The healthy eating will continue

It happens everyday

I can’t believe it’s May.  It’s difficult to believe that May is almost over.  Portland weather is always entertaining.  One minute the sun is shining, then it turns dark as dusk and the sky opens up and torrential rain is upon us.  Then it turns to icy hail. All at once, it comes to a screeching halt and there is that ol’ sun again.  I love Portland. 

Our garden continues to thrive because of, and in spite of, this weather pattern.  And it saves us an awful lot on our water bill.  I have high hopes that our garden will not only save us money by growing in our yard and not having to make constant trips to the market, but will keep us eating happy and healthy meals. 

We’ve been going strong on this healthy eating path.  We started making healthier choices in December, while Katie was recovering from a surgery.  She threatened to start making her own meals because she needed vegetables.  Well, any of you that read this and know me, know that I wasn’t havin’ any of it.  The kitchen is “ours” but I’m pretty territorial when it comes to food and the production of it.  Plus, I couldn’t have her getting slim and healthy and leaving me struggling along, huffing and puffing and being chubby in her skinny shadow.  No effin’ way! 

So I jumped right on that healthy merry-go-round and I have no intention of falling off.  We are slimming down naturally, without effort, and it feels and tastes so delicious.  I’ve lost 8 pounds since January!  No Weight Watchers, no meetings, no starving.  Common sense and a culinary knack are what I have going for me.  And it’s working. 

So, enough of my rambling.  I want to show you something easy and tasty.  Oh, and it’s healthy, too.  Here’s a picture of a typical dinner at Chez Tolbert: 

It may look like a lot of food, but it is so low in fat and calories

Green salad (lettuce from our garden), wheat berries with cannellini beans and Field Roast Smoked Applewood Veggie Sausage, and Zucchini Ribbon “Pasta” topped with Savory Mushroom Sauce.  Yum. 

I always dug in my heels when it came to eating zucchini.  I never liked it.  At least rarely did I like it.  It’s a texture thing.  People always  over cook it, in my humble opinion.  I discovered it’s not bad when you use thin strips of it as a pasta alternative. 

so simple, so quick

The first time I tried this method, I used my electric slicer.  It’s like the ones the deli’s use, only a lot smaller.  But for the sake of the blog, I decided to use a vegetable peeler this time.  It worked great!  I figured not everyone has a home slicer, but a vegetable peeler, even non cooks have those. 

Really, anyone can make this

See how simple that is? 

Looks kinda like pappardelle, yeah?

I used 2 zucchini for this meal.  Rule of thumb: use 1 zucchini per person. 

So, that’s it.  No cooking.  Set the zucchini ribbons aside and make the sauce. 

Let the sauce making begin!

Thinly slice 1 leek, mince 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic.  Add a small amount of olive oil to a hot  pan and gently saute until softened. 

Mmmm...smells so good

Next, add some sliced mushrooms.  I used creminis, because we like ’em. 

Looking good

You can use whatever mushrooms you prefer.  A combination is always good. 

Once again, I wish computer screens had scratch and sniff!

Continue sauteing until the mushrooms soften.  Add seasonings to taste:  salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil. 

Oh, mamma, these are smelling so good right now

Once the mushrooms have softened and browned a bit, move everything to the sides of the pan, making a circular opening in the center of the pan.  Add a bit more olive oil, about 1/2 tablespoon and then sprinkle in some flour, a couple of tablespoons. 

Does anyone else see a cartoon bear face in there?

Cook the flour for a minute or two, till it starts to brown slightly. 

Stir and brown flour

  I like to add some hot sauce at this point.  It’s optional. 

Squirt in some hot sauce of choice - this is Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Now I add some vegetable stock.  You can use home-made or store-bought stock.  I make it every week, so I always have it on hand. 

Add some stock and you have sauce

Add stock about 1/2 cup at a time.  I like to use a ladle for this step. Just add and cook until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. 

This looks, smells and tastes just right

Place zucchini ribbons in a large serving bowl or platter.  Top with hot sauce.  Finely chop some fresh Italian Parsley and sprinkle on top, for a pretty presentation. 

Dinner is served

Then toss gently to combine.  The heat of the sauce with cause the “noodles” to soften, but not get mushy.  It’s fast and easy and best of all, tastes great. 

Damn, that's a healthy looking dinner!


9 Responses to “The healthy eating will continue”

  1. May 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Oh great, now I’m hungry again!

    Thank you so much, darling, for making me slim again. Even my “fat jeans” are getting kind of roomy on me.

    And your pictures are amazing! I think you’re ready for prime time… someone get Oprah on the phone!

    I can barely wait to see what amazing creation will come out of Vampiregran’s kitchen for dinner tonight. RULES TO BE ME!


    • May 25, 2010 at 1:55 am

      Tonight’s dinner is spicy quinoa, baked sweet potato and green salad with broccoli, roasted red beets, avocado, black beans, red onion, tomato and Russian Reuben dressing. Yummy!

  2. 3 Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord
    May 25, 2010 at 1:23 am

    That just looks so great! I frequently use carrot peels as “pasta” but never thought to use zucchini. I love it!

    I also loved the garden photos, which will help me identify what my lettuce looks like when it sprouts up (as opposed to thinking it’s a weed!).

    Love to you, Miss Patty!

    • May 25, 2010 at 1:56 am

      You’re way too adorable for words, Megan. I think you should eat the weeds too, just in case they turn out to be tasty.

      I sure hope dinner at Patty and Katie’s is in your summertime plans this year.


  3. May 25, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Yeah, Megan, try the zucchini “pasta.” I think a combo of carrot and zucchini ribbons would be fantastic and beautiful. I’m lovin’ our garden and all of this healthy eating.
    Love right back at ya’!

  4. May 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hello Patricia…so glad to have discovered your blog…and quite by fluke I might add.
    I’m doing a small research to accompany my soon to be published Porto Figs post. Then, as I was looking at one of the books: Fig heaven…I saw your amazing looking Tart ;o)…what a beauty.
    Hence…to shorten the story…I went looking to see who was behind all this…and how pleased I was to find out that you were also a Foodie blogger.
    I will be following your posts from now on…your blog is very interesting indeed.
    Unless you mind…I may also share with my readers the lovely Fig Tart you made…linking back to you of course ;o)
    Well ciao for now and flavourful wishes, Claudia

  5. May 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Am eagerly awaiting your next fabulous creation. you make veggies look so yummy….I am sure this will tempt even little kids 🙂

  6. May 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks funny, I am also awaiting my next healthy veggie creation! These ideas just come to me. My next installment will really tempt the little ones, as it is a wedding cake! Not made of veggies, of course. But beautiful!


  7. 9 Haeoneronen
    June 21, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Hi! Very interesting read. Will follow this.

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