Thursday, January 11, 2007
MY "WINTER WEIGHT", EXERCISE, AND WHITE BEANS & RAPINI, ITALIAN-STYLE
Well, I have to confess, I'm back on Weight Watchers' Core Food Plan. I've gained it all back! Boy, does it sneak up on you! I blame it on not getting my usual exercise, due to the crazy weather (we had another power outage on Tuesday due to another wind storm, and some snow, though we got far less than Vancouver and the south island), and a wacky ferry schedule with a small ferry (while our big ferry gets refitted) that cuts into my exercise time before I go to work; eating too much over the holidays; and eating too much of my experiments.
What am I going to do about it? 1.) Practice portion control. 2.) Stick to the WW Core Food Plan, which is a very healthful plan, easy to eat vegan, emphasis on veggies, fruits, wholegrains, and vegetarian proteins. 3.) EXERCISE-- dance, get out for walks whenever possible, or use an exercise bike, and get back on my weights regime, using stretch bands, as well.
Otherwise, my mom just gave us a treadmill, so I have no excuse for not exercising. I have to get a book rack for it, though, or it's kind of boring. I have to have it downstairs in my "office" area because it takes up too much room upstairs. I can watch DVD's on my computer down here, or videos on the old TV I use for instructional dance and exercise videos (which is not hooked up to satellite, so I can't watch TV programs on it). The other thing I've started to do to make it go faster is watching YouTube music and dance videos. I can make a playlist of however long I want to work out. I've found some fascinating concert video clips and wonderful bellydance clips, as well.
I also have a mini-trampoline, which I need to start jogging on while watching TV in the evening. And, I hope to start dance classes again soon.
Me dancing at my boss's retirement party a few years ago
As I mentioned the Core Food Plan is big on fiber-rich foods and beans can be eaten frequently, provided they aren't full of fat. (You can have 2 tsp. of oil a day-- anything over that is 1 point per tsp. You get 35 points a week to play with.)
Here's a meal I made for dinner the other day to use up some rapini in the refrigerator. I love the combination of the mild, creamy white beans (I use white kidney beans) and the strong-flavored rapini! I am very partial to "bitter" greens such as rapini, and they are a powerhouse of nutrients, too.
Rapini (broccoli rabe or raab)
I used my own home-cooked beans. I soaked them overnight and pressure-cooked them for 35 minutes after draining them and covering them with vegetarian broth, with a chut-up large onion, 3 large cloves garlic, chopped, 2 bay leaves, and a large sprig each of fresh rosemary and sage.
White kidney beans or cannellini
BRYANNA'S FAGIOLI CON RAPINI (WHITE BEANS WITH RAPINI) (A Weight Watcher's Core Plan recipe)
Serves 6 (Adapted from a recipe in my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen".
A simple dish with outstanding flavor-- one of my absolute favorites. Dark (roasted Asian) sesame oil takes the place of pancetta (Italian bacon) in this recipe. (I have eliminated the olive oil from the original recipe, to cut down on fat.)
If you have no rapini, curly endive, escarole, turnip greens, or kale can be used instead.
1 lb. rapini (broccoli rabe or raab)
1 T. roasted sesame oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 c. cooked cannellini or white kidney or Great Northern beans,
OR 2/ 14 oz. cans, drained (you could also use borlotti, romano, cranberry or pinto beans)
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Wash the rapini well and drain it. Remove the tougher bottom parts of the stems, and slice the rapini in 1/2" strips.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Over medium-high heat, cook the onions until they are limp; then add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds; then the rapini a little at a time, stirring until it wilts and turns brightly-colored.
Add the beans to the pan and stir them around to heat thoroughly. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with crusty wholegrain bread, or spooned over soft polenta. A great winter meal!
Nutrition (per serving): 209.3 calories; 12% calories from fat; 3.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 33.0mg sodium; 807.6mg potassium; 35.5g carbohydrates; 8.9g fiber; 2.0g sugar; 26.6g net carbs; 12.4g protein; 3.6 points.