Sometime in the last few years, J and I became slobs. Truly proper slobs, really. Sweatpants or leggings. T-shirts. Uggs. Scary food like Taco Bell.
Fifteen years ago I hardly ever ate processed food, sugar or any manner of other bodily poisons. After coming off a huge weight gain in my 20s, I became a kind of health nazi that left me aggressively avoiding red meat, French fries, sugar, scary fake sugar, and anything from a bag or can. I was a proper health nut who read stuff about how to eat healthy, shopped at healthy food stores, and naturally ate all mindfully and stuff. Getting married ended that. While J isn’t like many men who demand meat at every meal, he does get a bit snappy when there’s no chocolate in the house. And, as part of the pains of having to live with and deal with another human every day, we’ve both adjusted our habits.
In the oven
When we got married, I took the housewifery roll of cooking dinner like a proper 1950s housewife. Until I got sick of cooking dinner and encouraged him to pick things up from the local butchery. He’d call from the shop, read off delicious things like lemon caper pasta or shepherd’s pie or lasagna. Now, a few years and many pounds later, the days of mindful eating and salmon and broccoli went by the wayside in favor of convenience, salt, and sugar. And here we are again, eating like shit, and spending a lot of time being inexplicably angry. In the last year we ate at Taco Bell. Twice. You know how many times I’ve eaten Taco Bell in my life? About four. And two of those times were in the last 12 months.
We finally got serious. I consumed the Whole30 book in a weekend and decided only truly crazy people could achieve that kind of madness. So instead I decided to clear out all the processed food in the house (bread, pasta, anything in a box) and eat only whole food for a few weeks. For the last month, we’ve avoided all added sugar, all processed food, bread, and pasta. Last night was our first indulgence of added sugar and tonight I had wine. Every day, J laments the absence of sugar and bread. But I figure we’re training ourselves to live to 123, which is the goal of most people I’m pretty sure.
So when J asked what was for dinner, I lied and said lasagna.
Looks yummy, right? Your kids would totally eat these.
Except I wasn’t lying. The recipe on Eating Well calls it lasagna. It’s not like I said, “Yes, dear. I love cleaning the toilets you spoil with your dirty man bits.” Still, when he saw the lasagna, he balked and said, “That’s not lasagna. Lasagna is pasta.” Yeah, well. Not anymore.
I made this recipe and it turned out pretty well. I used a chicken sausage (yes, I know, processed but not terrible for you) from Applegate, canned organic tomatoes instead of fresh, and all dried herbs. J gave it an 8. Which is pretty surprising. Last night we had turkey burgers on sweet potato buns and he also gave those an 8 (Apparently, real burgers get an 11. For a rocket scientist, his math is pretty stupid.). He even said it was pretty filling (even though right now he’s eating some mixed nuts).
J, almost smiling
One weird thing, though. The pan was very watery when I took the zucchini boats out. Zucchini is pretty wet. I’m thinking if you don’t cover it with foil, you’ll minimize the liquid. Also, you might get a nice crispy top to the phony lasagna.
If you’re trying to go all natural in your food choices, this is a great way to avoid pasta and fool nobody into thinking you’re eating pizza or lasagna. It’s still a good meal, though. I’d recommend a spicy sausage, chopped shrimp, or even ground poultry for the meat. And if you figure out how to minimize the water, please let me know.