Most people get in shape right before summer and stay that way. They eat salads. Fruit. Smoothies. They exercise harder, and more often. It is, after all, bikini season, and we must look good.
But I am not most people. I eat more. I drink more. I have less time to exercise.
For me, summer is all about DOING. I’m always bouncing around from happy hour or dinner on most weeknights. There are weddings with hors d’oeuvres and cake (and I don’t even like cake that much!) I can’t say no to. There are weekend vacations where all I want to do is go out to eat. There are Friday afternoons after work when all I want to do is go sit on a patio, have a cocktail and snack on some nachos or mini corn dogs. There are baseball games where I eat my weight in hot dogs. There are screened-in porch nights where Kevin and I grill brats and hamburgers while sipping on ice-cold beers and snacking on cheese, salami and crackers.
Basically, I’m constantly eating.
In the past, I’ve always gotten into great shape right as summer begins and then kind of lose interest the deeper we get into the season. By the time August rolls around, I’m five pounds heavier, and not feeling so great about lying at the pool in a bikini.
This year, I don’t want to let that happen. I started on a slippery with my eating and exercise habits during our May trip, always finding an excuse to skip my exercise routine or eat like a pig night after night. So from now on, I’m going to do my best to eat relatively healthy most of the time. Weekdays will be full of light dinners, smoothies for lunch and heart-healthy eggs or avocado toast for breakfast. I will exercise at least three days a week. I will not let summer get me like I have in the past.
I’ve been on a roll lately with lighter dinners –these Strawberry Chicken Burgers were to-die-for, this Swordfish Souvlaki didn’t make me feel like a blimp after I was done eating, and these salmon sliders with peanut sauce, well, those, I’m still dreaming about.
So last week, Kevin was out of town for a few days for work, I took it upon myself to whip up a quick and healthy dinner instead of breaking out all my secret food vices like Kraft mac and cheese or pasta-roni as I normally would.
After I pretty much perfected the above peanut sauce to my taste, I’ve been inclined to slather the stuff on just about everything. I’d been craving peanut noodles of some sort for months, so I decided to go that route, but to keep it super light, I skipped the traditional noodle and broke out the spiralizer my Mom got me for Easter instead. While the spiralizer is not something I use that often, it’s definitely a nice change every once in a while when I’m feeling a little over served in the food department.
The recipe is simple; chopped red peppers, snow peas, bean sprouts, green onins and shredded carrots are stir-fried in a little bit of olive oil until they’re slightly cooked, but still very crisp.. The zucchini noodles are also sautéed in a little bit of olive oil until they’re softened (you might need to drain out any liquid that accumulates since zucchini has a high moisture content). The veggies are added back in along with the peanut sauce, simmered for just a few minutes and then the whole dish is topped off with chopped peanuts and little more green onion for garnish.
Here’s a little tip, if you’re only cooking for one or two people, the salad bar at the grocery store is going to be your best friend. There, you can get pretty much any produce ingredient in a small quantity you need to whip up an amazing (cheap!) meal. For this particular dish, I picked up some sliced red peppers, snow peas, shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, pre-chopped green onions and bean sprouts from the salad bar next to my work for a whopping $3.00; buying each ingredient separately would have probably run me about $10. And this doesn’t just work for this particular meal, I do this for everything from stir-fry to soups, just load up on all the ingredients you can at the salad bar and then snatch up whatever else you need in the other parts of the store. Dinner made easy.
Hope you guys have a great Monday!
Asian noodles made with zucchini, instead of pasta, and tossed in the MOST delicious peanut sauce.
- 3 zucchini
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup sliced green onion
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 1 batch peanut sauce
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- Using a spiralizer, cut the squash into linguini sized noodles, it should be the second biggest blade. Cut into linguini length using kitchen shears.
- In a large non-stick pan or seasoned wok, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil to a high heat. Add carrots, red pepper and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for two minutes, until slightly softened, but still crisp. Remove from pan.
- Add one more teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Heat to a medium-high. Add zucchini noodles, stir-fry until softened, about 4-5 minutes. When softened, drain out any additional liquid.
- Add veggies, 1/3 cup green onion and peanut sauce back to the pan. Stir-fry anther 2-3 minutes.
- Granish with chopped peanuts and remaining green onion.