Monday Mantra: perfect

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed some lovely weather…here in Georgia it was BEAutiful!!  We had a weekend of ups and downs…changed plans and wrenches in our original list of things to do.  BUT in the end it turned out to be lovely just the same.  Just goes to show that when life throws you a curve ball, rolling with it can lead you to an even better outcome.  Here’s hoping you can take that with you thru this week, and remember that even if things aren’t as you have planned, there is still always room to find the good.  Find the Joy in the every day and you will discover why you are moving down the path you are on.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”

hands

Choose Joy
~ Jillian

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Monday Mantra: Love

Good Morning!  I hope you had a lovely weekend.  We spent some of our time catching up with great friends (who also happen to be neighbors…lucky us!)  What I love about getting together with friends is learning about the things in life that make us different!  From our backgrounds and family history to beliefs and spiritual practices.  It is so interesting to find out more about the people you love spending time with!!  What I realized this weekend is that no matter where you come from or what religion you are or what your main focus in life is, there seems to be one common thread that pulls us all together…LOVE!!  And as long as we do all things with that intention behind us, life will be good!!

“Love is the common thread”

love

Do all things with Love
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: gratitude

Life has been so busy lately it has been hard to keep up! (i’m sure i am not the only one that feels that way!!)  It feels like Monday’s are coming around faster then ever!  But in the busiest times of life it seems even more important to pause and be thankful for the blessings in our lives.  With a busy life undoubtably comes rushing around and not feeling like you have the time to stop and breath.  The feeling of never quite being caught up with your to do list.

So this week we should pause, as often as possible to take a nice deep breath and count the blessings in our lives.  Take stock of all the wonderful things that make it possible for you to keep on trucking!  As we head into the busiest time of the year (can anyone else believe that thanksgiving is right around the corner??) which makes it even more important to stop and smell the roses!!

“gratitude changes everything”

thankful

Happy Monday
~ Jillian

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Olive Oil, Garlic and Red Chili Pepper

Now that we are officially in the fall season, I thought I’d share a quick and healthy recipe using spaghetti squash.  Although it can now be found in grocery stores year-round, spaghetti squash is typically harvested in early fall.   Spaghetti squash is a nutrient packed, providing a good source of folic acid, fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and beta carotene.  Spaghetti squash is also low in carbohydrates and calories, with only 7 grams of carbs and 42 calories in a 1-cup serving.

SpaghettiSquashPasta

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Olive Oil, Garlic & Red Chili Pepper

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 1 hr, 10 min.

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized (approx 3 lb) spaghetti squash
1/4 cup good quality (plus a little extra for baking squash), first press olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (adjust if you do not like it too spicy)
1/2 pound (medium or large) peeled raw shrimp (tails removed), optional
1 cup broccoli florets
Salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (grated), optional

Wash and cut your spaghetti squash in half, length-wise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Brush the squash generously with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Place squash in a baking dish with the cut side facing down.  Place in a 375-degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until done.  To test, pierce the exterior with a fork – if it easily punctures the skin, it is done.

Once the squash is done, remove from oven and allow to cool while you start prepping the rest of your ingredients.

Begin cooking the broccoli florets.  I prefer to roast the broccoli in the oven, but steamed broccoli is fine too.

While the broccoli is cooking, saute the shrimp with a little olive oil or butter.  Set aside.

Once cooled, you will need to remove the squash from its shell.  Simply rake a fork across the inside of the squash to remove the flesh in stringy pieces, resembling spaghetti noodles.

Add the olive oil to the heated pan used for the shrimp.  Heat the oil over medium heat, adding the garlic and red pepper flakes once the oil is hot.  Stir constantly for just a couple of minutes.  You do not want to brown or burn the garlic.  Remove the pan from heat.  To the olive oil mixture, add the spaghetti squash strands, broccoli and shrimp, and toss to coat.  Salt and pepper, to taste.

For an added punch of flavor, add fresh grated parmesan once plated.

This is a great one to keep in your weeknight arsenal of recipes.  You can easily cook the squash ahead of time and have dinner ready with only 20 minutes of hands-on time.   Simply reheat the pasta with a little water in a covered saute pan or in the microwave prior to tossing with the olive oil mixture.

If you do not like spicy, consider substituting pesto or marinara for the garlic and red pepper mixture.  The spaghetti squash is as versatile as regular pasta – be creative!

Enjoy!
Brittany