Right, so I have decided to let carbohydrate back in.
Are we still cool?
After reading some stuff and writing some stuff and talking to some people, I have concluded that I am not doing a low-carb diet with enough courage or conviction for it to be effective, and also I don’t think I need to eat much meat any more, (getting old, feel sorry for the cows and pigs and sheep), and also I miss spaghetti.
I’m not talking about hitting the chips, sugar, doughnuts and pizza – that shit is still evil and rots you from the inside out (brainwash, brainwash).
Instead, I have put myself on a small-portion, high-fibre diet. Which means letting back in wholewheat spaghetti and eating a lot of rye crackers, globe artichokes, porridge and cannellini beans – (not all at the same time) – and I’m in heaven. If you’re wondering if this has lead to a potentially marriage-wrecking increase in personal gas, then rest assured that personal gas levels are stable.
The keywords here, which I think are going to be a really big deal in the next 5 years, are PORTION CONTROL. The fact is that you can’t eat a shitload of anything – not really. Except fucking salad and kale or whatever, but I don’t think anyone is in danger of doing that.
Of all the foodstuffs I have missed most in recent years, it’s been pasta. Now I have it about twice a week – sometimes three times! – the secret is to get the brownest, chewiest stuff imaginable and only have a tiny amount. A portion for me for lunch or dinner is 30g, which looks like a ridiculously tiny tangle in the bowl but in fact, is enough. The breadcrumb topping is optional, but really nice.
I made this today for my husband and it was freaking awesome.
Courgette pasta for 2 with crunchy garlic breadcrumbs
60g rough wholewheat pasta
1 small courgette, grated
1 small handful parmesan
olive oil, salt and pepper
For the breadcrumb topping
1 slice any sort of bread
1 knob butter stop giggling
1 sprinkle chili flakes
1 clove garlic
some lemon zest
some parsley – small handful?
1 whizz the bread in a whizzer with the garlic, some salt, the parsley, chilli flakes and lemon zest then fry it very slowly and gently in a pan with some butter for about, I don’t know, 10 minutes? until brownish and crunchy. maybe chuck in some capers? might be fun.
2 boil the pasta!!! (this is an instruction I don’t think I’ve ever given in 9 years of recipe writing) and drain, drizzle with olive oil and then add the courgette. Do not be freaked out by this! The courgette will add freshness and crunch and when you turn it in the warm pasta for a few minutes it will also go a bit creamy: ALL GOOD, without the necessity of having actual courgetti, which my husband simply refused to countenance.
3 Turn the courgette in the pasta over a very low heat for about 3 minutes and then add half the parmesan and stir to melt slightly. Season! Why the hell not.
4 Divide between two warmed bowls, then scatter over the rest of the parmesan and the breadcrumbs and greet like an old friend, not a foe.
Sounds bloody marvellous! Noted.
Looks delicious and so simple. It would also be really good with anchovies added (unless you hate them).
Nikki Verlin says
I was on high-protein, low-carb diets for YEARS and while they worked, I always missed the carbs. When I got pregnant a few years ago, I went back to carbs as I felt it was important to eat in a more balanced way for the pregnancy. Naturally, I ended up gestationally diabetic and had to go back to my low-carb diet mid-way through. I had a tough time shifting the last 10 lbs after my daughter was born, so this summer, went back to my low-carb diet and of course, it worked a treat. I just feel that its not healthy for me long term and eating chicken breast and salad/veg everyday is mind-numbingly boring. You know somethings wrong when you greedily eye up your daughters fruit pouches! That said, I am dreading the potential weight gain from going back. Argh.
Nikki it’s ALL ABOUT PORTION CONTROL and also no refined sugar. the end
Looks gorgeous I bloody love spaghetti too but Im scared of brown pasta. Not sure why? I love brown rice. That spaghetti doesnt look brown it looks great which brand are you using and Ill give it a go? Im 47 and have massively gone off meat too although do still like the odd steak and chips! But know exactly what you mean about feeling sorry for animals as you get older. Problem is Im always buying Tofu and then throwing it out. Thanks for posting this deffo going to give it a try X
I think this pasta is Mr Bionic? Mr Organic?
I see the sense in this. But no refined sugar? None at all? How do you live without biscuits?!
I occasionally eat a digestive…
I know you’re right about portion control, but 30g? Doesn’t that just taunt you? 100g is where it’s at…
nope, 30g is fine
I thought I was being abstemious having 50g!
My husband can literally eat a 500g bag. It is remarkable.
I’m still on the no-fat gallstones diet. I am so sick of vegan tagine.
30g of pasta! I think I’ve just worked out how to make my husband cry.
On a serious note you are right though, I hit 40 at the end of last year and have been battling to keep my weight down for the last year or so, despite not changing my diet or exercise levels. Latest accessory in the battle is a bloody fitbit.
MrsV past 30, then past 35 then past 40 it’s just fucking WAR trying to keep the weight off… it’s nothing you’re doing wrong
love this. the gaia bag blog spoke to me in volumes. and h&m is my ultimate indulgance – ‘sort by new arrivals’. I wrote a blog about their wonderfulness a while back based on the amount i return to shops and varying return policies (Zara’s is pitiful but there are loopholes.) love and envy in equal measure how often you blog. am crap. must try harder. x
It should never feel like a chore! I usually wait for inspiration to strike, which means service is a bit patchy but I’ve been doing it for so long now – TEN YEARS ARGH – that I feel like I can skip a week and readers don’t mind x
Esther … Whilst I muchly admire your iron willpower and determination, unfortunately this is my world … have a shitty day at work dealing with knob heads. Hour journey home with smelly, unmentionable humans. Jump in shower to get rid of smell of said humans and public transport. Pour large drink. Starving. Shove 100000g of paste/rice down my throat, to my intense shame eating far more than my husband, finishing off with half a packet of After Eights. Repeat until weekend when I can claw back some self restraint. Problem is I’m not really overweight (surprisingly) and my husband isn’t that bothered if I get a bit porky. No incentive at all.
In that case Julie, fuck it x
Jo R says
Just cooked this, yum. I had small portion and husband had huge one. Went down a treat x
Decorators in, it was going to be one of those takeaway evenings but there was no consistent view as to what was the preferred takeaway, no-one volunteered, cba, to pick one up. Drummed this up in no time and it will be one of those great standby meals. Like the idea of anchovies as an addition. Thanks!
Bit late in the day to this but have had it twice in last two weeks. Have to admit I had slightly more than 30g pasta and used a 50/50 brand but it is absolutely delicious and is now going to be my standby dish for when husband is out. Great way of using up courgettes. And whizzing up breadcrumbs in big batch and keeping them in freezer saves a lot of hassle and they crunch up fine from frozen. Thanks! Kx