Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Introducing Cate Nolan (almost) Healthy Writer



Hello Yankee Belles.

Another Yank here. You know me here as Mary Curry because I’ve been visiting and guest posting since the beginning. But today let me introduce my better self - Cate Nolan. Cate writes for Love Inspired Suspense and has a debut coming out in October. But more about her and that then.

This is now and today is another debut of sorts. My debut as the Wednesday regular on Yankee Belle.

I don’t have a cute nickname like the other ladies. I’m just trying to be a healthier eater. Several years ago, I did a weekly blog on a site called Healthy Writer. Since that’s what I aspire to be, maybe I’ll just stick with that name - Cate the Healthy Writer.

It's not an easy path getting to be a healthy writer.  You all know about the struggle on the writing end, but the healthy end is tough too when the foods that call your name list flour, butter and sugar as the main ingredients. 

Yes, I’m the one who introduced Ruthy to my favorite French patisserie in Manhattan.  Their website says: 

We hope you'll visit one of our shops, sip a cappuccino, enjoy a flaky, freshly-baked croissant, and stay awhile. 
"Vivre Délicieusement!"

Makes for a happy, but not so healthy writer.

I liked being a healthy writer. I lost 30 pounds while following the tips I posted on that blog. It’s time to rediscover that alter ego and get back to the healthy habits I craved. Because that’s the part I find so interesting. When I really stick to the healthy eating, I stop craving all those delicious baked goods. 

Almost. 

The cravings become manageable at first and then little by little I stop thinking of chocolate croissants and cookies and pies.  I begin to really prefer fresh blueberries by the handful to blueberry pie laden with sugar and a buttery crumb topping. *cue sobs

Okay, confession time. I tempted myself too much writing that so I got up and got a snickerdoodle to have with my coffee.

SEE! I need an intervention.

But school is still in session so I haven’t committed to my big change to healthy yet. Think of that snickerdoodle. Did I mention the rootbeer float?  (It’s been a very stressful year.)

 

This is my mantra right now.
By next Wednesday school will be mostly over and I vow I will be back on my healthy bandwagon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share one of my favorite, tasty concessions to healthy eating - substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti.



Saturday night is traditionally pasta night in our house and the biggest decision is usually whether it will be spaghetti or ziti (or maybe lasagna). So what’s a gal to do if she doesn’t want to eat all that pasta?
(An aside – I love pasta. I just don’t love how it makes me feel.  A Sicilian friend of mine told me it makes her feel depressed.  So, why eat it?  Generally because it’s easier to go along than to make another meal entirely.

Do you do that? Eat something you don’t really want because you’re making it for the family?)

I’ve tried substituting artichoke pasta and I do love that.



But there’s something I’ve come to love better -  spaghetti squash. When I made the ziti for my husband, I reserved a bit of the meat sauce. Then, while the ziti baked, I baked my squash.


Have you ever forked a spaghetti squash? It’s really kind of cool.
You just remove the seeds and pulp and then pull out the strands of squash with a fork.



I added some fresh arugula to my sauce, poured it on top of the “spaghetti” and sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on top. (It tastes REALLY good if you smother it with mozzarella.  See my problem? *sigh*)



I have to admit – I like it as much as – if not more than – the spaghetti. And it’s really easy. But it is more expensive to buy the squash than a cheap box of spaghetti. 

Do you eat spaghetti squash? Have any recipes to share?

But more importantly, am I alone? Am I the only one who would really rather eat bread and cake and cookies than a meal?


Next week look for me to being more committed to actual healthy foods minus all the temptations!





30 comments:

  1. BLOGGER ATE MY THREE PARAGRAPH COMMENT!!!! AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they have it on a diet and it's sneaking anything it can find. It ate mine yesterday. Today I was wise and copied the comment first.

      Maybe Blogger ate my scheduled post too since it didn't post when it was supposed to.

      Delete
  2. Hi Mary. Guess what we had for dinner last night? Spaghetti with spaghetti squash. I love it. Because of the shape of the squash, you think you are eating those delightful noodles that really have no taste, so what's the difference? Besides no calories or gluten or carbs. YAY

    Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, I'm curious about the texture of yours. For years I've bought it and it ended up kind of mushy. But the last few had really great texture noodles.

      Delete
  3. I was applauding trying to be healthy... while admitting sometimes I just have to have cookies! Or pastries. And how much I love to stop at Financier in Manhattan!!!! I love going to Manhattan, and yes, this country girl could live there. Give me a room to write, Starbucks on occasion and Financier and the seaport, I'm good to go.

    I could live there in a heartbeat, but I'd have to come back to the country now and again, just to see GREEN!!!!!

    My other thought is a village bungalow, a Craftsman style house.

