Serendipitous Pasta

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Oh dear me – dinner was a serendipitous masterpiece tonight! My original intent was to make some Margarita Pasta (pasta with tomatoes & basil) but I utilized some other ingredients in the house to make Creamy Bean and Vegetable Pasta!

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I started by boiling some pasta in a pot and sautéing some garlic and onions in a skillet. After the onions were soft, I added in ~1/2 cup great northern beans (drained & rinsed) and some baby spinach leaves. While those warmed & wilted, I drained the pasta, added it to the skillet, tossed in some chopped campari tomatoes, a little bit of olive oil and vegetable seasoning. I sprinkled some fresh basil over the whole thing – and CHOWED down!

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Oh.my.gosh. The warmed beans made the whole dish silky smooth. Beans are such a great ingredient to add to a lot of meals. They’re inexpensive, full of fiber and very filling!

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BTW, did you know that Campari tomatoes are known for their lack of mealiness? Is there anything worse than a mealy tomato?

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This dsih has definitely made it’s way into the kitchen hall of fame – minimal ingredients with maximum flavor. What more could you ask for?!

As a side dish…yep…I did it. I polished off the raspberries :P So much for being stingy with them!! These are the most sweet, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth raspberries I’ve ever eaten though! I wish I had about 14 other containers!

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Mmmm, I am so satisfied right now – that was a booooomb dinner!! After I digest a little, I’m going to hit up the gym. I’m feeling the personal need to redeem myself from yesterdays running debacle and I’m feeling very optimistic tonight!

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So I read this article today that I thought was really great. I always see stories like "What to Eat to Lose Weight" or "10 Foods You’re Not Eating that You Should," but I feel like I’ve read them all and the information isn’t that new or relevant to me anymore. The article I read today, and really liked, was called "20 Ways to Eat Healthier Right Now." While a lot of the information wasn’t new I thought the whole package of tips is great! Of all the ideas on how to eat healthier, here are my favorites:

1. The crunchier, the better.

Snacks that offer a big, satisfying crunch when you bite into them—we mean apples, celery, snap peas and nuts, not chips—keep your mouth busy longer than food you slurp.

2. You can always have more.

Tomorrow. A food shortage is not imminent. Besides, anything you eat after you’re full doesn’t even taste as good. “There is a toning down of taste buds after the first few bites,” says Linda Bacon, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at City College of San Francisco. And no one loves feeling stuffed.

3. Don’t drink dessert.

Brimming with vitamins! Bursting with energy! Store shelves are exploding with colorful, cleverly named drinks that sound healthy but are actually just sweetened water. Don’t let the labels fool you, Berman says. If it’s not skim milk, plain H2O or regular coffee or tea, it’s a treat.

4. Fuel up in the morning, not at night.

A car needs gas when it’s hitting the road, not when it’s sitting in the garage—so why do we have our biggest meal when the only energy burner on the agenda is working the remote? Instead, aim for a 550-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, a 450-calorie dinner and a 100-calorie snack.

5. Cut yourself a break!

If you follow these rules most of the time but occasionally crave a fast food fix, a slice of pizza or a brownie, go for it. You can happily resume your healthy plan once you satisfy the urge. “We all have to relax a bit,” Drewnowski says. “If you want fried chicken now and then, enjoy it!”

 

I particularly like numbers 2 and 4. I tend to have a problem with #2 – when I taste something that is SO delicious, I gobble, gobble, gobble. I need to slow down and remind myself that this isn’t the last time I’m going to have the particular item. That it’s not going to disappear off the face of the planet – there will be a next time!

As far as #4 goes – I definitely follow the fuel up in the morning plan. If I don’t have an adequate breakfast, I tend to be less motivated at work and get super hungry and cranky way too early in the day. Not good for a working woman!

Anyways – I thought this was good information and that you might enjoy it…I know I did!

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What’s your favorite "eat healthy" tip? Whether it be from the list above, or from your own practices!

My favorite tip is to use herbs and spices in dishes, in the place of oils and fats. There is definitely a place in cooking for healthy fats such as olive oil, but in general – there is SO much flavor to be had in simple additions like garlic, thyme, cumin, chili powder, etc., etc.. The list goes on and on!

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