I don’t eat a lot of full-fat but as  I was sprinkling Parmesan cheese over my veggies and shrimp dinner, my boyfriend pointed out to me  that I’m attempting to do no fat, not a low amount of fat. Oops! I guess I didn’t take myself as seriously as I should have because in recording the eats for my first day – there’s fat sprinkled into most of my eats. Its not exactly an experiment if you cheat. I want the full experience of my body noticing that fat is missing (or lack of that feeling). Maybe we don’t need fat other than fatty foods taste good?

I started the morning with about 6oz. of non-fat greek yogurt, half a cup of grapes, a teaspoon of almonds, and 1/2 cup of Nature’s Path heritage flakes. I learned that 3/4 cup of cereal is 2 points, and 1/2 cup is 1 point. Since I get 20 points a day this seemed like a good way to save. However, it doesn’t really make sense to me why the difference over 1/4 of a cup – does anyone know why? I was also surprised that 1 teaspoon of almonds was 1 point, the same as my 1/2 cup of cereal!

Before the gym, I had a piece of ww toast with a teaspoon of jelly. This usually would have been almond butter, but I can’t say that my lunch workout suffered. I did a high-power cardio workout with no affect/hunger.

Aren’t the slices of this 40 calorie tiny?

Lunch was a non-fat feast – I managed to avoid any nut butter or other slips.

  • 1 cup of Trader Joe’s Black bean soup
  • TJs’  ww quesadillas stuffed with non-fat cheese, left over turkey, and salsa
  • Veggies and non-fat honey mustard dressing as dip

Lunch kept me full for a long time and I was very surprised about this. I usually think that if there isn’t any fat at all you get hungrier faster.

For a before dinner snack I had my beloved Veggie Booty – and they have 5 grams of fat. Hm…I guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought for a non-fat life.

And finally for dinner, I enjoyed one of my favorite pasta dishes only this time I didn’t include olives due to fat. And, I didn’t have any pasta because I’m just not a huge fan of carbs at night. But, the bf thinks a meal isn’t complete without carbs and protein, so here’s the his and hers version:

Yes, his looks better.

For tomorrow – I’m going to be more conscious about the normal items I eat that have fat. Sadly, I always have almonds in my yogurt so I’m missing them already.

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Week nights are busy. By the time I finish work, commute, go to the gym, run errands, and just deal with life, I don’t have time for an elaborate dinner. What I do have time for is something quick, easy, inexpensive, healthy, and tasty. And, lets be honest weekends tend to be splurg-y so weekdays are a good time to be healthy so it all balances out. Here’s my weeknight dinners from last week complete with shopping list, ingredients, and directions. Not that you even need the directions, its that easy…

Italian Sausage, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Whole Wheat Pasta

sausage and pasta

This is a simple one dish recipe that takes about 20 minutes. Its got tons of flavor and is perfect for a colder, rainy day b/c of its heartiness. Here’s the short ingredient list:

  • TJ’s chicken and roasted red pepper sausage, peel off casing and break into chunks (used 3 for 2 people)
  • 2 cups mushrooms (presliced to save time)
  • bag of spinach (prewashed to save time)
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • garlic and italian spices
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat pasta.

Boil water and add pasta. Use a little olive oil and garlic to get things fragrant, add mushrooms and when they are almost done add in chicken sausage, spinach, and spices of your choice. When everything is done mix in tomato sauce to add liquid. I will definitely make this again.

Chicken, Mixed Veggies and Brown Rice

chicken and veggies

This took 20 minutes from start to finish and I had help from my good friend, Trader Joe’s. All 4 ingredients were picked up at TJs and throw into a one pan wonder:

  • grilled chicken
  • frozen mixed veggie bag
  • sesame soy ginger vinaigrette
  • brown rice

Chop the chicken into chunks, grill it until almost done, throw in veggies, when everything is almost done, add about 1/2 cup of marinate. Pop already prepared rice into microwave for 60 seconds. DONE. I enjoyed the marinade, the dish had flavor and was filling, but I’m not sure I would make this very often – its just not very exciting 😦

Shrimp tacos and Lettuce Cups

shrimp and veggies

Mexican food is the best solution to a quick dinner. So easy.

  • whole wheat wraps
  • shrimp
  • salsa
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • red onion
  • lettuce leaves

Chop up all veggies (or buy prechopped), mix in with salsa. Grill shrimp using a spice that has a kick. I used cooking spray and then sprinkled taco seasoning. Broil wraps, throw it all in and your are good to go. To save on calories, I usually eat one real deal taco and then switch to wrapping the veggies and protein in a lettuce wrap. I would also make this again.

Next week for Easy Weeknight Dinners:

  • Orange Glazed Salmon with Red Bliss Potatoes and Spinach
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash

During my West Coast adventure, I got to do something new in the kitchen. Homemade Pasta! I’ve never had access to a pasta maker and making pasta sounds intimidating. Luckily, my friend’s boyfriend is boy wonder in the kitchen and offered to guide me through the process.Surprisingly, there’s nothing terrible difficult about making pasta, its just time consuming (about 2 hours from start to finish).

finished

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Super Fine “OO” Wheat Flourflour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Pinch of salt

Step-by-Step Guide: Butternut Squash Ravioli

1. In a large bowl, mix the 2 flours together. Push flour to the sides and create a hollow space in the center.

flour and eggs

2. Break the eggs into the hollow center and use fork to scramble yolk and egg whites. Then start to pull flour into the liquid until there is no more liquid to absorb flour. At this point, get your hands dirty and start kneading the dough. You may need to add water for additional moisture. We ended up having to add almost 1/4 cup of water.

3. Eventually you will have a ball of dough. Wrap in plastic and let it rest for about 40 minutes.

ball

4. While dough is resting, you need to roast the butternut squash. Peel skin and cut into 1 in squares, pop in the oven for about 30 minutes, remove when you can pierce squash with a fork. In a food processor, break up 1 tbsp of butter (room temperature), 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt, and the roasted butternut cubes. Blend until you have a semi-chunky puree.

5. Unwrap ball of dough and break into 4 parts. Sprinkle surface with flour, and use a rolling pin to roll out each part; keep the other parts in plastic wrap so they do not dry out. After rolling out a piece, set the pasta maker on the first (widest) setting – 1.

6. Run flattened dough through the machine. Fold in half, and run through again (kind of like feeding an old school fax machine). Change setting to 2 (slightly thinner). Run dough through, fold in half, run through again. Repeat these steps until you run through the 5th setting. The dough will be thin and long at this point. Repeat this with all 4 parts of dough.

dough machine

7. With all 4 pieces of dough laying on countertop, take 2 pieces and cut off ends to make them equal in size.

8. On one of the sheets space out teaspoon sized dallops of butternut squash mixture (you will have a lot of mixture left over, but its delicious and you can some for the sauce and save the rest for a dip with pita chips). Leave enough room between each dallop that you will be able to have edges on each ravioli. We were able to fit 8 to 10 on each sheet.

dallops

9. Cover with other sheet, and press together. Then take butt of a knife and draw lines for each ravioli. Then cut.

raviolis10. Boil huge pot of salted water and drop your 18-20 raviolis into the boiling water. Should take less than 10 minutes to cook.

11. Meanwhile, in a small pot, take 2 tbsp of butter and fry sage. You will end up with a sage infused butter, but remove the leaves. Add 3/4 cup of the butternut squash mixture and 1/4 cup of heavy cream and heat until it becomes a liquid.

sauce

12. Drain the ravioli and you are done! Serve 3 to 5 raviolis per plate and drip with sage butternut squash cream. Serve with a light salad: field greens with pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Yummy…