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  • Meet Leah!

    Hi! My name is Leah and I like food! Welcome to my blog about mostly healthy eats! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at leftoversforlunchATgmailDOTcom.

  • March 2018
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American Style Goulash


Last week, we were eating something, I can’t remember what, but the husband asked me what it was. “Is it goulash?” I kind of laughed a little. No, no it wasn’t goulash. It didn’t even really resemble anything I thought goulash was like. So I made note to add goulash to the next week’s menu. Goulash is basically a stew with meat, noodles, and veggies. That’s it. Nothing fancy there. It originated in Hungary and I hesitate to call my version traditional by any means because it is lacking in paprika, isn’t quite as stew-y as Hungarian versions, and I didn’t use pork or beef. American goulash is basically just a stew mess of different leftovers. I didn’t use leftovers but I definitely think this goulash is closer to American than Hungarian.


Ground Turkey Goulash


    • 20 oz ground turkey
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 red bell peppers, chopped
    • 8 ounce sliced mushrooms
    • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, cut up, with liquid
    • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
    • 2 cups dry pasta
    • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon parsley
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Cook turkey in olive oil until no longer pink. Add onion, cook until onion is soft. Add bell pepper and garlic, cook several minutes. Add tomatoes with liquid, mushrooms, along with other seasonings.
  2. While mixture simmers, cook pasta according to directions. Be sure pasta is not overcooked before adding to mixture as it will continue to soften. Add drained pasta into sauce, cover and let simmer about 1/2 hour to absorb flavor. Stir occasionally.

Creamy Greek Spaghetti


Yep, still working on that 5-lb jar of kalamata olives! The main challenge has been to not overload my husband with olives and trying to mix them in the menu plan, a few days apart, and trying to make them not overwhelming. He likes them fine, just doesn’t love them like I do. So what better way to tone them down than to pair them with fresh basil and some sundried tomatoes? It seems like a match made in Greek heaven to me. It is also a ridiculously easy almost no-cook recipe. Win.


Creamy Greek Spaghetti

1-lb spaghetti (I used spelt.)
1 cup chopped kalamatas
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Prepare spaghetti per package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve and enjoy! (Yep, easy as that.)

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Lasagna Roll-Up


I have no shame. I totally stole this idea from Cassie when she posted her Salmon Parmesan Lasagna Roll-ups that left me salivating. I just so happened to have an extra box of spelt lasagna noodles leftover from our traditional Christmas Eve lasagna dinner. Lasagna is only a couple times a year sort of thing for me so I figured that box of noodles would sit in the pantry for 6 months until it annoyed me enough that I broke down and made a deep dish lasagna. But alas, Cassie saved the day.


I made the decision to try and come up with my own version so I did chicken instead of parmesan and went with a roasted red pepper sauce instead of her dill parmesan sauce. Except then I got too lazy to run downstairs and grab the food processor to do the sauce and ended up with red peppers in a cream sauce. Good enough for me. If you are an overachiever, you may want to blend the peppers into the sauce. (Also, mine didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as Cassie’s but oh well. I’m sure they tasted just as good.)


Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Lasagna Roll-Up

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used gluten free corn based crumbs)
  • 12 whole grain lasagna noodles, cooked as directed (I used 9 spelt noodles, cut in half)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place bell peppers, in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until peppers are soft. Set aside until cool. Dice peppers. (If you want to blend it in with the sauce, add the broth and peppers to a food processor and give it a whirl.)
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix together cheese, broth, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese is melted. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan until melted. Remove from heat. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and reserve. In saucepan, add peppers, breadcrumbs and chicken pieces. Stir until well-mixed.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons filling on the end of each lasagna noodle and roll up tightly. Place seam-side-down in an 11×13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. When all rolls are in dish, spoon reserved cheese mixture over rolls and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Spicy Thai Noodles


Today, after work, we are heading up to visit my dad for the weekend. I know that my favorite Thai restaurant will be in our future. At least once this weekend, if not more. I’ve decided, after a few attempts, that I can not recreate the magic that is Banana Leaf so I’ve given up. No more trying to make pumpkin curry for me. I’ll leave that to the pros. But I still crave Thai flavors all the time.


This noodle dish is great in a pinch. It’s a super quick and easy weeknight meal but it is fairly basic. That allows you to play with it to suit your desires – I think a squeeze of lime would be a good addition for sure. Leana made me super paranoid about the spice level so I only used 1 Tbls chile flakes and it turned out to have very little heat. Next time, I’m doubling it or adding a squeeze of sriracha. I also didn’t have green onion on hand so that got omitted here.


Spicy Thai Noodles

1 package spelt spaghetti noodles

1/2 c sesame oil
1/4 c peanut oil
1-2 Tbls chile pepper flakes
1 Tbls minced garlic

6 Tbls soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
6 Tbls agave nectar (or honey)

2 large carrots, shredded
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1/3 c chopped peanuts

Prepare noodles per package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat oils, chile flakes and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Strain out the garlic and pepper flakes, reserving the oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and agave nectar. Stir in the reserved oil and whisk well.

