I Can’t Wait to Try THIS Recipe

As I have embarked upon the blogosphere, I have tried to find interesting blogs to read and take inspiration from.  It really helps when friends of mine with similar interests make suggestions.  In looking at my friend Lindsey’s blog (new link added to the right of the page called Novemberly Ever After) I came across a link to Nosh N’ Nutrition.

Nosh N’ Nutrition

Anyway, she adapts recipes that are typically viewed as unhealthy to be more healthy and nutrition conscious.  So far, I like what I see.  Without much further ado, I am going to tell you which recipe I can’t wait to try….

Crab Stuffed Shells. Needless to say, there isn’t much else to say, but those of you who know me, know that I can’t stop here.

Her recipe is great…sort of.  You know I couldn’t cook it without adapting it some for Tanner and myself. I have very little to change about it, but am going to make some small changes to it just for kicks.

Here's where we start...

Ok…I know you can read the recipe on her site, and you might have already, but I’m going to go over it here for those of you that didn’t make the jump to her site, look around a bit and come back.

Her ingredient list called for:

  • 21 large pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces fresh king crab meat
  • 8 ounces fresh crab claw meat
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
  • Béchamel sauce (see below)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat four cheese Italian shredded cheese (Sargento)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Béchamel sauce, she calls for:

  • 4 tablespoons light butter (50/50 Smart Balance)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat 4 Cheese Italian shredded cheese (Sargento)
According to her, all of this comes to the following: (for three shells) 304 calories, 29g carbohydrate, 26g protein, 11g fat and. All that sounds great to me. Low calories, nice meal…good deal.  But with my adaptations, a serving is 4 shells…for the recipe above, 4 shells would equal 405 calories, 38g carbohydrate, 35g protein and 15g fat…
All of you know I hate celery and don’t love peppers of any color.  I also don’t love onions, but am starting to appreciate what they can do for a meal. Here’s what I propose…
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 teaspoons McCormick minced onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces fresh king crab meat
  • 8 ounces fresh crab claw meat
  • 4 teaspoons parsley
  • 1/2 cup Kroger Italian style shredded cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Del Monte Sweet Peas with no salt (to add the color and crunch you’d lose by dropping the red pepper and celery)

Where we are now (without the Béchamel sauce) is 322 calories, 34g carbohydrates, 27g protein and 9g fat.

My changes to the sauce are significant as I looked up a recipe for Béchamel from AllRecipes.com so I would know better what it is…and found this:
  • 5 tablespoons Country Crock Lite
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

So to total, for the meal with my adaptations, we’ve got 404 calories, 42g carbohydrates, 31g protein and 12g fat.

All the carbs are coming from the pasta shells, sauce and canned sweet peas.  If you left out the peas, you be at 392 calories, 40 carbohydrates, 12g fat and 30g protein.  Without the sauce and the peas you’d be at 310 calories, 32g carbohydrates, 9g fat and 26g protein.

Another way to go might be to keep the peas but use 1 cup of peas and carrots and drop the Béchamel altogether and use Alfredo Sauce like Butoni Light Alfredo Sauce. Which would get you to 402 calories, 40 carbohydrates, 14g fat and 31g protein.  If you did without the peas/carrots in this version, you could get the meal down to 382 calories, 36 carbohydrates, 14g fat and 29g protein.

So while my changes didn’t change the nutrition value drastically, I provided a few other options (even if I did inundate you with numbers).  Not sure which one we’ll try, but I can’t wait to try them.

You can see (if you look at the picture above) where the carrots and peas would help to add the little bit of color I would lose if I didn’t use celery and red peppers.  Thoughts?!

In some of the reading I’ve been doing lately on my new “healthy” lifestyle (which includes going to the gym AT LEAST three times a week, though I try to go more, and trying to eat a little more healthy, or at least being more conscious of what I’m putting into my body and what my calorie intake is) I’ve read that it is really important to ENJOY what you eat…meaning that the numbers aren’t as important as you or I think they are.

Essentially, the message is to try to focus more on the fact that you’re eating healthy versions of foods you love and remember that your body deserves to eat yummy things too, not just prepackaged food full of sodium.  My receptors are hearing that I should eat what I like and like what I eat, but ALWAYS in moderation.  Simple enough right?



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