Cheating

Are you cheating??

*****If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to read this post (because, to be honest, sometimes I really don’t want to read long-winded posts…I get it), please at least READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH*****

I read a post a while back on cheats, and I just wanted to share a few key thoughts with you. The article was written by Dallas and Meilssa Hartwig of Whole9 (You may have heard of their Whole30 plan…).

“At a local seminar last week, an attendee asked Melissa, “Do you ever cheat?” There was so much to this question: We don’t call it a cheat, because we’re doing nothing wrong. We aren’t perfect eaters, because no one is, and we don’t expect you to be either. Yes, we indulge, when we decide it’s worth it. In essence, we practice what we preach.”

They go on to talk about something that they posted on FB a few years back during a trip to Mexico. “Whole9 is grilling fresh mahi, making a giant batch of guac and kicking our heels up with some hand-made corn tortillas.” Holy banana chips, Batman. They received a ridiculous amount of backlash for this, all over some stupid corn tortillas!! They include some of the comments in the article. A good description of the comments can be summed up in this sentence (in their words)… “We once admitted consuming some Nutella-stuffed French toast to a workshop crowd. The looks of shock and horror on our audience’s faces made us wonder if we actually said we ate a deep-fried kitten for breakfast.” (This last sentence is perhaps one of my favorite sentences that I have ever read. Ever.)

Dallas and Melissa go on to describe how their program is the Whole30, NOT the Whole365. With Paleo, with clean eating, with the grapefruit diet…with whatever way of eating you choose to use, in order to succeed, you NEED to indulge from time to time.

Not long ago, I attended a bachelorette party. Well, a bachelorette party weekend. I knew that I would be indulging a little. Ok, who am I kidding…a lot. I tried to make better food/drink choices, but let’s face it. I enjoyed my weekend. That being said, once I got home, I was back at it. That Sunday happened to be Superbowl Sunday.  I set up my cycling trainer in front of our TV and enjoyed a little superbowl cycling. The next morning, I raided our deep freeze and set out a bunch of meat to have throughout the week. I also gathered some veggies that were chillin’ in trhe crisper and set them on the top shelf of my fridge so that I remembered that I have some veggie noms that upcoming week. I had my cheats then got after it again.

**Here’s the thing, the ONE take home from this: There’s a time for treats and there’s a time for healthy eats. The key is to have a healthy relationship with food, plain and simple. Figure out what’s “worth it” to you and enjoy it from time to time. Truly savor every second. BUT, also be able to resist that sugary, carbalicious, ooey gooey temptation the rest of the time. This is the key to successful eating.

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http://whole9life.com/…/you-ask-we-answer-do-you-ever-cheat/

Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic

squash

I happen to love spaghetti squash.  I think it’s a fantastic way to get your veggies into your day.  That being said, I have found that A LOT of people don’t particularly care for it.  Maybe it’s a texture thing?  Maybe their brain says “Nope, not spaghetti.  Nope.”  I understand that.  It’s cool.  BUT, I’m still determined to find a recipe that even non-squashers will like….well, try.

I saw THIS video on the ol’ Facebook yesterday and thought it sounded actually pretty great. A perfect combination of carb, fat, protein, and flavor.  Here is what you need to know:

Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic
Makes 2 servings (I’d say closer to 3)

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
S&P
4 cloves garlic (minced, I like to use the Pampered Chef garlic press.  I do not work for Pampered Chef….I just think this product is amazing!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Cu broccoli florets
1/2 Cu vegetable stock
1 Cu Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, & roughly mashed with a fork (I chose to omit this and sub with some leftover steak from the night before, cubed)
1/3 Cu nutritional yeast

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut about an inch off of the top and the bottom of the spaghetti squash and discard.
Cut the squash crosswise into rings about 1-inch thick, run a knife (or spoon) around the inside of the rings to get the seeds out.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over the baking sheet, then spread the squash rings over it
Coat each side evenly, then season both sides with s&p.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender (about 30 minutes)
Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside (Spaghetti squash is MUCH easier to handle if it has 10 minutes or so to cool)

Meanwhile….
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and red pepper (if using), season with s&p
Cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant (only about 1 minute)
Add broccoli and vegetable stock, turn heat down to low
Season with a little more s&p, cook until the broccoli is bright green & al dente and vegetable stock has reduced to about half
Add the nutritional yeast and stir everything together to make a sauce
If sauce is super thick and clumpy, add more stock (1 Tbsp at a time) until it’s thick and a little runny
Add the cooked squash and toss everything together.
Serve immediately
Get ready for a tastebud party

My Thoughts
First of all, I have never cooked spaghetti squash this way before.  I typically just cut the squash in half and let it cook.  I found that I really like roasting it this way.  It cooks a little more evenly. I’ll definitely use this method again.  As I watched the video tutorial, I copied down the recipe. Turns out, the recipe calls for red pepper flakes. I used red pepper powder.  Lets just say that the powder gives the dish a very powerful peppery punch that totally (in my opinion) makes the dish.   As I mentioned earlier, I left out the beans.  I typically avoid beans for the most part.  Sometimes my body just doesn’t do well with them.  Steak was a great sub.  Chicken would also work. Bacon… Really, any meat, I suppose would do. Or no meat.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

Have you guys tried nutritional yeast?  I know…I know, it sounds nasty icky gross.  BUT it’s actually not gross, and it’s packed with so much crazy goodness.  Basically it’s a deactivated yeast and looks like yellow flakes, kind of like fish food. It has a handful of vitamins and minerals, including some of the B vitamins, protein, and iron.  It’s actually used fairly regularly by  vegans and vegetarians for a little added nutrition. It has kind of a cheesy or nutty flavor.  I use it all the time when I cook, especially when cooking veggies.  It gives the dish just a little more flavor. I recommend trying it.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cheesy fish flakes.

Overall, this dish is definitely a win.  With hints of cheese and spice, the steak and broccoli compliment each other quite well.  There is so much flavor going on that even the biggest critic will be ok trying it.  This has officially been added to my list of favorites.  It also reheats very well, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  Leftovers on leftovers.  Try it out, change it up, let me know what you think!

-TPP

Original recipe HERE