Sunday, May 3, 2009

One Little Move Is All It Takes

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.

6 comments:

  1. Yee-ouch! Hate it when there is no rhyme nor reason for hurting yourself - hope your back feels better quickly!

    I am intrigued by this lentil spaghetti recipe and the ingredients are on my grocery list - I'll let you know how it turns out!

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  2. I like lentils, especially the pretty orange ones, so I bet I'd like the pasta dish.

    If collard greens are too strong, try spinach. I love it with black-eyes peas, onion, and garlic. In the past I've served it over rice, but I bet it would be good on spaghetti squash.

    ~Shelley S.

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  3. Sorry about your pulled muscle--25 lb weights!!

    How in the world do you shred a butternut squash? You do that when it's raw? I find them hard to even cut through then. I love the idea of using them as a replacement pasta though. We love spaghetti squash, but it doesn't offer the depth of flavor that butternut could.

    Let us know about how the collards were. I love them with pepper vinegar. I'm intrigued by the breadcrumb part. I can't cook them the way my mom does--boiling them forever--because they stink to high heaven. I've seen recipes for sauteeing them, though, like spinach and I want to try that, even though Mom says she thinks they would be "tough."

    You probably ate the okra boiled, right? If it's soft the first time you eat it, it's not very appealing. My sister and I thought it was cactus the first time my mom gave it to us! And we thought she was poisoning us!

    But now I love it. . .problem is the best way to get used to it is to eat it fried! You can do this in the oven. . . cut the okra in little cylinders, coat with cornmeal and salt and pepper, spray with lots of cooking spray, and put in a 425 oven turning and coating with more cooking spray until it's brown and crispy. It won't be sticky at all that way.

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  4. (you KNOW I love the Walmart and would love to have accompanied you!)

    how are you feeling this morning??

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  5. Lynn - I really liked the lentil spaghetti!

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  6. Hi,
    You have a great routine, I also want to follow this like you. Thanks for the nice post.

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