|Not a fine photo but it was a fine dinner. Maybe I'll get a better shot next time.|
I don't recall how I discovered Elena Paravantes' blog Olive Tomato but, as someone attempting to enjoy Mediterranean cooking regularly, I have found the blog inspirational. A recent post encouraged readers to quickly fry sliced zucchini, serving it warm with sprinkles of parsley and feta cheese. The picture that Paravantes posted made her zucchini look quite appealing. Inspired, I decided to use a both yellow and green zucchini as a side dish.
My wife and I are not only trying to adhere to a diet advised by my heart and stroke doctor but we are also trying to adhere to a Weight Watchers friendly diet. This dinner met all the requirements: low in fat, exceedingly low in cholesterol, no meat, no eggs, and lots of fresh vegetables and very low in points.
The star of this dinner was potato gnocchi. At a little over 100gms per portion, the gnocchi contained only four points. It was boiled until it rose to the top of the bubbling water. After a minute it was removed using a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile the small tomatoes were fried in a little olive oil seasoned with finely diced garlic . The zucchini was fried in the same pan at the same time. Two minutes on each side in a very hot fry pan was enough for the zucchini. The tomatoes were removed when the skins began to split. Both vegetables were placed on waiting dinner dishes.
The chopped asparagus was tossed into the hot fry pan with a little more finely diced garlic. After a minute the gnocchi was added to be quickly fried with the asparagus. At this point about 90gms of Alfredo sauce diluted with an ounce of the gnocchi water was added. The sauce immediately came to a boil and was soon reduced to thick sauce coating all. A couple of tablespoons of chopped dill were stirred in and the mixture spooned onto the dishes with the zucchini.
While I cooked the gnocchi and asparagus my wife sprinkled parsley and feta cheese on the hot zucchini and tomato. Now, she sprinkled a little grated Parmesan on the hot gnocchi and asparagus. We carried to the plates to the table and toasted our fine meal.
With a small glass of wine, this dinner came in at only about 15 points. It may have been even less. The only cholesterol was in the small amount of cheese and the light cream used in the sauce.
I have been eating like this for a little more than a year. I had my arteries checked a couple of months ago and the plaque noted a year ago has diminished. Of course, I am also taking some powerful drugs and so it is impossible to say to what extent the Mediterranean diet has been responsible for the improvement.
There is one improvement that I can credit to my new eating habits: My weight. I've lost about 45 pounds.