With Spring knocking on our doors, I bet many of us are thinking about dreaded swim suit season. I was just talking with my girlfriends about finally donating my 'skinny' clothes, since I hadn't worn them in almost 3 yrs. For me being skinny was a double edged sword. My family always knew how active my Crohn's disease was, due to what size I was wearing. If I was skinny, I was having a major flare up, which meant I was hardly eating, and in constant pain. For the past 3 yrs, after my latest operation and my new ostomy, I've been feeling normal and healthy again. And boy can my family tell, LOL. Though I'm not proud of being over weight, I am happy that I am finally able to live my life again. No more pain, so debilitating that all I could do is lay on the couch with heating pads and wishes of being able to live a normal life.
But feeling well hasn't been all it's cracked up to be. For almost 17 yrs, I had to watch what I ate, or hardly eat at all. Being hungry was better than being in pain. Once the pain was gone, eating became pleasurable again, but I never put into account that my body had become accustomed to eating so little. Slowly the pounds started to stick and though I am eating a healthy diet (mixed with indulgences), I need to focus on making changes that will help me be able to enjoy food and reduce my weight. That's where FRESH & HEALTHY DASH DIET COOKING, by Andrea Lynn and Matt Kadey, comes in. Originally developed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a flexible and balanced eating plan designed for a healthy lifestyle. This diet is most effective for weight loss because it is easy to follow and incredibly nutritious (not to mention DELICIOUS).
When I first got this book to review, I was interested to see what sorts of recipes would be in it. Many weight loss books ask you to eat strange foods, that let's face it, many of us don't eat. I LOVE that this book is full of super healthy recipes, that use everyday ingredients that real people will have in their fridges and pantries. Choosing what recipe to share with you guys was difficult, not because nothing appealed to me, but because I've marked off so many recipes to make. I went with this pasta recipe because my kids love shrimp, in any shape way or form, so I knew it would be a hit. This recipe is super easy to put together. Dinner will literally be on the table in under 30 minutes! It comes together in a snap and it is extremely delicious. I did make 1 change and that was to season the shrimp with some Pampered Chef All Purpose Dill Mix, which we all loved. I also threw some chopped asparagus in with the pasta, for it's final minutes of cooking. Everything was delicious and we really enjoyed the light lemony sauce that coated the pasta, shrimp and asparagus. A great recipe for Spring, and a great way to start your journey to a healthier you!
Fettuccine with Lemon Shrimp
adapted from FRESH & HEALTHY DASH DIET COOKING
1 lb whole grain fettuccine
3 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 (16oz) bag of frozen uncooked shrimp, thawed
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make the lemon sauce: In a medium bowl, combine 3 Tbs of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cheese. Set aside. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 1/4 C pasta water, return the pasta to the pot, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and keep hot.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper (and Pampered Chef All Purpose Dill seasoning if using). Heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs olive oil in a large saute pan, or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and garlic and saute until the shrimp is pink, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the reserved pasta and pasta water to the pan with the shrimp along with the lemon sauce, stirring to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
DO THE DASH Shrimp are one of the few foods that contain a decent amount of vitamin D. On top of its bone-building efficiency, vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of several diseases like certain cancers and heart disease.
SHOPPING TIP When possible, select farmed or wild caught shrimp from North America which is a more sustainable choice than the imported shrimp which is currently dominates the market.
This post linked to
What's Cookin' Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Talkin About Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things