08 August 2012

Is that a zucchini in your pocket?

Last weekend, Sara was kind enough to bring me some of the fruits of her beautiful city garden.

And yes, by fruits, I mean ENORMOUS fruits. That zucchini is nearly the length of my kitchen windowsill.

Heidi and George wonder.... what will she do with it??

I got the bright idea to make pasta WITH it... that is, sub out the noodles for zucchini strips. So that was the original plan - and I got to peeling (because the only instrument I have that seemed workable was a veggie peeler).

I used about 1/2 of the zucchini making "pasta" -- but all I could hear in my head was Brad saying recently, "I don't think I like zucchini." So I broke down and actually used half zucchini noodles, half real spaghetti noodles. Especially since we were having a dinner guest (yeah, Ceile!) - I didn't want to serve up a dinner that I wasn't sure how it would turn out...

I was busy chatting, so I didn't take any final pics, but it wasn't anything super crazy. Basically pasta primavera, which I seem to be making at least once a week. This time around, I sauteed up yellow and orange peppers, peas, and some cherry tomatoes. I dropped the zucchini in with the noodles for about a minute, so they were just warmed. I mixed everything together with some basil, salt, pepper, oil, and the juice of about half a lemon. Then I scooped in about 1/2 cup of ricotta and grated some parm on top. I don't know that this is the best meal I've ever made, but it was yummy... and we finished it off!

Now, I'm not a big stir fry fan. I don't like soy sauce or Asian sauces typically. But I am currently obsessed with repurposing all the veggies I have on hand. Like I said, a veggie pasta once a week. And a few times a week, for lunch, I'm mixing up crazy veggie + egg + whatever I have laying around (leftover pasta, rice, whatevah!) scrambles. I cook my veggies up with fake butter spray (I know, so gross.... but I am obsessed with it!) and use fresh basil and salt and pepper, so I don't consider it stir fry material.

Not the greatest pics (and the scramble looks kinda weird)... But I promise you - delicious!!! On the left, I had leftover rice with salsa and corn. I threw in some extra tomatoes and onions and topped it with a fried egg. On the right, I sauteed more of Sara's zucchini, mushrooms, leftover peppers from last night, tomatoes, and onions, topped with two scrambled eggs and half an avocado. I must say, my favorite of these concoctions was atop leftover homemade pimento mac and cheese. In theory, gross, but it was super yummy.

I guess my point here is that I'm trying to keep eating healthy (and veggie-ful) meals, even though I have less time to plan and cook - and we seem to be eating out way more than we were before, so I need to offset that, too. While doing research for an article at work today, I stumbled upon an exercise and food tracker that actually seems pretty helpful. At the very least, it helped me determine that I need to bump up my weekly exercise if I have any hope to knock off the second half of the weight I hope to dump... I was telling Hillary, and she said, "Just do an extra 0.25 mile every time." So I did. And I felt great. Here's to keeping it up! (and keeping my sodium intake down, eek!)


Sara said...

Oh, I never thought about making strips of zucchini like that. It would work well as layers in lasagna! I have zucchini coffee cake in the oven right now. :)

Melissa said...

Looks delicious!