Monday, July 27, 2015

Crash Pad Cooking - Gadzoodles!

Weekends have a good purpose, but sometimes it's eating too much.  Come Monday morning, there is that bathroom scale and a pot of coffee.

I'm not obsessive about it, weighing myself just if my pants feel tight.  But after I blew my knee out in a fall, I lost 20 some pounds and felt so much better after, I've worked to keep it off.

So when I feel like I've overindulged, I don't count calories, I don't do extra time at the gym.  I just cut back on carbs for a few days, more of a Paleo style diet with no processed/high sodium foods, including meats and cheeses (which even if low carb aren't all that great for you), no dairy, grains (except for chia seeds in smoothees) or bread.  Then I seriously up my low sugar fruits and veggies. For me, my downfall is carbs - waffles, pancakes and particularly cornbread, corn anything, which is a favorite.  So a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a 4 pound weight gain from time off with my Dad  I said NO to all carbs and bread going cold turkey (literally) with more Paleo style eating  for a whole week.  The result was the phone call that ensued, to a good gal friend of mine, retired Air Force, NRA instructor and squirrel in another squirrel division.  We all have those friends, that are more like sisters and you can tell ANYTHING to.

Me:  I tried to do the no bread/no processed food Paleo thing - it didn't go so well.

L.  - What happened?

Me:  I made it almost a week.

L: And?

Me:  I just ate an entire box of corn dogs. . . . .  With a beer chaser.

L.  (laughing)  I love you.

But cutting back on cheese, sugar processed food  and supersized portions IS a healthy way to cut back, but it's easier if you start by just replacing a few meals as you gradually adjust to healthier eating habits.

So for Monday - after  a reasonably healthy eating weekend with some whole grain bread (OK, and a package of SweetTarts). I started the work week with a coconut milk smoothie with fruit and some veggie protein powder,  I put together my lunch.  I love the stainless steel Lunchbots Box (from my favorite shopping place - Amazon).   It's a tad bigger than most Bento Boxes and I  like having an assortment of stuff to nibble on especially on those days I really don't have time for a formal sit down  "lunch".

 By using a measured container, I find I get a nice variety but I'm not stuffed and heading into a coma after lunch.  Herb Chicken, salad with candied pecans and blueberries, grapes, carrots and almond raisin mix. All I add is a splash of olive oil based salad dressing I keep in the fridge at work and a bottled water.  There's also extra apples in the fridge for an afternoon snack with my tea if I need one.

For dinner - something totally new.

ZOODLES.  That's right, noodles made out of zucchini  I bought the little julienne tool at Amazon and figured - worst case scenario I could eat the sauce.  I was just craving some pasta and thought it was worth a try.

Simply wash the zucchini's, cut off the ends and make a thin slice on the top and  bottom. so it stays in place on the cutting board and you have a level surface to julienne,  Then you simply  run the slicer over it to make long strands of zuchinni.
This was about 2 pretty good sized zucchinis, enough for two people.. This is what it looked light before cooking.  I did slightly peel the squash with the julienne tool so the noodles weren't too dark green.

Some onions were cooked up with garlic to add to some leftover meat sauce.
Cover the zoodles and nuke for two minutes when the sauce is heating.  (If you're doing a big batch you might want to  cook a bit longer). 
Top with sauce.  (Note:  Drain the zoodles after nuking - they had a bit more liquid than I expected after cooking so I had a bit of liquid on the plate.)  Still, they tasted surprisingly good - not a strong "veggie" taste at all, fairly neutral with a texture and bite quite similar to pasta. With the meat sauce, they totally took care of a "pasta" craving, without weighing me down. Whether you are doing "low carb", "low calorie", "gluten free" or are diabetic, I'd recommend giving these a try.  They'd not replace my beloved angelhair tossed with olive oil, fresh Parmesan and garlic, but they were good enough I'll enjoy making them again.


  1. That looks really good. As we normally have lots of zucchini near the end of the summer, that might be a better way of using them up.

    Rather than inflicting them on neighbors, co-workers, passers-by and what-have-you.

  2. I need to do that too, I'm sitting on my butt too much... sigh

  3. Old AFSarge - as kids Dad would put them on a porch of a neighbor's, ring the doorbell and run and you didn't dare leave your car unlocked in zucchini season as you'd find a "present" on the seat. -)

  4. I'm going to give this a try. One of my earliest memories is of my great grandmother, grandmother, mom and aunt cooking Italian in my grandmother's kitchen in San Fran. Great grandmother didn't speak much English as an Italian immigrant in her 40s. The Food was fabulous. The hardest part of being a diabetic was giving up the pasta. Hope this is a reasonable substitute.

  5. FYI Brigid, there IS a way to significantly lower the carbs in white rice! I will link you the article on it here, so all can try. I do this a lot for DH and he has noticed that steamed white rice cooked this way does not jack his bloodsugar up like it normally would. That link will take you to the washingtonpost blog site with the article.

  6. Thank you! This looks like something I could do AND enjoy eating.

  7. Vic - that does help with the rice. I use 2 tsp coconut oil, 1 cup ride and 1 3/4 cup water and cook for about 25 minutes, chill until the next evening then reheat and eat. I use coconut oil in a lot of things.


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