Healthified Pad Thai: Takin on Take-Out

Yesterday was pretty boring as far as Sundays go.  I went grocery shopping (which is never boring to me- but I think I’m weird like that), mowed the lawn, cleaned the house a bit, blah blah blah.  The only spectacular thing about yesterday was this recipe I’m about to share with you.

I had been craving Pad Thai ever since Kyle got some the other day, therefore, a healthified version was needed pronto.

Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention!  I got to work in the kitchen and came out with this:

This dish is packed with all the good stuff and will fill your craving for asian food, but will not fill your waste-line!


1 Spaghetti Squash

3-4 cups snap peas

8 chicken breast cutlets (you could use regular chicken breasts- probably 2-3)

Bean sprouts

1 1/2 cup cashews- unsalted if you can

1/2 cup water

1 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS lime juice

Red pepper flakes- to your desired level of spice


In a food processor or blender, process cashews until you have a powder consistency.

Add in water, soy sauce, lime juice, and red pepper flakes.

Meanwhile, cook and scrape your spaghetti squash.  I like to microwave mine because I am lazy.  Poke about 5 holes into the spaghetti squash and microwave for 9 minutes turning the squash every 3 minutes.  When it is fully cooked, cut in half and scrap out the middle portion with the seeds.

Then scrap down the sides to get the ‘spaghetti’ out.  Put it in a large bowl.

Steam your snap peas and add them to the bowl.

Cook chicken in a pan until fully cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add chicken to the bowl.

Now it’s time to add the sauce!

Stir to mix completely, serve yourself a gigantic portion, and top with bean sprouts!



Questions:  Do you get asian food cravings? 

  • I do and usually opt for sushi, but sometimes you just want some warm noodles :-)


Color Me Rad Contest and a Grumpy Day

It’s Saturday!  Yippee for the weekend!  I hope you have great plans to do something exciting, or something relaxing- either option is a great way to spend your weekend :-)

Yesterday was a crazy busy day at the hospital.  For breakfasts, I made some chocolate-sludge looking oatmeal with chocolate protein powder and cocoa powder that tasted exactly like brownie batter.  Yes please.

We start the morning looking through charts and asking the nurses what happened over night.  I have one very aggressive patient who usually gets in a fight over night and ends up in seclusion.  That’s always exciting to hear about.  Then we start pre-rounds.  This is the time we all (the doctor, resident, students, pharmacists, pharmacy students) sit in a room and bring each patient in one by one.  We ask them how they’re doing, if they’re seeing anything unusual, hearing any voices, thinking of hurting themselves or anyone else- the usual.  When the patient leaves, we quickly discuss a treatment plan for them: one day we might increase a medication, or add a new medication, or decide we need to call their sister to find out more information.

Next, we have regular rounds which involves not only the people at pre-rounds, but also the nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, more pharmacists, more students, it’s a party!  The past few days, I’ve walked into rounds to see huge boxes of donuts on the table.  They stare at me and make fun of me all morning.  Torture!

After rounds we all go our separate ways to work.  We write daily notes, put in orders, work on discharge forms, talk to patients, etc.

At 11 yesterday I had to run off to get a chickenpox vaccine before my medical school kicks me out for not having all my vaccines.

Then it was lunchtime which unfortunately went un-photographed.  I’m always so starving by lunchtime, I only remember to take a picture of it once I’ve scarfed it all down.  Whoops!  It was sautéed red cabbage, mushrooms, and chicken meatballs.

When I got home from work I was feeling very cranky.  I had planned to go out to dinner but I was feeling very indecisive and I wanted to cook food at home, but I wanted candy and ice-cream and cookies, and I wanted to lay around and be lazy and complain and not study and all those things.  After about 16 snacks including a piece of pizza, cookies, and peanut butter, I decided to make a healthy dinner- which was pretty pointless after my snacking tirade.  But nevertheless, I dished out a bowl of broccoli, spaghetti squash, and some pasta sauce.

No workout for me yesterday :-(

Now that my grumpy, chaotic day is over, let’s talk about something more fun: the Color Me Rad 5k!


This 5K is taking place in Indianapolis on Sept. 8 and you have a chance to win 2 free entries!

