It is such sweet relief to feel better! I've been on the mend for several days now and my appetite is back with a vengeance, unfortunately.
Pasta gets such a bad wrap. Underserved, because I think it's one of the best foods out there. Of course, I mean whole grain pasta, not the white stuff... and you have to measure it. Would you believe the plate above only contained 480 calories, along with 25 grams protein and 15 grams of fiber?
The key to a healthier whole grain pasta dish is to make your own sauce. It is really simple and also cheaper than the jarred stuff. Now, when I use the store bought stuff it seems very salty, sweet and just not very good. Here's a recipe for my simple marinara. If want to cut calories, then use cooking spray with a tiny bit of veggie broth or water or even wine instead of the 4 T olive oil, but whatever you do, don't skip the step of slowly bringing the garlic and spices up to temperature or the sauce won't be the same. I always add around 1 t of extra virgin olive oil to my plate just before eating because it tastes good and the fat in the oil allows your body to absorb the lycopene from the tomatoes. To make a chunky sauce, just add a bunch of sauted or roasted veggies. If you have a picky eater at home, try shredded zucchini, yellow squash and carrots in the sauce and puree. I have done this time and time again and my kid and their friends have never known the difference. It's a GREAT way to get veggies into your kids. If you want to hide some protein in your pasta, add a can of drained kidney or red beans and puree (make sure to add some water to thin it out. The sauce for the pasta above was tossed with a bunch of veggies cooked in my fabulous cast iron pan with olive oil cooking spray. I stirred 2 T of nutritional yeast into the dish. Nutritional yeast is more than a flavor enhancer. I use Red Star and buy it in bulk. 2 heaping T provide 8 grams of protein as well as the B vitamins it is famous for.
Veggies in my cast iron. Squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic along with spices and lots of red pepper flakes.
Here is a low fat version of my lemon rosemary potatoes. When I worked at Cafe Indigo we served them (not the low fat version, my original recipe) for brunch every Sunday. I'm not sure if they still do now that I'm not there, but I hope they do! The higher fat version is awesome, but these were great as well. I tossed these with a very low fat lemony vinaigrette, fresh rosemary and olive oil spray. They were baked until perfectly browned. 1 large serving came around 200 calories.
I'm in love with smoothies, even in the dead of winter. Frozen banana, frozen strawberries, soymilk, lemon juice and stevia tastes like a delicious ice cream shake. This 12 oz portion was around 200 calories. I usually add flax meal, but I'm out. For shame! Anyway, this breakfast is very good. Many of you add spinach or kale, but I eat so much in my daily salad, I don't find it necessary. In fact, sometimes when I'm counting calories I find myself eating an obscene amount of veggies. Many days, I get close to 75 grams fiber. Is that too much of a good thing?
Another 100 calorie snack. Actually, this was leftover, after my calculations it came out to 99 calories and was the perfect 10:00 am snack.
I used frozen lite firm tofu and sauted it in the cast iron with cooking spray, onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, snow peas and topped it with siracha and Newman's Own low fat sesame ginger dressing. (35 calories per 2 T). I am going to make my own low fat sesame ginger dressing this week as I'm almost out of the Newman's stuff and don't like buying processed foods if I can help it.
Weigh in tomorrow morning! I'll probably report in on Saturday or Sunday.
My youngest son is going to Florida for Feb. vacation with his friend's family. He'll be gone 9 days. I'm going to miss him and try to keep from worrying like crazy.