You Choose

I’ve had a hankering for spaghetti for about a week.  Ever since I told someone I don’t eat pasta any more and they looked at me like I was a crazy woman.  My brother mentioned that he was having spaghetti over the weekend.  And then when I was in line at Half Price Books (don’t you just LOVE that store?) and there was a weird greeting card with a photograph of a big plate of spaghetti on the cover.

So yesterday was the day.  I looked through my recipe index for my Darn Good Spaghetti Sauce, and I had almost all the ingredients. Yahoo!  Now.  Intellectually, I KNOW that I prefer the taste of the sauce over some sautéed vegetables.  But some of those old neuropathways are still around, and I wanted a bowl like that one I saw in the picture.  Plus, I reasoned, I was too tired to cut/chop ALL those vegetables up last night (ha!  I still had to cut/chop veggies for the sauce.)  So I followed my recipe almost exactly.  The only thing different was that I only had 4 ounces of ground sirloin, and I only added the equivalent of 2 slices of bacon (I used those pre-cooked bacon pieces from Costco.)  For pasta I used Barilla Plus, which is made from a variety of grains, and has 210 calories and 4g fiber per serving.  I like the texture and taste better than whole wheat pasta.  Here’s a picture of my bowl:

Doesn’t that look like darn good spaghetti sauce?  Using the grated carrots and chopped mushrooms adds a great taste and texture to the sauce.  Even with half the amount of meat, I found it very satisfying.

The pasta?  Not so much.  It just doesn’t’ taste like much to me any more.

So, for the interest of my readers, (and hopefully to continue to reprogram my neural pathways,) I stopped at the store to get one zucchini on my way home tonight.  Added to onion, carrots, and mushrooms, this makes up the “BIG FOUR.”  They are a great basis for any number of dishes.  In fact I cooked up a little extra so I could make some of my fried rice tomorrow!  Here is tonight’s bowl of spaghetti:

SOOO much more flavor than the bowl the night before.  Stats for the veggie combo (not the sauce) is 53 calories.  That includes 20 calories for the 1/2 tsp of olive oil I drizzled on at the end of the cooking.

In case you don’t remember, and you are also interested in reprogramming your neural pathways, here is how I make the “BIG FOUR.”  Take 1 medium sized onion, cut in slices. Cut slices in quarters, and put in preheated skillet sprayed with Pam.  While the onions are cooking, slice the mushrooms (cremini mushrooms have a great texture and flavor, pretty cheap at TJ’s.)  Add the mushrooms to the pan, along with another spray of Pam, and give them a stir.  Take 2 large carrots and one med/large zucchini, and use a vegetable peeler to peel them.  If you keep turning the veggies and continue to peel, its pretty easy to get them done.  I don’t peel the core of the carrot or the seedy part of the zucchini.  Add the peels to the pan with another spray of pam.  Continue to stir occasionally.  At the end drizzle with a tsp of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  I used half of the total veggies to make one serving, and saved the other half for tomorrow night.



7 thoughts on “You Choose

  1. I don’t eat anywhere near the amount of pasta that I used to either but every once in a while, nothing else will do! Of course if I ever train for a marathon again, pasta will come right back into my rotation. We don’t care for whole wheat spaghetti (well, Mr. Helen more than me) so I’ve taken to buying Ronzoni Smart Taste. Gives me the extra nutrients I want and Mr. Helen is still happy.

  2. We’ve finally converted to spaghetti squash whenever we get the spaghetti craving. We no longer even miss the “real” pasta. I do enjoy a small amount of pasta in some of my soup recipes, but other than that, can’t remember the last time I used or wanted it.

  3. Well this is just plain weird. I had spaghetti last night (Dreamfields pasta – love that stuff) also, but right before I came to your blog, I was reading Annie’s blog and she talks about spaghetti too. If any other blog talks about spaghetti today, I’ma freak out.

  4. I like pasta, but thinner varieties, like angel hair. And we have been eating it on Friday nights because of our long runs on Saturday. I have to say that your ribbon veggies look really appealing – I’ll have to remember that trick!

  5. I substitute veggies for pasta also. And exactly like you, now prefer the taste. I just chop the veggies, it does not matter to me in they are in ribbons or chunks. I prefer the taste of zucchini with any kind of tomato sauce. But I have found I like the yellow squash (looks much like zucchini except yellow) for things like my mock tuna casserole.

    I guess I have a BIG THREE – onions, mushrooms, zucchini or yellow squash.

    My husband, who has no extra weight on him, eats this same way. No noodles for him either.

  6. Twins! I find that pasta doesn’t do much for me anymore either. Unless it is cheese ravioli – I still like that. I was just saying to John a week or so ago that you always want way more pasta for the eyes and yet it gets very dull and boring to eat (are you listening Olive Garden!!)

    I don’t think I would ever order another never-ending pasta bowl at a restaurant again, which I used to love to do.

    You should treat yourself to one of those spiralizers to make veggie noodles.

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