The (Poor) Dieting Girl’s Spaghetti


So… true disclosure: I’m on a diet.

It seems like I’ve been on a diet since my oldest was born 7 years ago and the great figure I used to complain about disappeared more with each beautiful life I created.

But this time, I’m REALLY on a diet.  I turn 40 in T-minus 2 months and, I swear: I. Am. Going. To. Own. 40.

I’m exercising. I’m watching what I eat.  I got myself a Fit Bit.  I’m in it to win it.

But I have a little problem. Spaghetti. It’s just so darn delicious.

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So, I decided to trick my mind and body and try something new.

Tofu Pasta. (those of you who know me… don’t faint from the shock.)

Honestly, the mere thought of this struck me as absolutely gross. It sounds pretty icky, doesn’t it?  I didn’t even dare test this on the kids because I wanted to check it out first.  But the Hubs didn’t escape.  He was, as always, my ultimate guinea pig.

My garden is full of eggplants, peppers and (OMG! SO MANY) tomatoes. So I whipped up a quick-and-dirty lunchtime version of my Grandma’s stewed eggplant recipe and hoped a delicious topping would make Tofu Noodles palatable.  (I followed the recipe I previously posted almost exactly, but used all fresh tomatoes instead of canned.)

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Here’s the thing: I was VERY skeptical. It certainly LOOKS like spaghetti, and when you take it out of the bag it feels like cold, cooked spaghetti.  photo 5-8Plus, it only has 20 calories a serving and takes about 3 minutes to cook.  (just follow the directions on the package.)  But… c’mon. This can’t taste good. Can it?

I’m not gonna lie. It ain’t spaghetti. Its texture is different, somewhat chewier.

But once you get past the texture I didn’t find it all that different from spaghetti, especially after I topped it with the eggplant and tomatoes. I think it would also be good topped with tomato sauce, as part of a Veggie Primavera, or as cold sesame noodles. I’d eat it again, particularly as I try to loose the dreaded belly before our big anniversary vacation that’s coming up. It makes a quick, low-cal, low-carb meal.  photo 3-30

The Hubs is not sold. He ate it. He tolerated it. He would eat it again if I made it and that was all there was for dinner. But as he told me tonight, he definitely would not ask for me to make it again.

I’m going to try these again because I have goals and I’m going to reach them. (Cue the music: Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’)

Look out 40.  Here I come and you are about to get schooled…. even if I have to replace my beloved spaghetti with tofu noodles for a little while.  (just until I get my sexy back!!)   🙂

Happy eating!



Hectic Days = Low and Slow Nights (Part Two)

Our first fall leaves of 2013

Our first fall leaves of 2013

It’s FALL!!! Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall!

I spied my first sight of fall leaves at our park the other day and nearly jumped with joy!!

Oh!  I love it so much!! I have to say it again!


The air is crisper, cleaner. Out come the comfy sweaters; in go the dreaded bathing suits.  The kids are back at school.  Hooray!

And we can’t forget the wonderful foods that return with Fall — apples, pears , brussels sprouts, root veggies, squashes. All so comforting and delicious on chilly autumnal nights.

Most nights in the Fall and Winter, I use my slow-cooker. I throw everything in and let Old Trusty do the work for me.  It’s a savior when the after-school activity schedule gets the best of us.

So I do a lot of soups and stews — and I made one of our family’s favorite Crock Pot meals this week:  Butternut Squash Soup.

Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

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  • 1 butternut squash (on the medium-large side)
  • 1 apple (I used red delicious), peeled and chopped
  • 1 box of chicken stock, low-sodium (veggie stock works, too)
  • 1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
  • about a 1/4 cup of diced sweet onion
  • about 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • cumin, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I use white pepper)
  • croutons (optional)

Get To Work:

  1. Pierce the squash with a fork several times all over and microwave it for 2 minutes.  Check it to see if the shell is starting to get soft.  If so… you’re good.  If not, nuke it another minute at a time until the shell gets soft enough to peel with a veggie peeler.
  2. While the squash is in the microwave, saute onion and garlic in olive oil on your stove 1-32
  3. Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Put the squash, apple, onion, garlic, beans, chicken stock, cumin and nutmeg into the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  6. Use an immersion blender to mix it all up.
  7. I like to serve with croutons… and a side salad and some bread. (on this particular night, I didn’t have crusty bread. So I served it with some dumplings I had in the freezer.)

There are never complaints at our table when I make this.  Everyone loves it.

And I particularly like that the cannelloni beans become a hidden ingredient in this dish.  They add protein to a veggie dish and make it creamy without the added calories of cream.  It’s my favorite trick to use in soup recipes that call for cream.

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It’s a standard meal in our house especially on busy, chilly, fall nights.

Enjoy this wonderful time of year!!!

Happy eatings!