!”  That’s why I stock the fridge with multiple cartons and am thankful I don’t have to worry about them filling up on junk beverages like soda, corn-syrupy “juices” and even some of those surprisingly sugary sports drinks.

Ingredients for Silk Smoothie Bowl

I like to use either Silk Original Soymilk or Silk Lite Vanilla Soymilk as the starter for my smoothies – the ingredients that can blend into Silk is only limited by my imagination (and the size of the blender pitcher)!  Today, I’d like to share my take on the latest craze of smoothie served in bowls  — SMOOTHIE BOWLS!  I think you’ll love my creamy Blackberry Hemp Melon Smoothie Bowl that is perfect for a plant-powered breakfast, post-workout snack or refreshing and more mindful take on dessert.

Silk Blackberry Melon Smoothie Bowl

Blackberry Hemp Melon Smoothie Bowl Recipe

  • 1/2  cup frozen and thawed or fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 cup cantaloupe cubes (frozen if possible)
  • 1 cup Silk Original Soymilk or Lite Vanilla Soymilk
  • Couple drops of Stevia natural liquid sweetener
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • Ice, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
  1. Divide blackberries in half. Use back of fork or muddler to smash up one portion of blackberries into a “sauce.”  Set aside.
  2. Add oats to blender, pulse until ground up and powdery.
  3. Add frozen banana, cantaloupe cubes, soymilk, stevia and protein powder (optional) to blender.  Blend for a minute or so until everything well combined and smooth. Blend in ice if consistency needs to be thicker.
  4. Pour smoothie into bowl and drizzle with muddled blackberries, remaining whole blackberries and sprinkle with hemp seeds.
  5. Serves 1.

If you’d like to try Silk or fall back in love with it again, head over to Silk and nab a coupon before you head off to the store.

p>This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chipotle Squash & Chickpea Soup #SilkProteinPower

The weatherman said we had a cold front today, dropping the temperatures down into the upper nineties. Yeah, you heard me right 98 degrees in September, but that’s the trade-off for getting to live in the awesomeness that is Austin, Texas. Getting an outdoor workout this time of year can really take a toll, and I always have to remind myself to bring plenty of water for hydration and a healthy snack for immediate post-workout refueling. Because my tummy usually doesn’t want solid food right after a high-intensity, high-heat run or WOD I often rely on Silk Chocolate Soymilk in the shelf-stable 8-oz boxes – it’s a favorite to pack in my gym bag for healthy carbs, no cholesterol and plant protein.

In anticipation of cooler weather, I’ve been playing around with soup recipes. I love soups that are CREAMY, but I don’t like the added fat and calories. Light bulb moment – why not substitute the cream with a healthier option, such as Light Original Silk Soymilk. If you’re curious about the nutritional benefits of Silk Soymilk, head over to Silk.com to learn more about soymilk – they can explain it all in every delicious, nutritious detail, but in a nutshell (or a legume pod, as the case may be)– soymilk is a smart addition to any healthy diet.

So, despite the heat, everyone at the dinner table slurped up my latest soup creation – Smoky Chipotle Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup. Perfect for a weeknight meal, this soup is super easy to make because it relies on frozen butternut squash, canned chickpeas, and a blender. After the soymilk and other ingredients are ingredients are incorportated, it can quickly be heated up on the stove or in the microwave. Between the soymilk and the chickpeas, this autumn-inspired soup packs a nice little punch of protein power to support overall wellness and a “Meatless Monday” or vegetarian meal.

Smoky Chipotle Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup Recipe

  • 1 10-oz bag frozen cubed butternut squash, thawed
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz. chipotle peppers with adobe sauce (from 7.5 ounce can)
  • 2 cups Light Original Silk Soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • Garnishes: crumbled queso fresco, chipotle chili powder, fresh cilantro, jalapeno pepper slices, pepita seeds
  1. In blender, add all the ingredients except for the garnishes. Puree for approximately 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer to 2 quart pot and heat on medium low until desired temperature is achieved (or microwave loosely covered with a lid) in consecutive 30 second blasts, stirring between, until heated.
  3. Garnish with toppings of choice. Makes 4 large servings.

Okay, you know I #LoveMySilk, so when I saw this outdoor marquee photo from one of my favorite restaurant in Austin, I knew it was too silly not to share!

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.