So long as we're being honest here.
(And really, you've seen the things that I write. I am thoroughly incapable of keeping any secrets from you. Or I have no shame. Or both. Hmm.)
I have two things I need to tell you.
The first is kind of related to this week's Eat.Live.Be. theme, which is portion size. And how to control it.
And so what I'm going to tell you is that sometimes. When I go out to eat. I order a dish partially based on how much food comes with it. (And partially based on whether it has sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or ricotta cheese. My holy trinity of food.)
I just have no patience for a twenty dollar dish that comes with two ounces of chicken a tablespoon of rice and some meager looking vegetable added on as a garnish. No matter how much truffle oil is sprinkled over it. If I'm going out to eat and spending money on a meal, I'd like to feel full and satisfied.
And while we're still being honest. I'm going to tell you that not only do I feel this way when I go out to eat. But I also feel this way when I cook for myself.
I'm a bulk eater. Always have been, always will be.
And so instead of telling you how to trim your portions down to size. I'm going to tell you how to bulk them up. In the healthiest possible way.
Which brings me to my second admission of the day.
I've never really been sold on this whole spaghetti squash thing. Yeah, I know. Me. The girl who did the 12 weeks of winter squash around Christmas time. The girl who built up her deltoid muscles solely by carrying ten pounds of squash home from the farmer's market every week this fall.
I know a lot of people, like my good friend Cara of Cara's Cravings, who are always extolling its virtues and using it as a spaghetti replacement. But to me. It just doesn't cut it. Spaghetti is spaghetti and nothing can ever replace it in my heart of hearts.
So here's what I did. I compromised. (Although that's not really a good word to use because this dish was so good that "compromise" is truly not the best way to describe it. But bear with my lexicographical deficiencies for the moment.) Half spaghetti. Half spaghetti squash. Topped with ricotta.
Equals one huge plate of lemony garlicky cheesy heaven. You won't even miss that half pound of spaghetti that you omitted. I pinky swear. With a cherry on top.
Moral of the story is that if you want to cut portions, the easiest way to do it (at least in my mind) is to bulk up food you already love with tons of veggies. This way, you'll still get the taste that you want and that feeling of being full, but with fewer calories. Gotta love it.
What do you do to keep your portion size in check? Blog about it and link up here or write about it in the comments!
And be sure to check out the posts by these other Eat.Live.Be-ers!
- Sarah Caron - www.sarahscucinabella.com
- Cate O’Malley - www.sweetnicks.com
- Maris Callahan - www.ingoodtasteblog.net
- Chris Arpante - www.melecotte.com
- Faith - www.clickblogappetit.com/
- Kristen - www.dineanddish.net
- Emily - http://andersonfamilycrew.blogspot.com/
- Jenna - FireMom - http://stopdropandblog.com/
- Casey - http://www.thestarnesfam.com - e-mail
- Patsy - http://familyfriendsandfood.blogspot.com/
- Tri-Fit Mom - http://trifitmom.blogspot.com/
- Claire - http://cookiedoc.blogspot.com/
- Allison - http://sweetflours.blogspot.com/
- Jen - http://njepicurean.blogspot.com/
- Leslie - www.thehungryhousewife.com.
- Rivki Locker - http://www.healthyeatingforordinarypeople.com/
- Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook
- Jennifer Schulz - http://lick-a-plate.blogspot.com/
- Sarah Rogers - http://sarahssweetcreations.blogspot.com
- Denise and Lenny - http://www.chezus.com
- Gwen of Simply Healthy Family
Spaghetti and Spaghetti Squash with Lemon Garlic Sauce and Ricotta
Serves 4, adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
1 spaghetti squash, about 4 lb
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 cup freshly made ricotta
parmesan, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Fill halfway with water. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour or until squash is fork tender. Set aside and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, set a pot of water to boil for the spaghetti.
3. Saute the garlic in a tbsp of olive oil over low heat until tender and fragrant. Add the lemon peel and saute for a minute or two. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and bring back up to a simmer. Remove from heat. Whisk in basil. Taste and re-season.
4. When the squash is done, turn it cut side up on a cutting board and run a fork through its flesh to create spaghetti strands. Use a spoon to scoop out the strands into a large bowl. Cook the spaghetti. Toss with the spaghetti squash. Pour the lemon sauce over the spaghetti/squash mixture and toss to coat. Mix in about 2 tbsp parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
5. Scoop into four plates and top each with 1/4 cup dollop of ricotta.
I am submitting this to:
Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast
Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory
Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop