Today I found a bag of small beautiful zucchini for one dollar. Don’t ask me how it was done, this was a blessing and I don’t want to jinx it.
I had some staples cheese, tomato sauce, onion, spices and some turkey sausage so I thought… Zucchini lasagna. No pasta just thinly sliced zucchini as noodles. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350° and it was so good. If you want to keep it vegetarian leave out the turkey and add mushrooms, peppers or corn.
3 to 4 zucchinis, cut the tips off, slice longitudinally
Half a jar tomato sauce.
Three turkey sausages, casings removed.
One onion, diced
Spices: turmeric, Greek seasoning, garlic aoli granules, pinch hot chili flakes, S&P
Clean zucchini, cut off ends and slice longitudinally
Diced onion and cook with turkey sausage under medium heat with turmeric, salt, Greek spices for ten minutes. Add tomato sauce & simmer.
Coat bottom of the glass dish with tomato sauce or half a teaspoon olive oil. Lay slices of zucchini, layer the tomatoes sausage onion mixture, cheese and then another layer of zucchini the opposite way from before. Keep stacking and layering. Topped with tomato sauce and cheese on top.
I love stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms hold stuffing really well and to be honest I love stuffed fish, stuffed cabbage, stuffed pastry, the list goes on and on. I like something delicious inside something already delicious! Anyways I’ll stop the ramble before this gets off-topic. Back to my stuffed Portobello mushrooms.
This recipe makes two stuffed mushrooms. For a dinner of two you can serve this as the main course along with a side of salad, pasta or potatoes.
Starches are great for your body. Throughout the world, in for the past centuries, human beings have lived off of starch. Today many starches are over processed, removing the most healthy part of the food.
Here is a helpful chart to illustrate the healthy benefits of starches:
Carbohydrate g per 100g serving
Fiber g per 100g serving
Carbohydrate g per 1cup serving
Portion Size Notes
Other Notable Nutrients
Vitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
1c= 154g (slices)
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
1c= 136g (cubed)
Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled
Not much very high, some Vitamin C
1c= 328g (mashed)
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
Just a reminder about what intermittent fasting is: you aren’t cutting calories. You’ve already calculated your BMI and BMI so you know how many calories you need to eat every day to achieve your goal of either losing weight, maintaining it or gaining weight.
You don’t cut calories when you are doing intermittent fasting! You are simply eating your daily calories within an 8-hour window of time.
For example, if you start eating at 12 noon, you stop eating at 7 p.m. You don’t eat after 7 p.m. and when I started this was my personal schedule. I would work out at about 11 a.m., eat at noon or one and stop eating (begin my “fast”) between 7 or 8 p.m.
So for those of you who are used to late night snaking this poses a problem! What if you get WAY too hungry at night to stick to the intermittent fasting eating window and fasting times?
Here are some of my personal tips and hints to curb the appetite late at night:
Now I know some of you will scoff at this. But try this first. Hunger is often disguised as thirst and remember, you are allowed to drink water, in fact encouraged to drink water during intermittent fasting periods.
These are foods that pack a nutritional punch and fill you up. They are foods like vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, fruit. Vegetables and fruit have skin which contains vitamins and fibre that keep the body healthy and full. Same with fruit. Whole grains contain the husk, which contains vitamins and also more fibre. This will help curb your appetite at night.
Soup and salad seem to be those side foods, don’t they? We don’t take them seriously. They aren’t mains. They’re a ‘by-the-way’ kind of afterthought like that hard roll we may or may not eat. Kind of like previews to the movie. Not totally satiating but more mildly interesting – sometimes good but mostly just watery stuff that needs more salt or pepper.
I’ve been drinking various soups all week and I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying it.
Certain soups, however, are high in fat-burning veggies, the broth contains the vitamins and minerals needed to help fight disease and ever notice how much soup can fill you up?
Recent research shows that eating soup can curb appetite, making you feel full faster. It’s also a good way to get in nutrient dense foods, those foods that are high in nutrients per calorie. Much different from simple foods that may be high in sugar, simple carbs like white flour, oil or salt. Those foods are high on immediate flavor but once they satisfy your tongue aren’t doing much for all the complex processes your body needs nutrients to perform.
How can you make a basic delicious vegetable soup?
Start with a base of spices and veggies to set the flavor foundation. So in a large pot cook dry spices or herbs of your choice with diced onion, carrot and celery. The spices I like are dry crushed thyme, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, a small stick of cinnamon, a couple of cloves, a couple of cardamom pods, salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic pepper or herbs de Provence. Then add about two liters of cold filtered water and a vegetable or chicken bullion (stock or flavor) cube.
Then add what veggies you like such as chopped broccoli, diced squash, cauliflower, spinach, etc. Here are some more ideas of what you can add to your nutrient dense healthy vegetable soup:
The higher the nutrient density score on that list, the higher the nutrients per calorie of food. But everything on that list is super nutrient dense and if you’re eating a grapefruit a day then you’re on your way to increasing nutrient dense healthy foods into your diet! I always remember a conversation I overheard I heard once in a busy ferry station on the way to Staten Island. A very lean and muscular fitness trainer was telling the guys who worked at the snack store about healthy eating habits. I always remember he said “Oh and I do this – Eat a grapefruit every day!” A citrus fruit high in antioxidants and vitamin C, in my opinion, is a great addition to any diet.
I’ve been choosing to add more soup and salad to my diet this week and I notice how much better it makes me feel. It’s less heavy than many of the “main” options, easy to make and I notice how full I get as opposed to when I eat more sugary/doughy foods, which after eating, I feel like still eating!
Do you like soup and salad? What kinds? Would you consider having a soup or salad as a main course at least once a week or do you already eat that way?
Our area was given the responsibility of “appetizers.” Easy right? I don’t know about that. There are a lot of appetizers to choose from. I didn’t have a lot of time and I was taking the train to work so I didn’t want to carry a lot with me.
So I made a batch of homemade jalapeño pimento cheese. And a package of crackers.
If you have been reading my blog the past year you know I love pimento cheese.
And I always make it fresh. And if you make it fresh too and remember: always use real, high-quality, sharp cheddar cheese. Some countries call sharp extra strong or extra old. Buy the good stuff!
Also, another tip: I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix these ingredients. It gives a fluffy light texture to the pimento cheese.
So delicious! The perfect spread for vegetarian sandwiches as well.
One block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
One block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
Quarter cup full fat mayonnaise
Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper
Quarter teaspoon garlic powder
One jar drained pimentos
1 tablespoon finely chopped marinated jalapeño peppers
Take the Philadelphia cream cheese out of the fridge and place on the counter for a couple of hours to soften.
Grate the cheese.
Put all ingredients in the mixer and mix for five minutes.
Spoon into clean containers. Refrigerate for at least two hours so flavors can blend.
Serve over crackers, in sandwiches, with vegetables or stir into pasta as a sauce.
I love homemade pimento cheese! I hope my coworkers enjoy it too!
Here are some pics of the actual “appetizer” portion of our potluck!
What are your favorite appetizers to bring to potlucks? What did you bring to your office potluck?