I am asked about food quite a bit. Understandable. I am in the wellness industry, where food & fitness are the cornerstones of pretty much everything. It's most of the reason I began blogging about food-- to more thoroughly answer the question, "So what do you eat, Tootsie?" Answer: In moderation, everything.
I eat and drink pretty much what I want. Not because I work out like a lunatic. I do not. Not because I have an envious metabolism. Neither the case. But because I have found that 1. the more I deprive myself of something, the more I want it and 2. I have seen the fragility of life and if I am dying tomorrow, I am eating what I want today. Mostly. Some weeks I might be up a couple pounds. Some weeks I am down those same couple. I don't own a scale.
Cleanses, juices, diets are generally not my (successful) thing. I eat dessert (with- gasp-real sugar). I eat meat (though admittedly a former vegetarian for over a decade). I consume alcohol (full disclosure 1.5 glasses is pathetically my big game) and I simply really enjoy eating and cooking tasteful, good food. And I happen to love moving and sweating so I wind up with a lucky balance there. I guess that would pretty much sum up the chapter on food in my non-existent book.
With that, everybody and every body is different and I do believe there is not one answer for everyone. I have had food allergies (pectin fruit of all things) since I was a teenager and I know how terrible your body feels when it wants to revolt over something you put in it's track. Gluten, dairy, sugar, shade vegetables. There are so many things we have taken out of our diets today, rightfully. But I think the collateral damage of these legitimate allergies is that we are unwittingly dragged into being afraid of simply enjoying food. While this is the Foodie culture moment, we are simultaneously embarrassed about what we eat when it's not organic quinoa with tumeric, seasonal peas & a dusting of uber-organic-local-fresh-from-the-dirt-chanterelle-mushrooms-that-were-blessed-by-a-Himalayan-monk-that-hasn't-spoken-since-1977 . And that turns into a whole 'nother ball of wax of fearing food. My next chapter of my non-existent book.
So, here. A big, delicious, indulgent, but mostly vegetable, bowl of... get ready, fear not... PASTA. If you can look long enough without flinching at that word, PASTA, try this guy. We were tucked into the house on a snowy evening and well, this nailed it. I'm not gonna lie. I did feel like I had to do an extra 3 sit ups the next morning in class. The good news: you can use as much or as little pasta as you like and it equally satisfies that hankering for Italian food.
Pasta. You can switch out for a gluten free, vegetable based, whole wheat blah blah. I went with my fav.: DeCecco brand Rigatoni.
Red sauce/gravy of your choice. I sometimes make my own. And when I don't, like here, I use my other favorite. The hometown all star, RAOS marinara sauce.
3 Zucchinis sliced into thin quarters
Lots of baby spinach. 4- 5 cups approx.
3 cloves garlic chopped
Fresh mozzarella cheese roughly chopped into cubes
Salt /Pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Make pasta as per always. Do not overcook. Keep al dente , or a little bit hard. Set aside.
Throw in an oven dish: olive oil, garlic, zucchini. Salt and pepper all lightly. Let roast for approx 25 minutes. Add spinach, toss veggies together and cook for another 10 minutes so all are roasted to your taste. I like it a little carmelized. Take pan out of oven and add pasta, red sauce (as much as you like) and cheese. Mix all and put back in oven for about 15 minutes.
Take out. Salt, pepper, hot pepper flake to your taste. Feel free to change out vegetables for what you like, obviously.
Good luck not going back for 6 rounds. I had to walk away after 4. It was a problem. #dontfearfood #itsjustsoyummy
It's winter now in the Northeast, which means, among other things, local fresh fruit is scarce. My kids like strawberries but I have feeling that if I put a GoPro on a case of strawberries now and saw how many trucks and planes and states it had to travel to arrive on my kitchen counter, I would lose my appetite. So, cut to the homemade fruit roll up.
I am not going to pretend I came even remotely close to making this up. What you should really do is google "fruit roll up recipe" because there are so many. But the basics are all the same. So few ingredients, pathetically easy and legit delicious. I got the idea from my son's teacher and my friend, Bonnie. Shoutout to Bonnie!
You can use a variety of fruits. I use organic frozen. You can use a dehydrator if you're fancy. I use my oven at the lowest temp setting, again, as per recommended by my google search. Awesome snack for the sweet tooth (read: me)
1 or 2 bags of frozen fruit
Sweetener of your choice. I chose honey but any sugar, stevia etc. will do. Go natural.
Set oven to the lowest temperature. My oven's lowest is 170 degrees. Throw frozen fruit into blender. Add sweetener to taste. For 1 bag of fruit, I used 2 tablespoons of honey. Add approximately 2 tablespoons lemon juice to keep the brightness of the fruit intact. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it’s as smooth as you think fruit roll ups to be.
Line a baking pan with sides with parchment paper Pour the fruit liquid-ish mixture onto the pan. It should still be slightly thick but thinly spread. Use back of a spoon to spread the mixture out thinly so that it is about 1/8-1/4 inch thick on pan. Put pan in oven and almost forget about it. Let it dry out in the oven for 4-6 hours.
You know it is done when no part (the center) is not gooey/tacky. The edges will likely get more dry than the middle but you can moisten them with water when it's done. Once cooled, you can be crafty and cut it into strips or attach paper to make it into cute snacks, As you can tell by my photos, I don't have time and am going for the au natural ugly but tasty version. Plus they are eaten so quickly, they don't need to be pretty. I would think they could stay fresh a decent amount of time, but they don't last more than a day around here.
Total sucker punch to the winter fruitless blues. Then do some yoga or dance.