How to Enter:  Send an email to  In the subject, write “Color Me Rad”.  In the email itself, write:

From Andrea Wenzel

That will automatically enter you for a chance to win!

By putting my name in the email, I will be entered into the drawing again.  Good news for you is this:  I’ve already registered!  So if I win 2 entries, they will go to one of my blog readers.  Just comment below telling me you emailed in for the contest.

If I win I will randomly select one of the commenters for the 2 entries.  So by putting my name, you increase your chance of winning!

I hope that makes sense.

Have a great day!

10 Swaps to Healthify Your Meals

Today started off the best way:  Oatmeal and egg whites with 1/3 sliced banana, blueberries, and a sprinkle of coconut.  Perfection.

After a long day at the hospital, I made a quick stop at the grocery because I was in desperate need of more peaches.  I must take FULL advantage of yummy summer produce and currently, I can’t get enough peaches.

Then this happened:

2 lbs of blueberries- which I am 99% sure will be gone in 2 days.

I was thinking about some ways that I have learned to healthify meals by swapping ingredients and I thought I would make a top 10 list for you.  So here it is!

Top 10 Swaps To Healthify Your Meals

1.  Pasta- Swap out pasta for spaghetti squash.  This amazing squash is full of mild flavored meat that when scraped with a fork, turns out to look just like spaghetti.  You can eat it with spaghetti sauce, veggies, or even some salt and pepper.  My favorite way to cook with it is to make a lasagna.  Scoop out all the meat and use the squash as your baking dish.  Layer sauce, veggies, ground turkey, and spaghetti squash until you fill up the squash.  Top with cheese and bake in the oven until ooey gooey.  It’s the perfect dinner for 2 because you each get your own lasagna!


2.  Pancakes- Instead of using flour, make protein pancakes!! There are tons of variations on this recipe.  Mix in greek yogurt, some oatmeal for texture, or a mashed banana.  Delish!

3.  Chicken Fingers- Try this recipe asap:

2 large chicken breasts

2-3 egg whites

1 cup almond flour

1 tbs garlic powder

red pepper flakes to your desired spice

Mix almond flour, garlic powder and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.  Cut chicken breasts into strips.  Coat chicken in egg whites and dredge in flour mixture until covered.  Place on baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

4.  Baking Flour for muffins, cookies, and breads– instead of using white flour, you can substitute oat flour and protein powder.  If you can’t find oat flour, just put oatmeal in a blender or food processor until it becomes a flour.  If the recipe called for 2 cups flour, I would do 1 1/2 cup oat flour and 2 scoops protein powder.

5.  Vegetable Oil– There are SO many incredibly healthy oils that add great flavor to your cooking.  My favorites include walnut oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil.  Experiment with different oils.  Especially the walnut oil- try that one for sure.

6.  Cheese- Instead of using lots of full fat cheese, just use a tablespoon or 2 of parmesan.  Parmesan is lower in fat and stronger in flavor!  So you don’t even need a lot of it to get that great taste.

7.  Eggs-  I’ve found that in most recipes that call for eggs, I can just use egg whites.  Skipping on the yolks cuts down on the fat in baked goods.  If you want some yolk in your life (I love egg yolks!) make 1 whole egg and 2 or 3 egg whites.  You still get the great taste, but you’re not eating 2 or 3 egg yolks.

8.  Ice Cream- If you’ve never made this soft-serve before, it will change your life.  Take very ripe bananas, peel and slice them, then into the freezer they go.  Once completely frozen, blend them up in a food processor or blender.  Add a little milk if you need to get things going.  The texture of this soft-serve is so creamy and tastes amazing.  The bananas make the best base for adding other flavors too!  Think peanut butter, cocoa powder, cinnamon, really anything!


9.  French Fries– Sweet potato fries are the ultimate swap here.  Need I say more?  Simply slice up a sweet potato, toss in some olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then bake at 350-400F until nice and crispy (depending on your oven this can take 30 min+)


10.  Salt- If you’re watching your salt intake, fresh herbs make the best swap.  They add a ton of flavor for few calories and no salt.  Another great option is Mrs. Dash salt-free.  I love the Caribbean Citrus flavor.


What are your healthy swaps?