As many of you would know, I am following along with the 31 Days to a Better Diet challenge over at Limes & Lycopene at the moment. As well as trying to improve my diet, I am also attempting to get fitter and shed some excess kilos. Since it is Winter and the horrible Melbourne weather does nothing to make me want to go outside, I got a Wii Fit for my recent birthday and have been using that. Getting on that for 30-60 minutes a day is much easier than trying to get outside when it is raining or when I am busy all day and only have time to exercise at night. Obviously it would be better to be getting out in the fresh air to exercise, but at least the Wii Fit is getting my fitness levels up a little before I head out into the open world when it starts getting warmer. My favourites are step aerobics, rythym boxing and hula hoops, but I also do some jogging, yoga and muscle exercises everyday.
Each day the Wii Fit gets you to do a body test which involves balance activities and it calculating your BMI which is a measure of weight according to height. The progress has been slow, but seeing my weight each day and being more aware of the fact that I am overweight (which most people don't believe when I tell them) has helped me to make better decisions about what I am eating. There has been so much going on in my life emotionally this year that I have fallen into a trap of telling myself "my life is so crappy, I deserve (insert treat food here)". But really, I owe it to myself to get a hold on those treat foods because they aren't so much treats anymore!
I will have another progress report for the Better Diet Challenge in the next few days, but in the meantime here are a couple of healthy recipes that I have fallen in love with over the last couple of weeks.
Carrot Spaghetti Serves 1
This first one was recommended to me last week by a friend on a mail swap website I participate in, who originally got it off Veg Web. The carrot is the spaghetti! It isn't a sauce for pasta, it is an alternative to pasta. Now you all know I have nothing against carbohydrates, but this quirky dish just made me want to make it. And make it I did - the day after she sent it to me! (and have made it again since) I absolutely love it. It is quick and suprisingly tasty considering there isn't much to it and there are 4 serves of vegetables in each bowl. Obviously it isn't doing anything for your vegetable variety, but as long as you aren't eating it every night it can still help to boost your vegie intake.
Wash 3 carrots and peel into long, thin strips. Sprinkle with 1/4tsp salt. Finely dice 1/2 brown onion and crush 2 garlic cloves.
Coat the bottom of a large pan with 3Tbsp olive oil, heat on medium high heat and add carrots when hot. Toss frequently until softened. Add onions and garlic along with a little black pepper and continue tossing until carrots are cooked and some are browned around the edges, onions and garlic are golden. Serve with 1/4C tomato based pasta sauce.
Vegetable frittata Serves 4
I've always been a fan of frittatas for the fact that you can pack heaps of vegies into them and they are always so tasty. This one is from the September issue of Super Food Ideas Magazine and I pretty much made it as it was written this time, except that I baked it in a baking dish because I made it at Aarons and he doesn't have an oven proof frying pan. Of course you can substitute your favourite vegies or whatever you have on hand, that is the beauty of frittatas! Sorry, no photo, my camera batteries died while I was down there.
Heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy based, ovenproof frying pan over low heat. Add 2 thinly sliced brown onions and cook, string occasionally for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, preheat grill on medium and place 6 slices pancetta on a baking tray. Grill for 1-2 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Break into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add 1/4C roughly chopped basil leaves & 1/4C roughly chopped parsley leaves and toss to combine.
Whisk 8 eggs & 1/2C finely grated parmesan cheese together in a jug. Season with salt & pepper.
Increase pan heat to medium-high. Add 2 medium zucchini, roughly chopped & 200g sliced button mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Arrange 250g halved cherry tomatoes and pancetta over zucchini mixture and pour egg mixture over the top. Reduce heat to low and cook for 7-8 minutes or until almost set. Place under hot grill and cook for 5 minutes or until set and lightly golden. (If you don't have an ovenproof frying pan transfer everything to a baking dish before pouring eggs over and put straight into the oven on about 180C.)
Set aside for 2 minutes, loosen with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Cut into wedges to serve.