For the Birds

Spiralizer with zucchini in it ready to go.
It’s a
balancing act.

It’s not working out. Ever since I tried the cauliflower crust pizza from Costco, I’ve been on a kick to make small incremental changes which are sustainable. All this in an effort to be healthier. Sounds like a good plan, right? I was so encouraged by the Costco Roasted Vegetables Cauliflower Crust pizza. It was so good, and I felt so darn healthy!

Then Aldi’s had one of their “Special Buys” which was a Spiralizer. I had to move quickly as those “Special Buys” go fast. My first recipe was an Italian meatballs zoodles casserole which turned out great! So delicious! I was on a low carb roll, and my head was spinning with new dishes to try.

My next adventure was to make shrimp scampi using zoodles. It was my second time using the Spiralizer, and it worked great. I trimmed only a tiny bit off one end of the zucchini. I did not trim anything off the other end. This is the end with the stem where the “food pusher” is inserted. With these adjustments, I had far less waste making the zoodles. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, I turned those four zucchini into zoodles. My oh my, what a wonderful day.

Shrimp scampi with zoodles and garlic toast.
At least,
the garlic bread was good.

However, when all was done, the zoodles turned out overcooked and soggy. The shrimp from Aldi’s shrimp scampi “special buy” were minuscule. The shrimp seemed to be too chewy, but maybe it just seemed that way in comparison to the zoodles. Also, I ended up with far too many zoodles. I had used four zucchini, as I did on my first recipe. However, with the substantial reduction in waste, four zucchini was too much for two people.

I was kind of getting nervous with how things were going. So, I decided to pour on a lot of the sauce in an effort to try to get the zoodles to take on the flavor of the shrimp scampi. Subsequently, soggy became soupy soggy. Let’s just say, Dan finished his bowl, bless his heart, and I fished out all the shrimp in mine.

Baking sheet with cauliflower rice hash browns on it.
Looks can be deceiving.

For my next endeavor, I decided to try cooking with cauliflower. I found a pack of cauliflower rice at the Dollar Tree. It was 10 ounces and contained three cooked cups, the perfect amount for a cauliflower hash brown recipe I had found.

The cauliflower rice hash browns were a mixture of cauliflower rice, an egg, shredded cheddar, shredded Parmesan cheese, and some spices. I am doing you a favor, dear reader, by not giving you the exact specifications of the recipe. Let’s just say, Dan ate two of the hash browns, bless his heart, and I ate two bites. I hate wasting food, but these babies hit the trash can faster than you can say, where’s the toast and jelly.

In a last ditch effort, I continued my “incremental inspiration itinerary” by purchasing two loaves of bread from Aldi. One was a keto bread, and one was a protein bread. Maybe these low carb carriers would work out at the breakfast meal. The keto bread tasted like a brown sponge gone dry, and I don’t even know how to describe the protein bread except I did tell Dan, life is too short to eat that kind of bread.

Two packages of bread.  Keto and protein.
0 g Guilt
Isn’t that what
confession is for?

I was trying to think of what to do with this $4 a loaf bread from the Aldi. It is not good to feed birds bread crumbs as there is not enough protein. However, this was “protein” bread. I did not find anything online either way on whether or not this was a good idea. So, I thought I’d try two pieces in the bird feeder. I tore each slice into several pieces, but as I was tearing, I wondered how the birds were going to get a crumb out of this bread with its nylon like toughness.

Our bird feeder is right by the window, and I kept an eye on it for several hours. Usually, a short time after I put out more seed, our bird feeder is the place to be. But this time, I saw birds fly up, look at the bread, kind of nod at each other and then take off. I think the birds were talking about me as they flew away.

Now, don’t think I am giving up. I did have a couple of successes with the pizza and the meatball zoodles casserole. And I do have some more recipes in my mind to try. But not just yet. I need a little time. Besides, right now, I have a bird feeder that needs my attention.

20 comments

  1. Hilarious read! I tend to be a bit of a food purist in that I don’t like my veggies morphed into grain substitutes. I successfully lost 40 lbs 2.5 years ago and have been able to maintain the loss through walking and learning food portion control. I love this method, because my pasta is still pasta, my bread is still bread, and my pizza crust is still made from flour. I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but when I do, they’re in their natural form. I admire your perseverance and wish you many successes in your journey😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can certainly see the appeal of your approach. And good for you for losing 40 pounds and keeping it off! I’ve noticed when I reduce carbs, I do lose weight. But I like them so much! Also, when we are traveling in our travel trailer, I always come home the same weight or even a few pounds lighter – even though I eat a bit more. We are just so much more active – especially compared to being at home during winter. I admire your dedication for all that walking in cold conditions. I’ll keep trying to make improvements – in all the categories. Thank you for reading, your comment and your good wishes. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never tried zoodles! You’re cooking adventure was a delightful read. I’m so sorry that some of the dishes didn’t turn out but it made me think of all the dishes I’ve tried that haven’t turned out and a had to laugh at this shared human experience. It’s so disappointing to waste food or throw out all that effort and yet it happens to everyone which is quite nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry that some of my dishes didn’t turn out either. 🙂 But, I guess that is to be expected. You are right; it is nice to know others have this same experience, too. At least, it is something to laugh about, and I love to laugh! I hope you and your family are doing well. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading this as I’ve had a few of those meals that did not meet my expectations! Using the spiral noodles can be a challenge and I’ve had some that were delicious and others met the organics bin. It is fun to read about them and share the fun!

    I have found that sometimes the things that are touted as “healthy” aren’t really appealing to the appetite and are really not nutritionally complete. I’m looking for recipes that taste good and offer a balanced diet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you. I want recipes that taste good and offer a balanced diet. For me, whether it’s diet or exercise, it needs to be sustainable. It’s nice to hear you’ve had both successes and “learning experiences.” Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I always lose weight when I reduce or eliminate carbs. During the pandemic, however, I’ve been able to maintain my weight by walking. I walk 2 -3 miles on most days, weather permitting. I’ve been eating pretty much whatever I produce in my kitchen with no regard to limits bread, potatoes, rice or pasta. I’ve not been so bold as to experiment in bold ways such as you are doing. Since I don’t go out to bridge games, book club meetings, or theatre nights, I’m not tempted with snacks and glasses of wine as part of the socializing. I think there’s a lesson for me — eat regular meals, don’t snack, and watch the calories that come in pretty glasses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are doing very well maintaining your weight through this pandemic! I do think eating at home is far more healthier than eating out. And I think, as you say, walking is key. My goal is 8,000 steps each day, but I do not always make it. Fortunately, spring is right around the corner, and that makes it easier for me to get the steps in. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Like

  5. Quite an adventure. I applauded your efforts and willingness to continue to experiment and try something different. I’m afraid I’m stuck on good old pasta now and on into the future. But keep on pushing the envelope and who does what you will accomplish. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been an adventure alright! We’ll see what happens. Hopefully, I can have another success or two. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Like

  6. Well done on making these changes. It is always a hit-and-miss at the start, but we all learn as we go. The intention is the most important part. And like you and the birds, we were never into these “specialty breads” – somehow something is always wrong with them. Haha! Keep going, Betty. Cheering for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your cheers! Glad you are laughing about those “specialty breads” with me. I appreciate the encouragement,and I will keep trying! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Like

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