New Year, New Me! Just Kidding.

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.

  1. I am a hotel snob, and hate to camp. Why would I sleep on the ground voluntarily. Why.
  2. If your bathroom is filthy, I will judge you. Forever.
  3. I blank out in most conversations because I am thinking about food.
  4.  I do not give one shit about what you dreamt about last night.
  5. I am a borderline terrible driver and should probably not have a license.
  6. I have a subscription to US Magazine.
  7. 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.
  8. I’m late a lot and spend most of the way to the thing I’m late for screaming about hating to be late.
  9. I am outrageously lazy and don’t like Doing New Things.
  10. I begin sentences with the world “I” way too often.

See?

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

Ingredients:

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

 

Directions:

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.

XOJBR

 

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Cindy says:

    I love your blog. I love your recipes. I love your words…Too funny!! I love you man! 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Hahahahaha!! I love your writing. Because.

  3. David says:

    Hi Jewel: This doesn’t have anything to do with food Hope that is alright. Was thinking about Your Friend who passed on Mr. Ron Glass. Don’t mean to sound sarcastic or anything but was thinking of the episode of Serenity where Ron was saying something to Nathan about going to the Special Place where ever that may be in the Afterlife. Sometimes as for myself when i see some of Your movies and shows Please Forgive me but i may be Headed there some day also. Have a Great Day! Stay Safe! Thank You! God Bless!

  4. K says:

    What is a fake out meal?

  5. Natalie says:

    I love the phrase “high-end junk”!

  6. Adam says:

    Great recipe, thanks. Have you considered adding about a half cup of light red wine to the sauce? With the anchovies in there, it should help make a richer experience. And since you can never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink, it gives you something to help while you stir!

    1. Jewel Staite says:

      Yes! Although I feed our baby whatever I cook, so I usually leave out wine (sadly).

  7. Diane says:

    Yum. Honestly, I think more people will freak out at the word “anchovy” than at the spaghetti squash. Me, I can eat anchovies happily right out of the can, or the squishy paste out of the tube. This looks divine!

  8. Gregg says:

    Arrabiata! Genius. I’ve always done pomodoro or puttanesca. This looks even better.

  9. Lol you are awesome 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sounds goog, minus the anchovy part.

  11. jon spencer says:

    About the only time that I do not care for anchovies is when they are on the cold leftover pizza that I am having for breakfast.
    And I am going to try this recipe.
    But without the onions, they don’t like me at all and the feeling is mutual.

  12. Jeff says:

    “Be better, be nicer, ………..” You mean you have to try and be nicer? Your saying that Canadians aren’t just naturally born nice? 🙂
    Great post as always, thank you.

  13. Stephen Potter says:

    Enjoyed the post! So glad to have you back! Personally, I don’t celebrate New Year’s – and do not make any resolutions, although my fat ass should. Perhaps someday, since I do have a desire to reach old age. Retirement is a year away, so maybe then. The recipe looks interesting, so once I can get back in the house (Hurricane Matthew flooded me out) in a couple of months, I’ll give it a try. Meanwhile, loved the wine you suggested when I met you in Richmond a few months ago! Any others??? Please do another wine post!

  14. PHILLIP PARKER says:

    I love your ten things list… and most make you all the more adorable and endearing in my book…

    love sketti squash but forget it’s there most of the time when I’m shopping…thanks for the reminder

  15. PHILLIP PARKER says:

    I love your ten things list… and most make you all the more adorable and endearing in my book… *mostly because my Beloved Wifey has a very similar list

    love sketti squash but forget it’s there most of the time when I’m shopping…thanks for the reminder

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