What’s up with all the crazy fad diets out there? One minute carbs are good. The next they’re the devil. Fat is your friend. Fat is your arch-enemy. Protein is the key to losing weight, therefore adding even more protein is the key to losing the most weight. Gluten-free is the best road to optimum health. Don’t eat protein before noon, and then, only eat protein for the rest of the day. And of course one can’t forget the craziest of them all (and I apologize to anyone who has ever gone on this diet, but seriously, it’s whack), the Master Cleanse diet which consists of only consuming a liquid concoction containing water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Yeah, that seems totally logical. The “scientists” behind this one claim that it helps the body to cleanse itself from every day toxins that build up in the body’s system and that it’s the fastest, most effective and organic(?) method of losing toxic body fat in the form of excess weight. I’m not sure where that research was conducted (CrazyLand perhaps) but I definitely don’t buy into this diet one bit. Granted, one will lose weight going on the Master Cleanse, so that claim is actually true. But that’s only because a person is pretty much starving his/herself during that first week of the diet due to consuming fewer than 800 calories a day. One could eat 600 calories of Oreos a day for a week and lost weight as long as that’s all he/she is eating. Come on people! Whatever happened to just eating real food, moderate amounts of it, and not going on some crazy diet that’s guaranteed to be quick fix but obviously can’t be sustained over a long period of time? I may not have taken away everything I was taught during those 4 (or was it 6) years at the Universidad studying nutrition, but I did learn a thing or two about food and diet and overall health. And one of those is that there is no quick fix. There is no secret pill that will magically melt away fat. And that if it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.
Okay, that’s enough of my little soapbox rant for the day. If you don’t agree with me, that’s totally fine. That’s the fun thing about having your own blog. It’s your forum for voicing your opinion and others can either take it or leave it. And honestly, I’d love to hear your opinion on it. Especially since I can’t guarantee my little rants on diets and nutrition won’t happen again. In the meantime, though, what I can guarantee is that I will continue to post wonderfully delicious recipes containing real, whole foods that shouldn’t be considered “off limits” to anyone because of some wacko diet they’re currently on. And on that note, I have a really tasty recipe for you today that not only contains some delightful full-fat mozzarella and cottage cheeses but also some wonderful carbohydrate filled whole wheat pasta (oh no, the horrors!)
Cheesy Turkey Spaghetti
(initially this was going to be a pie, hence the name, but I cooked too much pasta to fit in the pie plate… oopsies)
16 oz package spaghetti
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lb. ground turkey breast, 99% fat-free
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
14.5 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
6 oz tomato paste
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded Mozzarella cheese
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13″ casserole dish with Pam and set aside.
2) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and combine with cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg. Mix well. Spread evenly in bottom of casserole dish and set aside.
3) Heat canola oil in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add turkey, garlic, onion and bell pepper. Cook until turkey is no longer pink and onion is softened, about 5-7 minutes.
4) Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pumpkin, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 15 minutes.
5) Pour tomato/turkey sauce over pasta and spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
6) Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella over top and allow to bake 5 minutes more.
7) Remove from oven and allow to sit 5 minutes before digging in. Holy yum-sauce! Serve with a nice salad and fresh loaf of bread and you got yourself a stellar dinner.
Definitely not part of the Master Cleanse, totally not Atkins-approved, but undeniably healthy and full of real, non-laboratory manufactured ingredients. Entirely Teeny-approved!
Well amigos, I must be leaving you now. I’m in the process of interviewing new musicians for my mariachi band and two of the young chaps have just arrived to sing-a-ma-jig.