Fuel for the Soul

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul

Gluten Free

Meal Makeover: Shrimp and Avocado Pesto "Pasta"

Eating Healthy, Gluten Free, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Recipe, Meal Makeover, Nutrition, Recipe, Simple Mealskellypuryear2 Comments

There is nothing more comforting to me than a big ol' plate of pasta, but there are few meals more calorically dense or higher in carbohydrates! One of my favorite meals is shrimp and spaghetti with pesto sauce and Parmesan cheese, but this meal can contain upwards of 1,000 - 1,300 calories and leaves me feeling bloated, sluggish, and curled up on the couch in the fetal position (thanks GLUTEN)! This terrible combination lead me to search for a recipe for a healthier version of my beloved Pesto Pasta that would provide me with the right combination of nutrients to leave me feeling energized and still give me that "comfort food" feel I so desperately miss. After a few trial and errors with different recipes, I decided to make my own version of a Pesto Pasta that is higher in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants and lower in calories, saturated fat, and empty carbohydrates. I was quite surprised with the end result and could not believe how delicious my concoction was... not to mention it is naturally gluten-free, contains 2-3 servings of vegetables, and is surprisingly filling!

Let me introduce to you....

Shrimp and Avocado Pesto "Pasta"

Shrimp Pesto Zoodle Pasta

The big secret is I used zucchini and yellow squash for the "pasta" (also known as "zoodles") and avocado and spinach in the pesto sauce! I promise you won't miss the spaghetti and your taste buds will be blown away by the avocado pesto sauce!

So what are you waiting for!? Give this made-over recipe a try!

Ingredients: (Makes 4 servings)

* Avocado Pesto Sauce (About 30 calories per 2 tbsp - serving)

  • 1/2 small Haas Avocado
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (stems removed)
  • 10 Basil leaves (stems removed)

* Shrimp & Zoodles 

  • Olive oil spray
  • Old bay spice (to taste)
  • 12 oz pre-cooked, frozen shrimp (thawed)
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis
  • 2-3 medium yellow squash
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese (for topping)
  • Red Chili flakes (to taste)

* Tools needed:


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the Avocado Spinach Pesto in a food processor and blend until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically and add a tbsp or two of water to reach desired consistency. Once the pesto reaches your desired consistency and taste, set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the shrimp and zoodles.
  2. Use a vegetable spiralizer or mandolin slicer to turn your zucchini and yellow squash into vegetable noodles. Once all vegetables are spiralized, set aside.
  3. Spray a large skillet / sauce pan with olive oil spray and saute the shrimp with the Old Bay (to taste) until the shrimp are heated through (about 2 minutes). Add the spiralized zucchini and yellow squash and heat for another 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are heated through and soften up a bit.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the avocado pesto sauce. Mix well!
  5. Divide the shrimp and zoodles among 4 plates and top each plate with 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, and chili flakes (to taste).

Shrimp & Zoodles(Sauteing the Shrimp and Zoodles with Old Bay :-) )

And that's all there is to it! A quick and VERY healthy meal the whole family will love, without the carb-overload and bloating! You can switch up the ingredients to your liking and be creative with your very own concoctions! Some of my favorite versions of this Pesto Pasta include grilled chicken and ground turkey with canned diced tomatoes!

Grilled chicken zoodles

(Grilled chicken breast with "Pesto Pasta")

Turkey zoodles

(Ground turkey with "Pasta" Marinara)

Go ahead, have fun with your Pesto Pasta! You can thank me later :-)

Bon appetit!

Thirsty Thursday: Mocha-cado Smoothie Bowl

Eating Healthy, Gluten Free, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Recipe, Protein Shake, Recipe, Smoothie, Thirsty Thursday RecipekellypuryearComment

Introducing my "Thirsty Thursday" recipe where I will share my smoothie of the week with you! I usually whip up a quick protein shake when I am in a rush after a morning workout, but today I took my time and planned out my FIRST EVER smoothie bowl concoction - The Mocha-cado Smoothie Bowl (I know, super clever of me, huh?) Smoothie bowls are all the new rage, but what is so special about being able to actually eat your smoothie with a spoon? I decided to find out and, boy, was I impressed!

Smothie bowl edited

(Mocha-cado Smoothie Bowl)


  • 6 oz coffee (cooled to room temperature or chilled in the fridge)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used Silk unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1/2 frozen banana (2 oz)
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1/5th avocado (about 1.8 oz)
  • 1/2 single-serve plain Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
  • 1 packet (full scoop) NutraKey Vegan Protein Powder: Mochaccino)
  • 4-5 ice cubes (to blend to preferred texture)
  • 3 tbsp KIND Cinnamon Oat with Flaxseeds granola (for topping)

Smoothie ingredients


  1. Mix coffee with almond milk and pour into a blender
  2. Add the frozen banana, spinach, avocado, and Greek yogurt and blend (about 30 seconds). You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender to make room for the next ingredients and to make sure it all blends evenly!
  3. Add the protein powder and ice cubes and blend for 30-60 seconds. You may need to add more almond milk or ice cubes to reach your desired consistency (smoothie should be VERY thick!)
  4. Pour the smoothie into a wide-mouthed  bowl and use a spoon to scrape out any remaining smoothie from the blender (trust me, you'll want to eat every last drop... and maybe lick the blender bottle too...)
  5. Top smoothie bowl with granola and a little cinnamon if you'd like
  6. Devour smoothie bowl!

It's seriously that simple and SUPER delicious! The nutritional content of this smoothie bowl is also out of this world! The entire bowl is 375 calories with a whopping 33g protein!

