"Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." -Michael Pollan

Saturday, September 1

Dinner + A Walk

Fun Saturday! Too bad it's almost gone....but good thing I have another one tomorrow!!

After my filling lunch I didn't get very hungry this afternoon. I had a few grapes and some nibbles of things (2 kashi crackers, 2 peanut butter puffins) but no structured snack since I was entertained by academic things. I'm totally a boredom eater, so when I'm focusing on a project snacks are only necessary when I'm really hungry, as they should be!!

At 5:30 we started our Hungry Girl Lasagna recipe. I'll give it a B+ overall. More details below.

Started cooking with a small glass of leftover wine from last night. Ledson's Petit Sirah from the honeymoon trip to Sonoma. It was delicious as ever! They don't distribute to the East Coast, but you can order direct, and I highly recommend it.

Then we started preparing the veggies for dinner. Here are the eggplants "sweating" out their bitterness over the sink:

And the finished product hot out of the oven. Four HUGE servings, just as Hungry Girl promised!

And last but not least, my huge slice, about 260 calories, with a side of leftover stale flatbread (another 80ish calories):

Here's the recipe:

1 lb. (about 3 medium-sized) zucchini; ends removed and sliced lengthwise into wide, flat strips
1 large portabella mushroom; sliced into strips
1 large eggplant; ends removed and sliced lengthwise into wide, flat strips
15 oz. frozen chopped spinach; thawed, thoroughly drained and patted dry
16 oz. canned tomato sauce with garlic flavoring
1 cup frozen ground-beef-style soy crumbles
1 egg white
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat soy crumbles in the microwave for 30 seconds, and set aside. Set out a row of several paper towels (as you cook the veggies, transfer them to the paper towels to drain excess moisture). Spritz a large pan evenly with nonstick spray, and bring to high heat. Once hot, lay as many zucchini and mushroom slices as you can fit flat in the pan, and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Continue until all slices are cooked, removing the pan from heat and re-spraying it between batches. Cook eggplant slices for about 3 minutes per side, continuing to work in batches (removing and re-spraying pan each time). Next, in a large bowl, mix the spinach, egg white, ricotta cheese, basil, salt and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside. Spray a deep 8" X 8" pan with nonstick spray. Pour half (8 oz.) of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Then, layer half of the veggie slices on top in assorted order. Spread half of the spinach mixture on top. Next, sprinkle the soy crumbles evenly into the pan. Layer with remaining veggies, and then spread the rest of the spinach mixture on top. Cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Then, evenly top the lasagna with the mozzarella and grated cheese. Finally, bake uncovered for 30 minutes (or until the cheese on top starts to brown). Let cool, cut into 4 pieces, and dig in!

Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe (1 SUPER-LARGE portion)
Calories: 238
Fat: 2g
Sodium: 1,218mg
Carbs: 33g
Fiber: 11g
Sugars: 14g
Protein: 25g

We pretty much followed the recipe to a T. Here are my comments:

1) Soy crumbles have a bit of a chemical flavor. It might have just been the brand/kind we got, but I wasn't a huge fan. I think I might just go meatless or use a modest amount of real meat next time. Ground turkey breast perhaps?

2) Fat free dairy products are just disgusting. I would have given up half my slice for some low-fat ricotta instead of fat free. I almost bought the low-fat but saw that it was almost double the calories and went with the fat free. I've never been a fan of ricotta and figured it would just disappear into the recipe, but next time I'm using low-fat for sure.

3) The vegetables - zucchini especially - made wonderful noodle substitutes.

All in all, I think there are better low-fat lasagna recipes out there. I loved the huge portion, but next time I might just head to Cooking Light for something richer but a bit smaller.

By the way, husband LOVED the recipe and said he'd do it again as we did tonight in a heartbead.

So to wrap things up, we went for a walk after dinner - 45 minutes - that helped off me digest.

We have a wedding to attend tomorrow so I'm trying to avoid having an evening snack/dessert and thinking about the cake and alcohol and delicious catered food I'll have tomorrow night.

My plan of attack?

1) I'm not allowed to eat anything unless it's off a plate and I'm seated (preferably). This is to avoid standing beside the buffet and nibbling. And to make a conscious decision to put everything on my plate and be aware of what I'm eating.

2) If I take one bite and it's not worth the rest, don't finish it.

3) I am only allowed ONE PIECE OF WEDDING CAKE!!! The last wedding I attended I had 2.5 pieces because I loooooove wedding cake! (Well, actually the last wedding I attended was my own and I had 2 pieces at that plus a pound of leftovers during the week after!).

Hoping to get in a long run in the morning too, which will help offset the extra calories.

Night folks!

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