Lazy Veggie Pasta

This was a random successful experiment that somehow worked out.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplant (cut into thick slices, salted, and placed between paper towels for at least an hour)
  • 2 zucchini 
  • 1 package orzo
  • 1 cup or more canned artichokes 
  • Handful of Costco meatballs (or other frozen meatballs of your choice)
  • 1+ jar of tomato sauce (I like White Linen brand)
  • Mozzarella and parmesan to taste
  • Salt 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut up the zucchini into slices and eggplant into cubes, toss with olive oil, and spread out on a pan. Salt or garlic powder can be sprinkled on as well, at this point if desired. Bake for half an hour or until well-roasted. Set oven to 350. 
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions  (al dente) and drain. 
  3. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add oil, then meatballs and artichokes until everything is warmed. Add pasta sauce and pasta and stir, then turn off the heat and add the zucchini and eggplant and a handful of mozzarella/parmesan. Stir until well-combined. 
  4. Put cheese on top to taste and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, remove the lid, and cook for another 15 or 20 minutes. Remove, allow to cool, and serve. 
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How I Ate to Lose Weight

So a few people have asked me this question over the past few months, and I always hemmed and hawed to avoid giving a straight answer because it is complicated and mostly the answer is “I trained for, and ran, the Dopey.” However, there are a few other things I did to lose the weight (and keep it mostly off) over the course of the last couple of years.

First principle: Make everything as easy as possible because, frankly, you’re lazy.

Eat pretty much the same few things every day and you don’t have to think about what kind of calories you’re consuming. Does it get boring? Sure. Do I know exactly how many calories I’m eating without worrying about it? Yes. Do I go get Starbucks with coworkers periodically? Sure, because I know that I have wiggle room. I’ll eat whatever someone else cooked if I’m at someone else’s house, or if we go out to eat, I’ll splurge, but I keep to the same few options during the week.

Second principle: VEGETABLES.

You cannot overdo the vegetables, so eat them before you eat anything else to fill up. I eat an unholy amount of zucchini, eggplant, and Costco’s “superfood salad” which is not superfood but is tasty and easy and costs me about $5/week for a lunch that also provides me some food for my parrots. My smoothies are half spinach. My lunches are salads. My dinner is at least half veggies. It makes it a LOT easier to keep to small portions of meat or carbs if you eat a lot of vegetables first. Snacks are usually whole wheat crackers (exactly 1 serving) with some cheese, a ton of fruit (so, so many cherries) and/or a Kind bar. It will vary depending on whether I’m running that afternoon.

Third principle: If you’re going to eat junk, go for a run first.

This can get a little bit hairy for people with disordered eating, but since I am not a disordered eater, I keep to it. The more junk, the longer the run. This works for me because my long runs fall on weekends, so I will do 10+ miles before I go out for Italian with my family. Cheesecake factory? Better be a 20 mile day. It probably isn’t the *best* strategy…but it has worked for me. I can sit down at the table at Fogo de Chao and enjoy my unholy amounts of meat because earlier in the day I pounded the pavement. I get my money’s worth at that place after marathon training. Also…grilled pineapple is amazing.

DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU HAVE ANY HISTORY OF DISORDERED EATING, OKAY? OKAY.

I lost 20+ lbs over the course of a year, which felt frustrating at times but now when my weight goes up a little (stupid Utah) I know I can get it back off without too much trouble. I’d like to lose a little more weight, but it is pretty clear my body doesn’t like going under this set point, so I’m reluctant to push it.

 

 

Copyediting Rates

I’m posting this here just in case anyone happens to be interested. I’m almost done with my certificate from UCSD, and I work as a medical content editor full-time at my “real job.” If you have more NSFW stuff that needs editing, contact me and we can discuss topics and genres. I have done romance, fantasy, and YA, as well as resumes and cover letters. I also have a background in ecology and world literature if you need someone for more scholarly articles. Sarcasticmsem at gmail dot com for more information! 

$5/1000 words- sample for first time customers

$0.01/word- two passes for mechanical editing and major clarity issues 

$0.02/word- three passes for mechanical editing, clarity, style, and major content issues 

$0.04/word- non-native English speaker or major rewrites 

I do offer discounts for repeat customers or referrals!