…Or I may as well simplify it to just “veggie bowl,” because that’s what it mostly contains. In any case, I started a search for foods low in carbs but high in protein and fats. I’m not strictly following the Keto diet—or any diet, apart from anything that will help me lose a stubborn 1.5 pounds. As part of my never-ending journey toward better health and improved fitness VS. sweet-tooth attacks and hectic schedules, I joined Joanna Soh’s DietBet challenge to help keep myself in-check during the holiday season. Which, for me, also includes a birthday, and having a chocolate cake plus pumpkin and apple pies sitting in my fridge is a Real Challenge. It’s torture, whenever the thoughts spring up.
For the most part, I don’t think there is anything too incredibly unhealthy about my natural inclination toward food. Which is to say that I actually love healthy foods! I’m not exactly stern, either, or even particular, about various diets, foods, brands, organic or nonorganic, and so on. As long as I don’t grab a bag of Lays and call it dinner, I think I’m good. I hardly eat out, and the only times I end up gorging on junk food is when I’m drowning in a stress pool that’s up to my eyeballs. The latter, unfortunately, happens a lot during school. Especially when I take intensive courses with equally intense instructors—much like the one I have coming up this January. I’ll be damned if I come out of this course 10 pounds heavier than I came in with, just like I did with the last three classes I took. I’m still trying to lose those pounds; not add to them.
And that brings me back to my zoodle veggie bowl. While I am tirelessly trying to lose a pound and a half for DietBet this week, I’m also looking for healthier go-to meals to turn to next month. Things will become crazy: multiple all-nighters pulled in the same week, entire days spent in the lab just to study, crying, screaming, head-desking, memorizing 12 pages of nervous system facts and respective body locations in two weeks, trying not to completely die from weekly test-cramming… The list goes on, and with those comes the urge to make the easiest, quickest foods, and I don’t want to fall victim to that cycle again.
Like I said, I
am was on the hunt for Keto-esque foods… But not to a tee. I ended up tossing nutrition labels aside and went for foods that I know I love and are good for me. They’re also not high in carbs! Apart from that, I decided not to care too much with the amount of protein and fat, as I don’t believe myself to be deficient on either of the two—although it’s the main reason for adding two of the ingredients.
Here’s what came of my adventure in the produce department:
Chicken and olives, of course. Chicken is a great source of protein, but the olives here—I’m sure—don’t add a great number of healthy fat per single serving. But I love olives, so I had to have them. I also love tomatoes and will add them to almost everything! Naturally it was one of the first things I considered mixing in, ’cause I have to have my tomato dose. Also added to the mix: broccoli, peas, carrots, zoodles, and a serving of Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing.
I steamed the broccoli for close to five minutes, simultaneously cooking the zucchini noodles on the skillet until tender. Zoodles are by far my favorite pasta alternative, by the way. Just one zucchini holds significantly fewer calories and carbs than a serving of pasta! You can make zoodles using a spiralizer; unlucky me, however, can’t find mine, so I used a peeler instead. Shh. You can also be shh about my peas and carrots, because they came out from the darkness of a can. When it comes to fresh VS. canned VS. frozen, I have my veggie preferences—anything but frozen, but preferably fresh. Canned? I don’t mind it, but most foods taste a little nicer when “fresh,” I think.
After all was made and done, I couldn’t help myself and—even though I said I wouldn’t—I added some of my much-loved Newman’s Own dressing. Here’s where my mom had to let her opinion be known: “Dressing? Like a salad dressing. That’s weird. I don’t get it. Ew.”
It’s okay, mom. You don’t need to get it.
- One zucchini, peeled or spiralized
- 1/2 C baked chicken flavored with lemon juice and pepper
- 1/2 C peas and chopped carrots, cooked
- 1 C steamed broccoli
- Diced tomato
- Black olives (I added four)
- 2 TBSP Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger
Weird or not, I loved this. It’s healthy,
I think it tastes good—it looks good—and it’s filling. Ooh. I ticked off so many good points with this one that I might end up eating it all week.