    That's a writer's retreat, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about a writer's retreat at the beach? Ocean waves, campfires, laptops set up on the porch where the ocean breezes cool us....
      I'll bring the pastries from Financier.

      Delete
  4. Welcome Mary/Cate!! We're so glad you joined us!

    Yes, I've done the spaghetti squash before and really liked it! I used to order it at Ruby Tuesday as well (I think. Or maybe it was Applebee's).

    Since someone on here recommended Dreamfield's pasta, I've been buying that. (Although there's a class action suit against them for the claims they make on the packaging about low glycemic index!). I also buy whole wheat pasta even though I don't like it as well. I figure I need the fiber. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I was thinking I was being so original. ;)

      I've never seen it in a restaurant though. That's cool.

      Delete
  5. Welcome, Mary. Er, Cate. Oh heck, welcome Mary Cate! :)

    Spaghetti squash is one of those things I keep saying I'm going to try, but have yet to do it. Dreamfield's has been my go-to lately, regardless of any silly lawsuits. I works for me and I like it, so pooh on those who seek to destroy such a wonderful company.

    Okay, so you might have convinced me to finally try spaghetti squash. IF I can remember to actually buy one. Will keep you posted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mindy, I've never tried Dreamfield's. I've seen it in the store but I never bought it. I like the artichoke one - it tastes basically the same as regular pasta and the artichoke flour is supposed to be healthier.

      Delete
  6. Sigh. And here's me just having whipped up a batch of chocolate/M&Ms cookies...but I'm giving most of them away...if I stop eating them. LOL

    As silly as it sounds, I have never made spaghetti squash. That will be a summer foodie goal. I think part of the reason is because I live alone and I don't think it would save well, would it? Sometimes it's hard to cook for just one person.

    Just made another batch of the Cranberry Walnut Chickpea salad. Yummers! I'm addicted. So glad you shared that recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kav, I just did that too!!! I have a soccer game tonight for Emma, my 9 year old granddaughter, and Grammy must bring cookies! Family tradition!!!

      Delete
    2. Kav, spaghetti squash freezes really nice. I make a big batch of spaghetti and cook up a whole squash. What we don't eat goes in a corningware or glad bowl and into the freezer for a healthy quick dinner when on the run.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Sandra for answering. Yes, Kav. I have frozen it and it was great to eat either reheated or thawed and chilled.

      Cookies sound GREAT to me right about now!

      Delete
    4. Oh -- thanks for the tip, Sandra and Mary. I didn't know you could do that and with the sauce it would be like a healthy frozen dinner. Excellent!

      Delete
  7. Welcome Mary/Cate, (I like Mindy's take on your name!)

    Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites! But I don't use it as a substitute for pasta very often. I love it all on it's own, but I'll have to try it again the next time I make spaghetti for the family. I have a squash sitting on my kitchen counter right now, waiting to be baked off.

    Once it's cooked, you can do almost anything with it. One of my favorites is sauteed with a bit of butter and some onion and garlic. It makes a great side dish. :)

    We're so glad you've joined us "in the kitchen" at the cafe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the squash by itself too. I'll try it with onion and garlic. Sounds yummy.

      Delete
  8. I will confess that I cannot substitute anything for good pasta. I use Barilla, I don't eat pasta often, but I love it and I can't give up everything.

    It is sooooooo good!!!!!! It's my favorite pasta.

    But like Jan, I love spaghetti squash and all kinds of squashes as is. They're soooooo delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree taste-wise, but if I do it too often, the feeling is not pretty. :(

      Delete
    2. Ruthy, I've seen this fabulous bruschetta type thing made on zucchini that I'm ready to try.

      Delete
  9. What a poor hostess I turned out to be on my first day on the job. I can only plead the insanity of the 2nd to last day of school for the children. Not a free minute anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were you? What did you do that was wrong? We're not picky here. We just love food, recipe swaps, dieting tips, and writerly observations.
      You did JUST GRAND, Mary/Cate.

      Delete
    2. I agree! We get by here when we can. :) Happy second to last day!

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Virginia and Missy. I just felt like I was missing all day. The good part of that was I wasn't eating all day either. But I made up for it when I got home.

      Zucchini pizza. YUM!

      Delete
  10. Gang's all here for your debut! The only person we're missing is Julie... and I'm just going to imagine her typing, typing, typing away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She shared my FB post about Mary's post, so she's with us in spirit. :)

      Delete
  11. Sounds like a great recipe, Cate the Healthy Writer! I need to eat more veggies like squash (root veggies?) Right now, I've just been eating frozen broccoli, etc. cuz it's easy for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Preslaysa, it's great to see you here!

      Delete
    2. Hi Preslaysa,

      I love root veggies! My daughter introduced me to using them more often. I've become quite the fan of beets. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete