Slice, sprinkle, or pour

OK my friends, the spriralizer has arrived!  You’ve heard about this new thing where people are getting really crazy and wild and using veggies instead of pasta, right?  I saw a great recipe for zucchini noodles recently, which prompted me to order this cute little spiral slicer off of Amazon.  There are a lot of vegetables that unfortunately I don’t like (Brussel sprouts?!  Pul-eease!), but zucchini happens to be one of my favorites!

Then a light bulb went off in my head:  Instead of using the dressing recipe that they suggested (which did sound very tasty and healthy), why not use Sean’s homemade pesto?  We pretty much always have a batch in the freezer, courtesy of my hubby who loves to make it with all kinds of different things like arugula, watercress (my favorite), and even rainbow chard.  So that’s exactly what I did!  While SHL was waiting for his pasta to boil, I took a zucchini and made it into swirls of “vegetable noodles.”  (The recipe also called for corn, but I didn’t have any).  I put the zucchini in a pan with some olive oil and salt and heated it, then mixed in some pesto until it was warm.  I transferred it to a bowl with a little bit of Sean’s leftover pasta water (just to get the pesto to adhere better to the noodles and to thicken it a little bit), and put in some cherry tomatoes halved and then sprinkled some basil leaves and a little bit of shredded parmesan cheese on top.  Delish!  While there’s certainly nothing wrong with pasta sometimes (I like the whole wheat fusilli), this proved to be a great alternative.  You can pair it with a salad too for a really filling meal!

Zucchini noodles

If you want to try it with the dressing that they recommend (champagne vinegar, olive oil, etc.– But I would omit the sugar), check out www.thekitchn.com.  The recipe is here: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-spiralized-zucchini-with-tomatoes-and-corn-recipes-from-the-kitchn-206812.

Oh!  I also think that other veggies would be cool with the spiralizer.   Maybe carrots, apples, potatoes, onions, and cucumbers?  Have any of you tried this yet?

While we’re on the topic of alternatives, I think I found a great one for a new coffee drink.  While I love coffee (but wish that I had loved it back in college during those all-night study sessions!), I’m hesitant to drink it all of the time because I can’t seem to drink it without some kind of sweetener in it (I seemed to solve the milk/sugar/lactose intolerance problem and just use almond milk now, which I’ve grown to really love).  I’ve tried organic stevia, honey, and agave, but any way you slice ( sprinkle, or pour) it, we’re talking about sugar here.  My nutritionist has told me that she isn’t too concerned about me having 1-2 packets of Stevia a week, so I just try to keep it at that.  But this coffee drink still caught my eye—instead of using Stevia, I can use dates!  Now dates still have a lot of sugar, but I think that using a fruit is more natural and having a few dates a week is probably OK!  What I also liked about this is that it’s a little bit of a “mocha treat” if you will, without the added extra sugar that you’d get at say, Starbucks.  I used cocao powder (though they call for cocoa powder) and almond milk, and that combined with the dates and the ice made kind of a special iced coffee (which I can happily enjoy, even in the wintertime.  Oddly enough, I don’t love ice cream in the winter). We actually don’t have a coffee pot (gasp!) because we’ve never really been huge coffee drinkers.  But we did get a Keurig for our wedding, which is perfect for us, the 1-2 cups of coffee if that a week couple (and SHL hardly ever drinks it now anymore because it actually gives him the jitters!).  However, it broke.  Frowny face.  So I just bought a big bottle of Starbucks Iced Coffee at the grocery store the other day, which lasts me a long time. If you’re interested in the recipe for the “damn good iced coffee,” check out Eat Life Whole. (I just stumbled upon them while doing cooking/baking/juicing/blending research).  www.eatlifewhole.com. 

Iced Coffee

The recipe is found here: http://www.eatlifewhole.com/2013/08/damn-good-iced-coffee-recipe-a-healthy-frappucino-makeover/.

So what should I try next?  The sweet potato brownies (finally?!) or the Tuscan white bean soup?  (Beans?  Did somebody say beans?!).  Please let me know if you make any of these things and if you like them or find other ways to creatively tweak them, and please also share your recipes for good health and happiness with me as well!

From my kitchen to yours,

Sam xoxo

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