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