Getting Back in the Kitchen in 2017 with Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

After indulging a little too much this holiday season, I made a resolution to get back in the kitchen more in 2017. I have way too many cookbooks. So my plan is to try a couple new recipes each week. I use recipes as inspiration. I take from them new cooking techniques and ideas and then modify them to create my own delicious dishes. The following recipe was inspired by the acorn squash recipe in the Racing Weight Cookbook. It is a hearty, nutrient rich, high volume meal and a great way to enjoy acorn squash. It not only tastes great but is super easy and will impress your guests with its presentation. I like to pair it with a spinach salad and crusty whole grain bread. After I posted the pic of this dish to Instagram, the recipe was requested by a few people – so here you go. Enjoy!

Allison’s Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squashsquash


1 acorn squash

1 lb. ground turkey

1-2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 medium onion

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle cut-side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  2. Place the squash halves cut-side-up in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Place in oven.
  3. Roast the squash until soft and tender when poked with a fork, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size of your squash.
  4. While the squash roasts, sauté turkey, onion, mushrooms and seasonings until cooked.
  5. Once the squash is tender, remove from the oven and set oven to broil. Carefully poor liquid out of pan. Stuff squash halves with turkey mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  6. Remove from oven and serve!

Nutrition Information (1 serving = 1/2 acorn squash; 1/2 turkey mixture): 420 calories, 16g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 40g protein




Marathon Nutrition: What I’m Cooking (and Eating a Ton of) Right Now

This summer, I’ve spent the better portion of my free time running. As I prep for 2 marathons in 2 different countries in 2 weeks (more to come on that later), I’ve had a ferocious appetite — which I’ve tamed by having 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day. I aim to include complex carbs, a serious amount of veggies and a healthy dose of heart-friendly fat (think avocados, olive oil or omega 3s from salmon or chia/ground flax seeds) at each meal.

I’ve shared many of my go-to favorites with runners here in the Chicago area during a number of marathon nutrition classes held at Mariano’s throughout the city . Since these recipes seem to be quite the hit, I thought I’d share them here. Hope you enjoy!!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

A really great ‘healthy’ indulgence. I love this as an alternative to ice cream and when I’m craving something chocolate.

New Picture (2)Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado (the riper, the better)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I like Fairlife to get an extra dose of protein)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth/creamy. Transfer to a bowl or custard cups and chill for 20 min before serving. Eat within 2-3 days. Makes about 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 166 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 52 mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 3g protein (if using Fairlife – regular milk has about 2g protein/1/4 cup)

Black Bean Burgers

Made with just 6 ingredients – these are great, high carb, high fiber burger alternatives to have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. I like to top mine with sliced avocado, red onion and a slice of tomato.

New Picture (1)Ingredients:

  • 1, 15-oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 cup oats


  1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until combined/beans are mostly pureed.
  2. Divide ingredients into patties. Makes about 4 large or 8 slider sized.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7 minutes on each side or freeze for baking at another time. You can also cook in a sauté pan for a couple minutes on each side.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 180 calories, 5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 290 mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 10g protein

Carrot Pecan Energy Bites

Great for a quick boost of energy before or immediately following a workout. I’ll grab a couple of these before I head out for a longer workout so I don’t spend the entire workout focused on my growling stomach. Also a nice option post workout when you don’t have time to cook a full meal right away.

New PictureIngredients:

  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans


  1. Blend together in a food processor: oats, pecans, cherries, grated carrots, and flax seed.
  2. Pulse in the almond butter, agave or honey, and cinnamon until combined.
  3. Spray hands with cooking spray and roll mixture into balls – about 1 Tbsp/bite.
  4. Role bites in ground pecans then place in air tight container. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Bites keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Makes about 20-30 bites.

Nutrition Facts per Bite: 50 calories, 3g total fat, 0.3g saturated fat, 3 mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein