Monday, August 31, 2009

Linguine & Clam Sauce, Healthy

Did I mention I'm doing WW? I am. I'm doing it. I'm breathing, eating and living it. I'm losing for life, losing for good. I swear, I will be the Weight Watchers poster woman in a year. No one will recognize me, god knows, I won't recognize me.

I'm at -24lbs, and hope to hit -26 on Wednesday. Blow negative calories my way if you're reading this.

One of my problems has always been my love, my passion, for food. Good lord, I'm sitting here typing with a can of smoked oysters propped in front of my keyboard for no good reason! I've cooked a lot of yummy things in the past, usually things that could compete with Paula Deen or Two Fat Ladies for calories, if not pizazz.

The Bug's favorite dish that I make is Linguine and Clam Sauce. So I decided to trim it down, and make it work with my WW. Here's a recipe from 2006, lightened up, but true to it's roots:

Linguine and Clam Sauce--Healthy
Measure all amounts, adjust only pepper to your taste.
Since you'll cook the sauce on low heat, go ahead and use that non-stick saucepan.

Put lots of fresh water, dosed with kosher salt, onto boil.
When it boils, add and cook 10-16oz of Whole Grain linguine.

In the meantime:

  • In a non-stick saute pan heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

  • Add three cloves of finely chopped garlic and turn heat to medium low.
  • Sweat garlic until fragrant and supple.
  • While garlic softens, open two tins chopped clams (I like the ones in the yellow tuna-sized tins. You'll find them with the tuna in fact.) RESERVE THE LIQUID.
  • When garlic is softened, add half a teaspoon red pepper flakes. Go easy on this, you can always add more. Heat for 30 seconds.
  • Then add the clam liquid, plus one whole bottle clam juice, which is also found in the tuna section. Be sure to shake the bottle.
  • Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.
  • Add about a two cups of well chopped parsley. (This is a great use for parsley.) Don't worry about the stems--just wash the parsley, shake it, and chop away. My mom uses scissors, I just use my knife.
  • Immediately turn down to medium/medium-low. Check your pasta.
  • Now, shake out 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a measuring cup and add enough cold non-fat chicken broth or water to liquify. Mix till smooth.
  • Turn the heat up again till it's simmering and add your starch mixture. But be careful! Add a bit at a time, as this will thicken your sauce faster than you can imagine. Stir like crazy as you add it.
  • Once thickened to your liking (we like it THICK), turn off the heat and add lots of freshly ground black pepper and the clams. Please don't cook the clams unless you like Linguine and Rubber Bits.
Add-ins to consider: fresh basil, finely chopped white onion, fresh clams.

Serve with a great salad.

Serves six (or a man & boy with hearty appetites and a woman on a mission with lunch left over for her husband).

When did THAT happen?

Well, shoot. I turned away and my kid turned into a pre-teen on me. He's going to junior high and collecting beer bottle caps (at parties, not beers he drinks himself, yet) and in my dreams he's asking girls to marry him. Where did time go?

And now the little one is saying things like "apple juice" and "one two three five seven eight nine" and knowing if we take the long way home when we're out walking.

I refuse to have another kid just to feel younger. The process takes too much out of me. And I'm too old. And tired.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Venti Non-Fat, No Whip, Caramel Mocha

My SBX drug of choice has been a Venti Non-Fat, No Whip, Caramel Mocha for a long time. I thought I was being pretty good. Non-fat milk. No deadly whipped cream. Just a couple of squirts of flavor....

Until I found out I was getting TEN quirts of sugared-flavor, which worked out to a whole lot of calories. At the same time, I was getting tall non-fat lattes for a co-worker. You know the kind. She's 23 and if she doesn't get to go running at least four times a week gets physically sick to her stomach. She's a size two, smart, and super sweet. Some times I want to throttle her.

Especially when she'd order her angelic latte each morning.

Well guess what? I'm wearing a coffee halo thanks to her! I started cutting back the squirts in January and by February was having the non-fat lattes. I do get grandes, simply because I like a second shot of espresso (I figure I have kids & a husband who keep me up at night and she can get 14 hours of beauty sleep if she wants to).

I really do enjoy the non-fat lattes. And that's something I NEVER imagined I'd say. In fact, I'm going to bed RIGHT NOW so I can wake up and have one in the morning!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

21+ Pounds....

Weighed in today, holding my breath, hoping our silly Wii was right when I told me my weight.


I lost 5.8 pounds this week.

For all you diet and Weight Watcher naysayers who say the big losses are in the first three weeks and that it's all water weight...well, I'm in week eleven.

What worked this week? Measuring & tracking what I ate. Planning what to eat. And a teeny bit of exercise.

We had a lot of multigrain pasta with veggies and chicken this week. But we ALSO had NY Strip Steak this week...and MAN was it delicious!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

On my way

15+ lbs gone, it's working well.

Last night I made a mango/jicama/black bean salad after seeing Daisy Martinez make it on Viva Daisy. It was the first time I prepared a jicama, and cut myself peeling it, and then didn't know how far down the "thin, fibrous layer" went that the Joy of Cooking told me to peel away.

It was okay--though next time I'll add two mangoes and cut the jicama into smaller pieces. And I'll probably add more cilantro and maybe a bit of cumin.