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LIVING WITHOUT PASTA AND BREAD

My total, number one passion in life is food… Everything about food…  I love food.  I live to eat food — but most of all — I love to cook food!
The planning, the creativity, the construction, the aroma’s, the sizzle, the plating and the taste…  Wow — it’s what rocks my world.

I’m Italian — so the most important time in our family’s life is the meal times.  Especially Sunday dinners.  The entire family – no matter what stops what ever they are doing to run home, or to an Aunt’s house for the family gathering and the traditional Sunday sauce, pasta, meats, salad’s and dessert — of course with espresso and a splash of Sambocca with three beans floating on top of the coffee  — (for luck)…

Before I go any further you should know that I am a pasta and bread junky!!!!  It is so serious that i am thinking of starting a “Pasta and Bread Eaters Anonymous”…..

I’m Italian — therefore my favorite food is pasta!!!  I could eat pasta for all three daily meals.  Yes — that includes breakfast.  Nothing like – cold pasta, cold pizza and a meatball for breakfast — It get’s me flowing for the entire day.

The one problem is — the pounds that all of these wonderful, Italian foods put on.  I could easily watch my waist line disappear and widen by the minute.  OK — so the older I get – the more it becomes obvious that the wonderful meals always accompanied with pasta – as my dear mom use to do — are a thing of the past.  I learned this a bit older in life  – but my daughter has always felt this way.  She is the picture of Trim, tall and healthy. I guess what this means is that at any age — we should all “watch” what we eat.  Now that dosn’t mean that we can’t be creative and enjoy our food – but at least three meals a week I now aim to healthy.  I now substitute one pasta meal a week – sometimes more with my take on “living without pasta and bread”.

NOW – I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO YOURSELF — “HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS AND MAKE IT TASTE GOOD” AND — “HOW AM I GOING TO GET MY ENTIRE FAMILY TO TRY THIS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY – LOVE IT”????  I PROMISE YOU — THAT WHEN YOU BRING YOUR FAMILY TOGETHER FOR YOUR SUNDAY FAMILY DINNER AND GATHERING THAT THEY WILL NOT ONLY LOVE IT — BUT WILL BELIEVE THAT YOU WORK MAGIC IN YOUR KITCHEN!!!

The key is —-     fresh, clean, crisp foods that make fresh, clean, crisp dishes and of course use those spices!!!

Here are a few recipes and techniques that I live with and recommend.

–  ADD IN MY PASTA (ZOODLES) AND SAUCE RECIPES FROM THIS WEEKS SHOW AND I AM ADDING A FEW MORE QUICK SAUCES AND DIFFERENT SHAPE ZOODLES.

There are many different shapes of zoodles – the this – spaghetti like shape, a flat, 1/2 inch in width noodle shape for sauce of to make a baked dish.  Also – how about all different vegetables to make a refreshing thread salad accompanied with a light vinaigrette.  Vegetable of all kinds, zucchini, radish, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, carrots and yes – fruits like apples, pairs, avocado.  the list goes on and one.  Simply make every recipe your own bu being creative.

ADDITIONAL RECIPES FOR BLOG.

Asian Sauce for Zoodles – Zucchini

3 cloves of garlic
1 onion – small chop
2 large zucchini
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tblsp sriracha sauce
1/4 tbsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Sautee garlic and onion in skillet for 3-4 minutes.
Add in soy sauce, sriracha, rice wine vinegar.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the rest of the ingredient and toss in the zoodles.
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Spinach and Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
4 cups fresh baby spinach
4 chopped garlic
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups white dry wine
1/4 cup of pine nuts or walnuts

Put all ingredient in food processor or blender and mix to a smooth consistency.  if more liquid is needed add small amounts of wine until desired consistency.

Toss in zoodles and serve….
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Fresh – Grape Tomato Sauce with shaved reggiano cheese

4 cups of grape tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dry red wine
1.4 cup shaved reggiano cheese
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup of fresh basil
2 tblsp dried oregano
2 tblsp butter or margarine for thickness and richness
Pepper and salt to taste.

In sauce pot sautee garlic for 3 minutes on medium heat
put tomatoes in along with red wine.  Cover and bring to a fast boil.  Than turn down heat add butter or margarine, oregano and basil – salt pepper to taste.  Cook until tomatoes begin to open at least half way so that juices can flow – approximately twenty minutes. salt and pepper to taste.

Toss in pasta and top with shaved cheese.

For this dish serve with spaghetti squash or the wider zoodel.

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