Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crushing Your Cravings: Breaded Zucchini Sticks

I think we can all agree one of the hardest parts of following a healthy lifestyle is the crazy cravings that can happen. You may be eating clean and loving your diet, but sometimes you just want something really, really bad. I'm not going to tell you that it's okay, eat whatever you want. That can get out of hand VERY quickly! First it's just a slice of pizza, then maybe a class of pop and while your at it you might as well have a slice of birthday cake, you don't want to be rude after all. This downward spiral is very familiar to me. However, I have found certain things that help me cut the cravings.

First of all, don't eat the crap!! It's scientifically proven that when you have sugar or fat in your system, your going to want more. If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Cut the junk and within a few days you won't want it nearly as bad. I have a good personal example of this. My husband and I have a serious weakness for Coca-Cola. You don't have to tell us it's practically poison, we know. But it's so damn good!! Around Christmastime we had it in our house a little bit because it was a special occasion. But what happened after Christmas was bad news. My husband was in trade school for 7 weeks  and was spending every night studying in our 700 square foot apartment. It was stressful and we were in survival mode and we had ourselves a wee bit too much Coke. Okay, a lot too much. Also chips and salsa. They were bad delicious days. Anyways, mid February my husband finished school (with wicked grades, I might add) and we cut the crap. Cold Turkey. Honestly, I don't even think about drinking Coke now. There might be a time later where I get a weakness for it again but as long as I can stay away from it, I know I won't have cravings.

Here's another example of me cutting my cravings. I used to work in an office that was super close to a Starbucks. It got to the point where I was craving Earl Grey Tea Lattes on a daily basis and BAD!  I wasn't gaining weight but they have sugar in them and it just was not a good situation at $5 bucks a day. So what I did was bought a tin of the Earl Grey Tea and as soon as I got to work I would have a cup just with a bit of milk and Splenda. As soon as I had some warm Earl Grey in my tummy, my desperate need for Starbucks went away.

I have realised that I can have a healthier version of something I love and when I do, I won't crave the fatty/sugary version. Awesome!!

Now a lot of the things that I love are some kind of bread/pasta/tomato sauce/cheese type things...I don't need to tell you I can't afford to eat like that! So I don't bother with the bread most of the time, and I make my own whole wheat pasta with a few different variations. I recently came across a recipe at one of my favourite sites EVER, Skinny Taste, that had me drooling so I decided to give it a whirl and I'm so glad I did because they were fantastic. I honestly felt as satisfied as if I had a big bowl of pasta!

                                            Skinny Taste's Breaded Zucchini Sticks

Note: I was lazy and cut mine too large. Don't do that!

  • 3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • fresh pepper

In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping.

SkinnyTaste has a super simple recipe for Marinara along with her breaded zucchini stick recipe, so check it out here. I didn't have any canned tomatoes so I just used jarred tomato sauce, obviously homemade is always better if you can.



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