Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Friday Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration plus a Challenge

It's fab Friday! Time for some tips, tricks and inspiration, plus a challenge.

Here's a tip: Don't Instagram your food if you want to fully savor it. In an interesting study on satiety, researchers see a link between a loss of enjoyment and Instagramming photos of food. I take a lot of photos of food to use in my "Menu Plan Monday" posts and also in my recipe file, so this study made me sit up and take notice. Now to be sure, it's a "first world problem." Nonetheless, as a weight watcher, enjoying my food is part of what keeps me on plan, so maybe I will cut back on that food photography!

Have you ever tried veggie noodles?  This is a simple trick to get more veggies, fiber and vitamins into your diet. In the interest of full disclosure, these "Zoodles" (recipe below) do not taste like noodles, but they are surprisingly satisfying.  I actually crave them now. I love my pasta but these Zoodles are good! My solution has been to eat the zoodles and include a half-serving of pasta along with them. I've fed them to the kids too; I just don't try to convince them it's pasta.  I love them most with tomato based sauces but am experimenting with other recipes too. Try them and let me have your thoughts.

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4 - 6 Servings
4 medium zucchini
Salt 2 tsp.
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic minced

Julienne the zucchini using a julienne peeler, mandoline or spiralizer.  Salt it liberally (use 1/2 tsp. per zucchini) and allow to sit in a mesh strainer for 20 minutes. Don't skip this step; it's essential. 

Rinse the squash to remove some of the surface salt and then gently squeeze it with your hands to remove some of the excess water.

Heat the olive oil gently in a non-stick skillet and add the garlic; when the garlic becomes fragrent, increase the heat to medium high and add the zucchini.  Gently stir fry until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Serve with any sauce you enjoy with pasta.
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Just in time for fall, my inspiration this week came not from a weight loss story, but from a story about apples and a man who loves them. I promise, there is a farmer in me somewhere. Please enjoy this lovely story about apples and then visit a farmer's market near you in search of a new apple to enjoy. If the first story intrigues you, the second one on the same vein is also fascinating. 

I've decided to add a new item to my weekly Tips, Tricks and Inspiration blog: A challenge!  This week's challenge is to make an apple based dish in celebration of fall. Let me know what you love and I'll share your findings here! 

Happy Friday, Friends.

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