An injury update, then Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash


So, I’m presently sitting in the doctor’s office hoping to finally get started on finding out what my injury actually is.


I’ve been going to physical therapy for 4 weeks now with little improvement and I still can’t run. I know the recovery process is often slow but I still have pain and not knowing exactly what needs to be treated is a problem.

fast forward an hour

Okay, I just had xrays done. Since it’s been about 2 months, it’s possible a femoral stress fracture might show up. Either way, I’ve got a consult to see an orthopedic surgeon. Hopefully, I’ll get that call soon. *fingers crossed* If the xrays don’t show anything, the next step is an MRI. I just want to run. Running makes me happy. Running is me – I AM a runner.


Tee-hee. 🙂

Okay, seriously. Cross your fingers for speedy xray results and a sooner rather than later appointment with the orthopedist. I need all the good vibes I can get!

Question: Have you ever had spaghetti squash? It’s really easy to make and super delicious. And, it’s a perfect substitute for spaghetti if you’re eating Paleo or just trying to cut back on processed carbs. I’ll never forget the first time I made it – I couldn’t believe the flesh actually twirled out like spaghetti noodles! So cool!

Anyway, you can pair spaghetti squash with your favorite marinara or even some homemade meatballs! I definitely recommend these. Healthy, chock full of protein, delicious and easy to make. Start the meatballs first and then put the squash in the oven. This gives the meatballs more time to hang out in the sauce. Om nom nom!


Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash
*note: if you aren’t a fan of spaghetti squash, use spaghetti or whatever you prefer. 🙂

1 (2-3 pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (I used spicy hot – use what you like!
1 can (14.5 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash squash exterior, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place, cut side up, on baking sheet.

2. Place ground sirloin, ground pork, egg, onion, garlic, almond flour, and seasoning in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Shape into meatballs.

3. Put squash in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

4. In a medium saucepan, mix tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine & seasoning. Heat on medium-low.

5. Heat 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until brown on all sides. As meatballs finish cooking, add to the tomato sauce, stirring gently to incorporate. Don’t want them to fall apart!


6. When spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Using a fork, remove flesh from the rind. You can either scrape or twirl – depending on how long you want the squash strands to be.


7. Top spaghetti squash with meatballs and sauce. Om nom nom!


– jennifer

Beer, donuts & Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage

Hello! Happy Friday!

Yesterday was such a long day! Up at 3:30am for Crossfit, physical therapy at 10:00am, plus a full, ridiculously busy day at work. I was totally ready to go home at 5:00! But, I didn’t – ended up going to one of our favorite local joints to have someone else make dinner for a change. I had the blackened catfish. I should have had the burger. Oh well, at least I can always rely on my old pal, Stella. 🙂


Happy National Donut Day! Did you celebrate today? I did! I haven’t had a donut in almost 2 years – not kidding! – and I was definitely ready. Also tried my first iced coffee this morning. I got the hazelnut flavor. It was pretty tasty! I can see why people enjoy them so much.


I got a Bavarian cream donut. Those were my favorite when I was growing up. I can’t remember the last time I had one of those. It was definitely worth the wait! And, in the grand scheme of things, relatively harmless as an occasional treat. One is only 270 calories with 15 grams of fat (7 saturated). Compare that to their cinnamon cake donut (340 calories/22g fat with 10 saturated) and that’s a major win! (In case you’re interested, Dunkin Donuts provides nutrition information on their website.) If you’re a glazed fan, those are decent too but I always want more than one. Then, that becomes not so decent. :/ Anyway, with my banana, my morning snack/treat was pretty decent today. 🙂

Donuts? Yes or No?
What’s your favorite kind?

So, what’s on your menu for dinner tonight? Tried out a new “burger” recipe the other night. Pork Patties with Plum Sauce served with some Napa Cabbage Slaw. Definitely not your traditional burger – no buns, hon! 🙂 Seasoned with Asian seasonings like ginger, sherry, and garlic and rounded out with some cooked bulgur, these patties are lighter than you would expect. The plum sauce was SUPER easy and was supremely delicious. And Thing 2 is a fan of Napa cabbage so the salad/slaw was a win, too. Seriously, if you’ve never tried Napa cabbage, you should use it in place of lettuce in your next salad. It has a great flavor that marries so well with other vegetables and it stands up to dressing without getting all wilty and soggy (yuck).

You can grill the patties or cook them inside in a skillet or a grill pan. The perfect follow-up to this meal? Grilled pineapple for dessert! Om nom nom!


Have you ever grilled fruit for dessert?
If you haven’t, you totally should give it a try. It’s fabulous!


Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage
serves 6

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped plums (about 1/2 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 pounds ground pork, 80% lean
1 cup diagonally cut green onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
6 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place plum mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and bulgur in a medium bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain well. Combine bulgur, pork, 1/2 cup onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, sherry, garlic, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Divide pork mixture into 12 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 6 patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat with remaining 6 patties.

3. Combine remaining onions, remaining cilantro, remaining salt, cabbage, vinegar, and oil; toss gently to coat. Serve patties with slaw; drizzle with plum sauce.

Per serving (2 patties, 1 cup slaw, 2 tablespoons sauce):
Calories 296; Fat 10.8g (saturated 4.1g, monounsaturated 4.3g, polyunsaturated 1.5g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 24.1g; Fiber 4.2g; Sodium 724mg
Recipe from Cooking Light, June 2012

– jennifer