Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
With a hint of indulgence (carbs!) and plenty of protein and greens, you’re sure to satisfy your cravings while sticking to your New Year’s resolution!

Eat clean with a pinch of indulgence to satisfy cravings

Author Byline Image   Somehow in our household the “holiday season” (i.e. a period of time in which the unbridled eating of things that are sugary, fatty, and caloric takes place and is justified because it is “the holidays”) has slowly stretched from a month and a half (Thanksgiving to New Year’s) into almost 6 months!
   It started off with the inclusion of Halloween (technically not a real holiday but a great excuse to eat candy) which added an extra month. Gradually “the holidays” began to include February – after all, Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, right? A week after Valentine’s Day is our wedding anniversary and a couple weeks after that is my birthday – it seems senseless to go on a diet until that’s all done with. But wait, then there is Easter!
   As we come into the New Year with our cholesterol levels soaring, our waistlines thickening, and our energy levels dropping, I know it is time for a change. In my experience, diets are doomed to failure. A few weeks of deprivation make us cranky, irritable, and quite frankly unfit for social encounters. Creative, clean eating seems more appropriate if we are going to maintain a
Gluten-Free Tuna Puttanesca with Pasta
Serves 4-6
1 pound gluten-free brown rice spaghetti
Kosher or fine sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 canned anchovies, drained
2 tablespoons capers, drained
½ cup kalamata olives, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (6-ounce) cans white tuna packed in water, drained
3 cups organic baby arugula
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
   Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions.
   While the spaghetti cooks, makes the sauce. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the anchovies and cook, smashing them with the back of spoon until dissolved. Add the capers, olives, oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add the tuna and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
   Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan, toss with the sauce until coated. Add the pasta water and cook for another minute. Add the arugula and nutritional yeast and cook for another minute or two or until the arugula is wilted, stir in the basil and serve.
healthier lifestyle. Rib eye steaks and scalloped potatoes have been replaced by tons of fresh veggies, quinoa, and lean, clean, organic protein. M&M’s have been replaced with fresh blueberries. We are getting healthier, happier, and no one feels deprived.
   While we are eating a more protein based diet these days, I know that if we are going to stay the course we need a few nights of carbs – it is just a fact of life in our house, we love our carbs! Sensible carbs, of course. Instead of our beloved fettuccini with alfredo sauce I treated us to a wiser choice of pasta –
whole grain gluten-free brown rice spaghetti with a tuna puttanesca sauce.
   The sauce is simplicity itself. Made from pantry staples such as canned tomatoes, anchovies, and capers, it is often my choice when returning home from a trip and the fridge is bare. I up the protein factor by tossing in a couple cans of tuna packed in water and work some greens into the mix with a good portion of organic arugula. This dish is packed with flavor and is a relatively clean meal that feels like a cheat, meaning we can still have our indulgences but they are smarter indulgences!