Happy 2017! Time to set those lofty aspirations into motion! Lose weight! Make more money! Stop cutting people off in traffic who mostly deserve it! Be better, nicer, more meditative, and all around Buddha-esque in your lack of judgement for others! And so on and so on, blah blah, let’s have a cocktail.
It’s a sweet thought to be able to press the reset button on the way we live. Maybe because in some way that’s an aspect of our lives we can control, the inner workings of it, our attitudes and outlooks. God knows the outside world is a teeny bit of a shit show at the moment, so if we can make our piece of the pie a little better, trying becomes a seemingly doable ambition. Thing is, these notions can set us up for failure if we can’t follow through and make all of these changes happen, and that’s just no fun. I live a life of indulgence in moderation, and I think bettering yourself should be done in moderation, too. Because you’re mostly just fine the way you are. I promise.
To make you feel better, I’m going to list some of my faults for you I have given up on and have no intention of changing. Literally my New Years resolution is to become honest with that fact, and to embrace it.
- I am a hotel snob, and hate to camp. Why would I sleep on the ground voluntarily. Why.
- If your bathroom is filthy, I will judge you. Forever.
- I blank out in most conversations because I am thinking about food.
- I do not give one shit about what you dreamt about last night.
- I am a borderline terrible driver and should probably not have a license.
- I have a subscription to US Magazine.
- I have a temper and it’s better for us all if I don’t hide it, trust me. It’s like those tectonic plates. Lots of smaller earthquakes are better than one biggie.
- I’m late a lot and spend most of the way to the thing I’m late for screaming about hating to be late.
- I am outrageously lazy and don’t like Doing New Things.
- I begin sentences with the world “I” way too often.
One of my only January rituals I’ve ever stuck to is to eat a little better. Mostly because I’ve gone off the deep end during the holidays and am surely on my way to some sort of cholesterol problem, so I try to even things out by cutting out the junk. Not all the junk, so champagne stays (that’s high-end junk). But high protein and super foods and lots of veggies and fake-out meals. It makes me feel better, it makes my pants fit again, and it lets me go buck wild on my next streak of indulgence totally guilt-free. So I’m going to share one of my favourite recipes with you that makes you feel like you’re being gluttonous when you’re not. It’s also good for you, and yummy enough to serve to guests at a dinner party. Plus, once you get the gist of it, you can switch it up and change up the toppings and sauce. And if you’re a baby and think you don’t like squash, just know that my baby is an actual baby and he loves it. So, just try it, okay?
Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” Arrabiata
1 spaghetti squash
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 anchovy filets, chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (a handful) of pitted black olives, chopped
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp capers
freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping, because cheese is high end junk
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Slicing off one end can help you give the squash an end to stand on and make this a little easier. Scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a baking sheet flesh side up, drizzle with a tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
For the sauce, heat a large pan over medium-high heat with another tbsp olive oil. Sautee the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the anchovy fillets and cook until they’re just melted. Add the tomato paste, and the red pepper flakes cooking a minute more. Then add the diced tomatoes. Fill up the empty tomato can with water and add that to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and bring up to a bubble, then reduce to medium heat. Reduce the liquid for about ten minutes. Then add the olives, sundried tomatoes, and capers, and stir to combine. Let it simmer for another ten minutes and reduce and thicken further while you get the squash ready.
With a fork, scrape the cooked flesh of the squash off the skin. See? Spaghetti sorta! Top with the sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan, and go to town because you can.
Now don’t go changin’ too much.