Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week 10 of the 12 Week Challenge & a Recipe for Creamy Pasta with Asparagus

Sometimes I don't know what we are supposed to eat... cut the trans fats, the sat fats, the carbs, the sugar,  don't cook your veggies... umm really???? 
Everything in moderation. Make it your motto. Practice it. 
We are going to moderate our meat this week and throughout the rest of the challenge. Meat is one of the highest sources of sat fats in our diet. Cutting down on meat portions is a great way to cut down on the saturated fats without cutting out the protein and satisfying that need for meat.  The recommended portion size of meat is usually  3-4 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards. Now think, how big is the steak you ate last night? I am willing to bet it was bigger than the size of a deck of cards. ;)

Cutting down on meat intake not only reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer, it also cuts down on your grocery bill! Yay for saving some money! Think about it, a pound of ground beef is about 4 bucks. B/S chicken breasts are usually around $4 a pound. I can go on and on. But you buy groceries. You know how expensive it can be! A can of beans will cost you about 99 cents and provide just as much protein in a healthier form! 
 The first part of the challenge is to cut down on meat portions overall. The second part is Meatless Monday. Google it for tons of great recipes. I added one that I made up on a whim this week. I had not thawed any meat so I grabbed some random stuff from the fridge and prayed that it turned out! In about 20 minutes I had a meatless meal that was totally satisfying and so yummy! I included that recipe!  By the way, your meatless meal does not have to be on Mondays. It can be any day of the week, Meatless Monday just sounds neat! 
Another benefit is that you often add more veggies into your diet when cutting down on meat. 

I don't cut out all animal products (milk, cheese, etc) in Meatless Mondays, just meat. I also don't count eggs as a meat, because their not. :) 
Try oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch. Here is the recipe for dinner! :) 

Creamy Pasta with Asparagus
1box Ronzoni Garden Delight Fettuccine
1 lb or so Asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cups half and half
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (could use garlic powder)
Basil (fresh use about 1/8 cup chopped. Dried use about 1 tsp or so)
A few grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters. 
mozzarella cheese

1. Begin by boiling your pasta according to the directions on the box. (Cook, drain, rinse)
2. Bring a few cups of water to a boil, then add asparagus, cook for 3-4 minutes, drain.
3. Melt your butter over medium heat in a skillet. 
4. Add half and half and garlic. Bring to a boil while stirring intermittently.
5. Boil sauce for 3 minutes being careful not to scorch it. 
6. Add the onion and asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add your pasta, toss or stir to cover.
8. Add the basil and tomatoes. Remove from heat.
9. Season with salt and pepper and top with some mozzarella cheese. 

Side note: I like the garden pasta with this because it adds a layer of flavor and the pasta is made from veggies! 

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