Combine the cooked and drained noodles with the soy sauce blend. Stir until combined. Divide into 4 pasta bowls and top with carrots, cilantro and chopped peanuts.

WIAW: Detox Week 2

It’s kind of hard to believe we are halfway (almost) through this detox already. I must admit, it’s been a lot easier to manage this time around though I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’m not working 60 hour weeks this time? That could be it.

Breakfast this morning was a green smoothie in my fabulous new Vitamix!


For two:

1 avocado (healthy fats give these guys more staying power)
2 bananas
2 carrots
1 pear
2 c frozen chopped spinach

2 c unsweetened almond milk
2 scoops Greens +

It was super thick and creamy and hard to drink without a straw. And I forgot to add in protein powder. Whoops.

And since I can’t seem to just have a smoothie, we had spelt toast with 100% fruit jam.


And a side of pills: glutamine, glucosamine, Vit C, Vit D, Multi-vitamin, Fish Oil. (We’ve started taking our Vit B Complex at night and it gives us crazy dreams.)


Morning snack at work was a little heftier than usual. I’m assuming that’s because I forgot the protein powder in this morning’s smoothie so hunger hit me soon and harder than usual.

1.5 kiwis (because half of one was bad) and a No Bake Granola Bar.


Lunch was leftover pasta primavera and a bunch of water (I’ve been slacking).


It is surprisingly filling, probably because it is so fiberrific. {Currently reading: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Loving it so far! Takes place in Seattle and Bremerton gets a shout out! Woohoo!)

This afternoon, I had a few mugs of my detox tea but you’ll just have to trust me on that one because I didn’t snap a pic.

After work, I came home and walk/jogged with the doggie then hit the yoga mat for a short session. It felt great to be doing yoga again. I’ve been slacking. Afterward, I munched on some Thai Chili Lime Cashews (Trader Joe’s, oh so good).


I probably should have had some veggies instead but oh well. They hit the spot and curbed my appetite until Huz got home and we ate dinner.

For dinner, I made my teriyaki tempeh lettuce wraps. Except I was having issues with my head of lettuce and only managed 5 non-mangled pieces, 3 for Huz and only 2 for me. So I filled them really full, haha. Still tasted great.


So I tracked calories today on SparkPeople, mostly just out of curiosity.

My calories came in at 1700 for the day which is pretty much spot on for my decreased activity level and being in weight-loss mode. Fat: 71g (a little high, thank you avocado and cashews), Protein: 57g (a little lower than I would generally like, thank you absentmindedness), Carbs: 227g (fair, I suppose, all whole grains and fruit basically), Fiber: 40g (wahoo! Rumbly tummy!).

Overall, it was a pretty good eats day and fairly typical of what the past week or so has looked like for me.

Pasta Primavera


Every time I make pasta primavera (which is infrequently), it is never exactly the same but it always comes out as a fresh, light pasta dish that leaves me wanting more. Only olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice make up the “sauce” leaving the vegetables to be the stars of the dish. And it’s great because any veggie will do!


(Pippin likes them all but especially tomato!)


Usually, I go for just veggies. But this time, I added some veggie sausage that I picked up from Costco and it was a nice touch. (But oops, it wasn’t gluten free, silly me. Tummy seems to be handling it ok though.)


Pasta Primavera

12 oz pasta (I used super yellowy quinoa elbows but grew up with bowties)
2 Tbls olive oil
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 veggie sausage links, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
1 summer squash, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbls lemon juice
3 Tbls balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Basil chiffonade for garnish

Prepare pasta per package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté onion and carrots in olive oil until starting to soften. Stir in sausage and garlic, cook until sausage starts to brown and garlic is fragrant. Add squash and zucchini and gently stir. Allow to soften slightly but not get mushy. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Combine with drained pasta.

Normally, I’d add a decent amount of parmesan cheese but alas, that is not detox friendly. But you know what? It didn’t really need it. I just garnished it with some fresh basil.

Lemon-Rosemary Turkey Meatballs


We are still picking away at holiday leftovers – I haven’t had to cook all week! So this recipe was one I made a couple weeks ago, I believe. They turned out to be the ugliest fall-apart meatballs ever but damn were the good. But I’m lemon obsessed. Maybe adding an egg to the mix would help bind them a little better? I just don’t have good luck with meatballs. Pippin doesn’t care if they are ugly.


Lemon-Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/4 teaspoons dried, divided
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup fresh spelt breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Place onion, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried) and pulse just until the mixture is finely and evenly chopped (but not mushy).
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and gently mix in turkey, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper until combined. Use a generous 2 tablespoons each to shape the mixture into 12 meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). Place flour in a shallow dish and roll the meatballs in it to lightly coat. (Reserve the remaining flour.)
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add meatballs and cook, turning once, until brown, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add wine (or 1/2 cup broth) to the pan, increase heat to medium-high and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until almost evaporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the can of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and return the meatballs to the pan along with the remaining 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon dried). Cover and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a serving bowl.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 1 cup, 4 to 8 minutes. Whisk lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the reserved flour in a small bowl (discard any remaining flour); whisking constantly, add the flour mixture to the sauce along with butter and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer, whisking, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Serve the sauce over the meatballs.