Cook Your Way to a Perfect Bridal Body with These 3 Recipes


Photo: Courtesy of Inspiralized

Practically every bride thinks of one thing right after she gets engaged: How am I going to get in shape? Shedding for the wedding is real, and when it involves activity, a healthy diet plan, and a good frame of mind, it's a fantastic way for brides to look and feel their best as they slip into that wedding dress.

Inspiralized blogger Ali Maffucci knows that firsthand. A fan and creator of healthy recipes that substitute spiralized vegetables for noodles, she put her money where her mouth is when she got engaged. With her wedding on June 20 (just over a month away!), she's ready to share some of the recipes that helped her shed over 30 pounds and become her fittest and most confident self for her wedding day.

In honor of our Shape issue (on stands now!), we asked Ali to share a day's worth of recipes that brides can make (and that their fiancés will enjoy) to kickstart a day, week, or month's worth of healthy eating.

1. Baked Spanish Eggs and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls
"This recipe is a breakfast staple in our home — healthy, Vitamin-C packed sweet potato 'noodles,' lean egg protein and beautiful flavors of the tomato make for a quick, nutrient-dense meal."

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled, noodles trimmed
4 eggs
1.5 tablespoons chopped cilantro
equipment needed: (5) 6oz ramekins

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take out five 6oz ramekins and set aside.
• Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the oil. Once oil heats, add in the chili, onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add in the tomatoes, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and sweet potato noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes thicken. The sweet potato noodles might break apart, but that's okay.
• Portion the mixture into the ramekins and crack an egg in each one. Season the tops with pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until egg whites are completely set, careful not to overcook the yolks.
• Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Wedding diet how to lose weight Inspiralized Ali Maffucci

Photo: Courtesy of Inspiralized

2. Bacon Shrimp Scampi Zoodles
"This is one of my favorites, because it's a twist on a classic Italian pasta dish: Shrimp scampi! Instead of using cooking oil, the robust flavors and juices from the shrimp and bacon help cook the zucchini noodles, therefore making this dish low-calorie, low-carb, but extra delicious! The zucchini noodles are detoxifying and metabolism boosting, helping you satisfy your pasta cravings while whittling your waistline!"

2 pieces of bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced shallots
12 shrimps, defrosted, deveined and shells removed
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 medium zucchinis, peeled
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

• Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the bacon. Cook bacon for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your crunchy preference. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
• Leave only 1 tbsp of bacon fat in the skillet and add in the garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds and then add in the red pepper flakes, shallots and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and let shrimp cook for about 2 minutes, flip over, add in the lemon juice and zest and cook an additional two minutes. Remove the shrimps with a slotted spoon and set aside.
• In the same skillet, add in the zucchini noodles and toss to combine, for about 2 minutes and then add in the shrimp and crumble in the bacon. Toss to combine. Divide onto two plates and garnish with chopped parsley.

3. One-Pot Basque Chicken with Red Potato Noodles
"My fiancé and I love this recipe because it's packed with sexy flavors, it fills your kitchen with gorgeous aromas, and it's a one-pot meal, so you'll spend more time with your fiancé and less time in the kitchen cleaning!"

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 2" pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, roughly chopped, seeds discarded
1 large red potato, Blade C
1/ cup chicken broth, low sodium
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup small pimiento-stuffed olives (about 8)
1.5 tablespoons freshly minced parsley, to garnish

• Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally to evenly cook.
• Add in the onion, pepper and paprika, cooking 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Then, add in the garlic, tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes, thyme and season with salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking covered for 5 minutes and then uncover, add in the potato noodles, toss to combine evenly and then cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is tender and potato noodles are cooked through.
• Stir in the olives, garnish with parsley and serve. I transferred mine to a cast-iron skillet for presentation, but you can divide immediately into plates or serve in the Dutch oven/pot.

Want more recipes? Ali (@inspiralized) is taking over our Instagram on Sunday! Follow us (@brides) for photos, meals, and more!

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