I was feeling fabulous yesterday after 30 minutes on the elliptical. Sweaty and pumped with energy, I picked up my 25-pound weight and started my ab routine. Right side, no problem. Left side, on rep #12, something in my back snapped and I could barely straighten up. My form was fine, but something was bunched up back there that caused my lats to spasm. I guess no matter how strong your core is, back muscles are complicated and one little move is all it takes to get you sitting in a chair with the heating pad.
Oh well, I’ll baby it a bit, go about my day a little slower, and think about happy things like Hearty Lentil Spaghetti. My friend Sharon found this recipe in Cooking Light several years ago. It is so tasty I could eat it by itself, but I pair it with shredded butternut squash and some parmesan cheese. Here’s the recipe:
Hearty Lentil Spaghetti
Makes 5 cups: 2 Points for 1/2-cup serving
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1½ C dried lentils, rinsed
4 C vegetable broth
½ t pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
1 can (14½ oz) Italian diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes in oregano and basil)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 t white vinegar
3 t Italian seasonings (or 1½ t each basil and oregano)
In large saucepan coated with non-stick spray, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, pepper and cayenne and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Stir in tomatoes, paste, vinegar, and herbs. Return to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes.
I serve this with whole wheat spaghetti for Larry. For me, I shred 6 ounces of butternut squash, put it in a fry pan coated with Pam, add some minced onions and garlic powder, and cook it like hash browns. Then I throw it over the lentil mix and add 2 T of parmesan cheese for a total of 3½ Points for the serving. Of course if you use pasta, there are additional Points.
Also on today’s menu is a collard greens/black eyed peas recipe. I’ve had neither collard greens or black eyed peas before, even though my husband grew up in the south. I trusted him when he said I’d like okra (ummm…that would be a big NO), so I didn’t believe him when he said I’d like collard greens and black eyed peas. However, in my pursuit of new recipes, I’ve decided to give it a try. Besides, the recipe I’m using calls for Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and hot sauce. I can mask any unpleasant flavors with those three ingredients! Except probably okra. *shudder*
My back is up to a trip to WalMart. I know, you’re terribly jealous and wish you could come along. Sorry to keep that thrill all to myself. Try the lentil spaghetti and let me know if that’s not thrilling enough for you.