Smoothie 1 Nutrition

So next time you are craving a smoothie, try my Mocha-cado Smoothie Bowl! I promise you will not be disappointed :-)

Smoothie Bowl 1

Meal Makeover: Momma's Spinach and Tomato Quiche

Eating Healthy, Gluten Free, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Recipe, Meal Makeover, Nutrition, Recipe, Simple MealskellypuryearComment

There is nothing better than a home-cooked meal that is made with love, but these hearty home-cooked meals are usually high in fat, sugar, and sodium and overall high in calories. While these recipes "have been in the family for generations," there's nothing wrong with a little "makeover" action to make your favorite home-cooked meals hearty AND healthy! Take my mom's famous Spinach and Tomato Quiche recipe, for example - while it has been in the family for years, it is not the most waist-friendly OR heart-healthy meal for the family (sorry mom!).

Today's Meal Makeover: Momma's Spinach and Tomato QuicheQuiched cooked

Turned into Spinach and Tomato Egg White Quiche

With a simple swap of a few ingredients, I was able to turn my mother's famous (calorie-laden) Quiche into a low-fat, high-protein, Gluten-Free slim & trim Spinach and Tomato Egg White Quiche that the WHOLE family will love (and not feel guilty about having seconds)! The recipe make 6 generous servings and each serving has 180 calories, 5g fat (2g sat fat), 20g carbs, 3g sugar, and a whopping 16g protein! One serving also provides 34% of your daily Vitamin A and 45% of your daily Calcium requirements! Now that's a win, win, win situation!

So here's the recipe - super simple and ready in under 1 hour!


  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
  • 1/2 a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip (dry mix)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used Silk original unsweetened)
  • 1 cup Gluten-Free all purpose baking mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites (I used All Whites)
  • 1 cup 2% (part-skim) shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Publix brand)
  • 2 cups baby spinach (I used Fresh Express)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoesQuiche Set-up

(The ingredients)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 deg. F and lightly spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with olive oil spray
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt with Ranch dip mix until it's evenly mixed in. Then add the almond milk and egg whites until completely combined
  3. Add the Gluten-free baking mix and mix very well, until all clumps are dissolved and mixture is completely blended
  4. In the prepared baking dish, layer the spinach to completely cover the entire bottom of the dish, then layer the diced tomatoes over the spinach, then layer the shredded cheese over the spinach and tomato layers
  5. Slowly pour the egg white mixture over the layers and push down any floating pieces of spinach with the back of a large spoon so that the egg white mixture completely covers the other ingredients
  6. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese slightly browns and the egg whites have completely set. (Feel free to stick a tooth pick or skewer stick to test that the egg whites have set completely and the tooth pick comes out clean)
  7. Let the dish cool for about 5-10 minutes, cut into 6 even pieces and serve

** You can store the Quiche in the fridge for about 3 days and reheat in the microwave to eat at anytime of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even for a hearty snack)!

Quiche uncooked

(The layers of spinach, tomatoes, and cheese - before adding egg white mixture)

If you are serving the Quiche for breakfast, I recommend adding a bowl of plain oatmeal with nuts and berries for added complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and antioxidants to power your loved-ones (or yourself) up for the busy day ahead. If you plan to have the Quiche for lunch or dinner, I recommend adding in a slice of whole-grain bread and sliced avocado (i.e. avocado toast) or a side of brown rice or mashed sweet potato with a dash of brown sugar! YUM!

It's as easy as that! Now you have "tools" you need to serve up this delicious and healthy Quiche that the whole family will love! I am sure this recipe will stay in the family for generations to come :-)

Meals made in minutes: Super Easy Tuna Salad

Eating Healthy, Gluten Free, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Recipe, Meal in Minutes, Nutrition, Quick lunch, Recipe, Simple MealskellypuryearComment

Monday means the beginning of the busy work-week and the beginning of "not having enough time" to prepare a healthy meal during the day! For those of you who feel the same way, have no fear! Come HERE every Monday to find a super easy and nutritious recipe for a meal made in minutes!  That's right, every Sunday evening I will post a new recipe for one of my favorite meals that can be made in minutes! Make this meal Sunday night to take into work with you on Monday for a healthy lunch or wait until you come home from work and whip up this meal for a super easy dinner!

Today's Meal Made in Minutes: Super Easy Tuna Salad

Winning Combo Tuna Salad(Proof that even a "novice chef" can make this meal!)

What you will need:

  • Two cups of your favorite mixed greens (I used Fresh Express Mixed Greens)
  • 1 single serve pouch of StarKist Low Sodium Chunk Light Tuna (2.6 oz)
  • 1 single serve Wholly Guacamole mini cup
  • 2 Tbsp plain non-fat Greek Yogurt (I used Oikos Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/4th cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1/2 whole wheat tortilla wrap or Lavash bread (I used Sami's Bakery Millet & Flax Lavash)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing
  • Red chili flakes and black pepper to taste

How to prepare it:

  • Mix the tuna with the guacamole and Greek yogurt in a small bowl, add in the chili flakes and pepper (to taste) and stir to completely combine all ingredients
  • In a serving bowl, place mixed greens and tomatoes in the bottom of the bowl and pour 1 tbsp balsmic vinaigrette on top
  • Top the mixed greens with tuna salad and pour remaining 1 tbsp dressing over the tuna
  • Serve with 1/2 tortilla or Lavash and dig in!

This meal provides all three macro-nutrients - complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats (known as "the winning combos") - with tons of antioxidants for long lasting energy to get you through the long work day!

For a variation of this Super Easy Tuna Salad, try adding in some baby carrots for extra antioxidants! Go ahead, have fun with your food!

Tuna Salad w carrotsThat's really all there is to it! A healthy meal made in minutes that doesn't skimp out on nutrients or taste!