All of this healthy eating is paying off. I'm wearing clothes that I had tossed into the Give it to Goodwill piles in the farthest recesses of my closet. And I'm feeling like I have more energy, too. Another thing I've began to notice: when I go up the stairs my knees don't ache as much as they used to.
We had a pretty good weekend of eating whatever the hell we wanted, chicken wings, cookies, all sorts of craziness. We even had our sister in law and her sister over on Saturday,and instead of deep fried, or gravy coated snacks, I opted to do fresh spring rolls with sweet chili sauce, chopped veggies with home made dill/cream cheese dip, and onion and garlic stuffed naan with hummus for dipping. The food was fantastic, the company was delightful, and much fun was involved. See, you can have a party without gaining sixteen lbs. But by Sunday, we were eating queso laden nachos and Mexican rice, so come Monday, we were not feeling alright. You just don't realize how much that food weighs you down until you step back away from it for a while. With both of us feeling sluggish, weighted down, and overall a bit icky, we knew that we needed to get back on track come Monday. I had lots of zucchini and tomatoes, (of course I did, it's summer, everyone has an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes) and I had some red potatoes, mushrooms, and a nice, big, sweet onion. Looking through the fridge, I also found some kale that needed to be worked into something pronto, or it was gonna soon be a gonner, having given its life without ever fulfilling its need to provide sustenance. It was my duty to help that kale to have not died in vain. So I thinly sliced all my veggies, I dredged them in flax seed meal because we're doing that now to help with The Wifester's blood pressure (it works! down from 180/100 to 140/90 in less than two weeks!) and then I set them in the greased casserole dish in this order: potato, onion, kale, zucchini, mushroom, onion, kale tomato, potato... but you just put them in there whatever order you see fit. Sometimes I use sauteed leeks, but they didn't have any when I shopped the other day, so I made do with onion instead. Once the dish was filled, I sprinkled some salt and pepper, and then a healthy dose of chopped basil, parsley, and rosemary over it all. I still had more kale, so I chopped it and spread it over the top and tucked more in between the sliced veggies. I drizzled a bit of extra virgin olive oil over it all, dashed a small dash of Parmesan, sauteed some minced garlic then sprinkled that over the top, covered it and baked it in the oven preheated at 425, for about 25 minutes. I tested the potatoes with a fork, once they were tender, I left the lid off and returned it to the oven for about 10 minutes, to let the top crisp up just a bit. I served this with 1/2 steamed brown rice 1/2 quiona mixture, and trust me, it was a-ma-zing! And filling. The protein from the quiona really helps you feel well nourished and full. I'm wishing there were leftovers to munch on right now, but we ate the whole thing last night. See there, we ate until we were stuffed to the gills, and still we're losing lots of weight. It really does matter what you eat, more so than how much of it.
Summer Veggie Bake
1 large zucchini
1 lb white mushrooms
2 large tomatoes
1 sweet onion
1 bunch kale
4 red potatoes
minced, sauteed garlic
Preheat oven to 425. Grease a deep casserole dish or spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
Slice all veggies to be about the same thickness, about 1/4 in. Chop kale and herbs. Mince garlic. Sautee minced garlic in EVOO or a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and herbs. Drizzle with EVOO. Bake covered at 425 for 25-30 minutes, when potatoes are tender remove lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.