On the Menu: Low Carb Pasta and Baked Zucchini Fries

I made a mistake last week.  We are in the midst of testing season at school which means the daily schedule is put in blender and spit back out.  As a result, I ended up with 3 days last week with no lunch period, meaning I had to attempt to eat (two hours past my normal lunch time) while speed-teaching 22 minute classes.  The mistake?  I packed a high-fiber, voluminous lunch with lots of beans, greens, and cauliflower that my body didn’t like ingesting rapidly and my palate did not enjoy cold.

I’m learning.  We have another round of testing this week and I am packing a lower-fiber spread that will be fine if I do not have access to the microwave.  My stomach is breathing a sigh of relief.

Black Bean Pasta With Raw Marinara

As a gluten-free gal, I had pretty much given up on ever being able to eat pasta again that wasn’t loaded with simple carbs and entirely devoid of protein.  Then I found this hiding on the bottom shelf in a local health food store.  I brought it home, a bit dubious that the texture and flavor would be as good as the nutritional profile (17 g carbs and 20 g protein!!!).  I mixed up a quick pesto sauce in my food processor, cooked the pasta, and tossed it together.  It. Was. Amazing.  It felt right in the mouth, tasted great, and filled me up like only protein can.

A few days later, I went back to the store to buy more of the mung bean fettuccine and to pick up the black bean spaghetti.  The shelves were empty:(  Panicked (I NEEDED this stuff now), I visited my Amazon site. Placed an order.  Several days later, I received an email that they were sold out.  Not one to give up easily, I found another site that carries the pastas.  I received my first order of the black bean spaghetti last week and I am excited to try it in this week’s recipe.

I needed a sauce that would be good cold and I wanted something different than the pesto I used earlier.  I decided to try the marinara recipe from here, but I added onion, garlic, and mushrooms.  What?  I said I had to be able to eat quickly; I never said anything about my breath having to smell nice:)  I topped the spaghetti with a vegan “cheese” made of walnuts and nutritional yeast for a little extra yum and a little extra protein.

Pasta.  $6  Tomatoes.  $3  The look of utter horror on my students’ faces when they see me eating black pasta with red sauce.  Priceless.

Baked Zucchini Fries

This is another recipe from Lean, Luscious, and Meatless, my favorite book from childhood that has disappeared from print.

4 zucchini, end cut off and sliced longwise into 1/8″ slices

dip these into a mixture of flax seed (the cookbook uses wheatgerm, but that whole gluten thing gets in the way), garlic powder, paprika, and oregano

Arrange cut side up on a cookie sheet and bake at 450° for 15 minutes.  Extra yummy served with tomato sauce.


A bonus of this week’s meal?  It’s quick to prepare, leaving me with plenty of time to read Fifty Shades of Grey, a reading assignment from a coworker.

I’ll top this off with some strawberries and a protein shake that can be quickly downed discretely.  Here’s to a happier tummy and the last week of testing!


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