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Getting it Done on Thursday + New Recipe

Workout Honesty
I'll be completely honest and admit that I totally wanted to blow off my cardio workout today. During lunch, I had set up my step and popped in the DVD. It was all ready to go. That was a good thing, because when I got home, it was either get it done, or spend the time moving everything back to storage. So, I got it done. It wasn't the best workout. I did do a lot of clock watching, but...I got it done. I did Cathe Friedrich's Hardcore Extreme - Hi/Low Premix and abs.

Tasty Dinner
After trying the Ziti with Sun Dried Tomato "Cream" Sauce, it made me start to think about other ways to use the basics of that sauce. There is a Paula Dean recipe that I actually tweaked to make healthier, Lemon Linguine. Her recipe calls for sour cream and Parmesan cheese. The easiest tweak was a fat-free sour cream, less cheese, and added veggies. I thought that the basics of the tofu "cream" sauce would work well with the lemon flavors of her lemon pasta recipe, thus omitting the sour cream. Rather than using Parmesan cheese, I tried used nutritional yeast flakes. So, here is my updated (vegan) version of a Creamy Lemon Sauce using artichokes, spinach, and whole-wheat pasta. This is a super fast recipe that comes together very quickly. I think it would also be good over pearled barely, wheat berries, or possibly quinoa. This recipe made enough for 3-4 healthy servings.

Whole-Wheat Rotini with Creamy Lemon Sauce
8 oz. whole-wheat rotini (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 white onion, minced
1 tbsp minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 can artichoke hearts, diced (optional)
1/2 package soft silken tofu
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
zest of whole lemon (divide into 2 piles)
juice of one whole lemon
Lemon pepper spice blend (to taste)
Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Dried parsley, to taste
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Fresh spinach

In large non-stick skillet, saute onions and garlic in small amount of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add in artichoke hearts.

Cook pasta according to package. Drain, but reserve some cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the remaining ingredients except for nutritional yeast  and reserving half of the zest until smooth. Use pasta water, white wine, and/or soy milk to thin sauce if needed (I did not need to thin it out using the soft silken tofu).

Combine pasta, sauce, spinach, into skillet with the onions and garlic. Add the nutritional yeast and re-season if needed. Let simmer on low until sauce is heated. Top with remaining zest and additional parsley and serve.

I enjoy trying to take recipes and make them healthier. What are some recipes you have made your own?


  1. Good job for getting the workout done! I bet you're glad you did it!

  2. Good for you setting up the exercise gear before work so it was do it or move it all back later. Great plan. I will start doing that tomorrow morning too. I love the way you think!

    You made Paula Dean healthy and vegan! That may just give her a heart attack. No .... that would be all the butter she normally cooks with. Whenever she is on TV the first thought I have is that she must have a cardiologist on speed dial. Can you tell I have an opinion on this? ;)

    Almost everything I cook is now a vegan variation of something I used to make as an omni. Although I did just hear tonight from my friend Sue that another woman from cooking class wants to join us on our veganizing Ad Hoc project. Somehow I think this is going to turn into a healthy cooking class. Sounds like fun though doesn't it? The more the merrier.

    talk to you later,

  3. Thanks Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg , while it wasn't the ideal workout, it was nice getting it done and not putting off until Friday!

    Alicia setting up my workout "stuff" has been a long-standing trick I use for myself. It almost always works. It's really weird, I like to watch Paula, but there are almost zero recipes I'd ever try. The Lemon Linguine was a cinch to fix by using fat-free and whole-wheat, this vegan version is even better & there's really almost no difference in the sour cream version. I worry about her too! Geez. I have noticed that many of the chefs have lost a lot of weight recently. I'm betting that must be a network push. A healthy cooking class sounds fun to me!

  4. Heather,

    The foodnetwork plays at my house like some people listen to radio. I am not usually actively watching but it is happening in the background. Some of the chefs I observe in stunned disbelief as they toss saturated fat into their food like it is water. I am always shocked by the apparent complete lack of awareness of health and nutrition.

    I noticed Mario lost weight but didn't see it with anyone else. Who did I miss?

    I have my step and weights out already today so I have trip over them until I work out and put it all away. You are my new hero. I love this idea!

    Sorry you don't live closer and could join us in our little cooking project. We are enjoying making the cookbook vegan, low fat and low sugar.

    have a great day today and talk to you later,

  5. LOL Alicia ! Glad I could be your workout hero! My hubby always thinks I'm nuts setting it up. He just rolls his eyes, but hey, I don't miss my workouts! Mario, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown all have slimmed down. Alton's show has even changed b/c of the weight loss. What gets me is when they say stuff like, "This recipe is soooo healthy," then just pour globs of olive oil into a pan when only a tiny smidge is needed. Or the massive amounts of cheese. Man, I like cheese, but sometimes it grosses me out!

    Maybe I could take on a recipe via long-distance???

  6. Heather,

    Men ...... sometimes they just don't understand. Your idea is brillant. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    How did I forget about Alton. Duh. That was obvious. I haven't seen his show in years since I am normally cooking dinner when he is on here. I must check it out to see the changes. I hadn't noticed Bobby Flay though. I will need to take a look now.

    I have the same reaction when they call something healthy and then use tons of oil, cheese, meat, sugar and white flour. I just cringe. And ... sometimes I yell at the tv. But that is another story. ;)

    Have you looked at the second blog yet? That is where we are taking the omni book and making it healthy. I decided to do it since Sue and I talked about healthy changes every week in cooking class. Last night I found out Reiko wants to join us too. Let me know if you want to do it long distance so we can figure out how to make that work.

    talk to you later,

  7. I can relate to not wanting to exercise some days... You did it and that's what counts!!

    Everything you cook looks fabulous and healthy. I'm so hungry now!

  8. This sauce sounds amazing--I've been looking for ways to use nutritional yeast and this sounds great!!

  9. Oh Suzie did not mean to add to your hunger! How much longer do you have on your detox?

    Hi !! Thanks so much for stopping by (led me to your site too!!) I've only recently started using nutritional yeast flakes. They really worked well with this sauce.


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