Almost every Sunday Craig and I spend the mornings talking. One of us brews up a big pot of coffee, and we laze around and simply chat. Sometimes we talk about current events (both in the world and with our friends), we might discuss the book we’re reading or recap a show we just watched. We talk about our plans for the day, the week, the month, or when we’re 60 (we already have our retirement plan figured out, you guys. I’m going to be a realtor and Craig is going to work part-time at the Home Depot). And this past Sunday, we gabbed about one of our favorite topics: FOOD.
I grew up with a fairly healthy relationship with food. My parents never treated it as a reward, so I grew up thinking snacks and treats were just part of life–there wasn’t anything really special about an ice cream cone, because my parents let us have ice cream whenever it was appropriate. Craig is the exact opposite. He grew up in a pretty snack-free house, which means when he sees a box of cookies…he can’t eat just one. He has to eat the whole thing. This has caused some sass in our house–I may buy some Oreos to treat myself after a tough dance class, but when I get home…they’re gone. And I know the culprit (it’s never the cats, although they have been blamed multiple times).
As co-habitating adults, Craig and I make really good food choices. We keep mostly healthy food in the house, and rarely use any pre-packaged items when we cook. We usually eat homemade meals 4-5 nights a week, which is pretty good for most 20-somethings (especially busy ones). Ultimately I feel like my relationship food is a positive one–I rely on it for fuel, but also can appreciate the tastier things in life.
All this being said, Craig and I decided we would try out the keto diet. I know what a lot of you are thinking–Michelle, I have heard you say that diets are stupid at least a hundred times. And you’re right, I have said that and diets are totally dumb. For the most part, they aren’t sustainable and a lot of times you end up gaining more weight than what you’ve lost. There’s case after case about this and it’s hard to argue the facts.
So why are we giving this a whirl?
Well, like with anything in life, I think you need to make situations adaptable to what makes you happiest. So although primarily we are going to be eating the keto lifestyle, we aren’t going to be too hard on ourselves. If we want fries, we’ll eat some fries. If we want an apple for breakfast, we’ll go for it. Food should never be used to punish yourself or your body. We’re trying this eating lifestyle (that sounds better than ‘diet’, doesn’t it?) not because we’re trying to lose weight, but rather tone up the muscle we already have. If we can burn fat rather than carbs, it could be better for us in the long-run.
So now that you know the ins & outs of our current menu planning, I’d love to share with you what we enjoyed last night. I made Zucchini Noodles w/ Prosciutto and a Lemon Cream Sauce.
- 3 medium-sized zucchinis
- 3 oz cream cheese
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more for added spice)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package of prosciutto (typically 8 oz)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
First, you’ll need to prepare your zucchini noodles. This is super easy for me because I was gifted a spiralizer for my birthday, and it makes it a breeze (I’m not sure which one it is exactly, but this one is very similar to the one I own). Once you have them julienned or spiraled, you should sweat them out. This is a technique that my bestie, Paige, taught me. This keeps the zoodles crispy when you cook them, and they don’t get all mushy & gross. Place the zoodles (I can’t say that word enough!!) in a colander and run them under some water. With the zoodles still in the colander, place the colander in a bowl. Sprinkle salt on the zoodles, then press down two kitchen towels. This will allow the zoodles to “sweat”, and you will collect some weird-looking water in that bowl by the time you’re through. After about 15-20 minutes, squeeze out the remaining moisture with those two kitchen towels. Now zoodles are ready to goooo!
While you’re letting the zoodles sweat, you can make the yummy sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium-large pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, toss in the prosciutto. Cook for about 2 minutes–don’t let it burn, just let it get nice & crispy. Then toss in your minced garlic. After about 30 seconds, you’re ready to add the cream cheese, lemon juice, and the spices mentioned in the ingredient list. Stir frequently to help the cream cheese melt.
Once the cream cheese is melted, toss in your zoodles. They should only be cooking for about 3-4 minutes, and you can combine it well with the sauce. Make sure the zoodles stay crispy–no soggy-ness around these parts!
I sprinkled mine with some parmesean cheese & a little more crushed red pepper.
You could alter this sauce by adding spinach or maybe another type of veggie, different types of meats, or even another type of smooth cheese! In order to keep it keto, make sure that it’s high in fat and low in carbs, aka cheese is your friend.
Let me know if you give this recipe a whirl, and if you have any advice for new keto folks like myself! Whether you’re being carb conscious or just want a healthy alternative to pasta, I think anyone will love this dish.