Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Meatless Lasagna (Lower Fat)


This is a Lower Fat version of my favorite food! The trick to healthier eating is always in the ingredients. This year Our Daughter requested a meatless Lasagna for Christmas so here it is!

Ingredients:


1.5-2 pounds lasagna noodles. I used white flour noodles this year, but I prefer whole wheat or fresh sheets which are very hard to find.

1 large pot of fresh tomato sauce or to make things much easier, 6 jars of your favorite marinara. (No cans because it makes the sauce taste like metal)
2, 8 oz containers non fat ricotta cheese
2 cups low moisture part skim mozzarella 
1 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese for the topping (It melts better)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided 
1 whole egg + 3 egg whites
1/2 up chopped fresh basil (chop lightly as not to bruise)
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Olive oil (sparingly)

Method:


The First thing to do is to make your tomato sauce if you are making it from scratch. 


Using a large pot, Boil up the noodles al dente  about 10 minutes..Drain and stir gently and add back to the cooking pot adding a little olive oil so they don't stick to each other.


Mix together: the ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, fresh basil and parsley, salt and pepper while the noodles are cooking and set aside.


Layer ingredients as follows:

Sauce, noodles, tablespoons of ricotta mixture, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.


Last layer is topped with sauce and the whole milk mozzarella.


Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil (optional) It makes the top a nice golden brown


Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until it bubbles and is hot in the middle

OR Place in Fridge overnight and cook within 24 hours at 350 for an hour and a half

Serve with Caesar Salad ( I must come up with a healthier than store bought dressing soon) and Warm Sourdough Bread 


I made a side of my turkey meatballs and they came out so yummy too..The trick with any meatball is to not over-handle it or they get tough. I will post a recipe soon. I am experimenting with baking the meatballs instead of frying.


Remember to portion control everything you eat unless it's a low carb veggie..Denying yourself the foods you love is the death of all diets!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Marinated Artichoke and Garbanzo Salad


This recipe is quick and easy and has many layers of flavor. All of the ingredients are staples on my shopping list. Artichokes are very high in fiber, the garbanzo beans are also high in fiber and protein and the fresh veggies make this a very fresh, inspired side dish...(Thank you, Alex! ;)


Ingredients:
I can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced in large chunks
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced in large chunks
1 cup cherry or pearl tomatoes, halved or leave whole
1/2 cup fresh snipped parsley

Vinaigrette Dressing: 

1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbl fresh shallots, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (Dr. Bragg's organic, unfiltered is the best one)
3/4 cup, extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil

Method:

Toss together lightly the first six ingredients and add the dressing:

Method for dressing:
In a small Pyrex measuring cup drop in the mustard, whisk together the mustard, salt and pepper, garlic and shallots with a small fork. Continue mixing while adding the vinegar, then the oil.

Pour the vinaigrette over artichoke and bean mixture and combine thoroughly. Marinate for at least 1 hour ..serve at room temperature and refrigerate
the left overs (if there are any!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

One-Pot-Pasta




I saw a One-Pot-Pasta on the internet and I thought I would give it a try. I think it works best with (white flour) organic spaghetti. I tried brown rice pasta, but it stuck together and the texture was gummy..not good. This is another inexpensive and quick recipe to throw together in about 30 minutes. Yes, I am very partial to Italian food! 

Ingredients:
1 pound spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
4.5 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 purple onion, sliced
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced thick (about 1.5 inches)
1 clove fresh garlic, thinly sliced
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt (valuable minerals)
freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh (or dried) herbs-basil, oregano, parsley, thyme
12 oz jar tomato sauce-(Optional..but it makes it richer in flavor)
4 ounces finely grated romano/parmesan mixture of cheeses

Method:
Place all ingredients in large sauce pot
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently
Test at 15 minutes for thinner pasta
When fully cooked, top with grated cheese and fresh herbs
Enjoy with fresh greens and a lemon vinaigrette
If you have been good all week..go ahead and have a sourdough toast with some real Irish butter on top...yummy..guilty pleasure..Remember my Maiden name is DeMattia !

*I added the jar of tomato sauce at the end at the request of my son, Mike. It did look a bit scant on sauce and it made a big difference with the addition of it. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Starting up again!

On April 2nd , 2013, my Hip and Iliotibial Band were still in a lot of pain. So, I gave it intense therapy for another week. I have electrodes that could possibly help and then there is the rolling pin which gives me excruciating pain, but helpful for the  incredible knots in my leg none the less. Anything would be better than having to go into the hospital, get put under and then have a needle full of cortisone shot into my hip, RIGHT?
 I had proven to myself that when I started my journey back in 2005, I was correct in losing the weight slowly. I was 210 pounds and over a year, I lost 75 pounds. With steady exercise and a clean diet I lost half of myself in size. I went from a size 16+ to a 6 and now that I haven't trained for a few weeks, I am still holding my own. It helps to stay on a clean diet.
I made a huge mistake by over-training and really hurt myself, several times. I believe that my IT Band  and bone spurs in my hip issues are due to running on the highest incline on the Treadmill and Stepmill.(I Kind of went a little overboard, ya think?) As we age especially, our bodies cannot take that kind of beating anymore. It's called, "Insanity" for a reason! I noticed quite a difference with Menopause in how I look and how I move. I do not have that energy level that I once had when I had hormones in my body. I refuse to do hormone therapy and choose to age naturally so acceptance is vital to the whole aging thing.
I have met only a few who are interested in changing their lifestyle as I have done. I didn't find it to be the hardest thing I ever had to do once I made up my mind. We all have choices in the supermarket and with regular exercise, fresh air and water, determination and consistency success is at your finger tips :). These are just some of the keys for success. We are all very different and yet very much the same, however we are free thinkers. "Optimal Fitness is Achieved Through the Infinite Power of Your Mind" This is my motto and whenever I feel discouraged, I look back upon my journey and feel proud of what I have accomplished for myself and am willing and able to help others. This is My reward in life.
I choose to eat mostly organic foods. It really doesn't cost that much more if you portion control your meals and it is better for you and our planet. I try to drink  enough water. It is easy for me to get dehydrated for some reason."I have a very compulsive personality" and it is no excuse for breaking those old habits that we learned as children. I am  child of the 60's and I think I ate every single snack and sugary cereal that there was out there and now, if I sat down to a bowl of peanut butter Cap'n Crunch or a Cherry Hostess Pie, I would not feel so well after eating it. Also I was born to an Italian home where pasta and bread were mainstays in our diet and I was an over-eater as a child, so I have always battled a weight problem.  I still love to cook Italian food, it is my specialty, but I use low fat and whole grains and portion control to stay within my boundaries.
realized that it is me and only me that can count on me to do the work, stay consistent and never give up!
it is November 18, 2014 and as I revise this article, I am down to my lowest weight, but I haven't worked out for a few weeks and my muscle mass has diminished, so quickly! I am seeing an incredible acupuncturist who is helping my Hip, Back and IT Band issues and I am better except for I have had the flu for a week now! Stress really got to my immune system this time. Have to work on that! My only hope is that someone out there gets inspired by my story. 
                                      IF I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN!!!!