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If there was a poster child for the adage “You can’t out run a bad diet” I would be it. For the last 14 months I have religiously gone to the gym. Two or three times a week I let my trainer, Joe, try to whip me into a thinner shape. Some wonderful things have happened in that time. I’m strong enough now to open any jar in the house. I can walk up several flights of stairs without getting winded. My calves look amazing and I’m putting forth a good effort in the J.Lo booty competition.
What hasn’t happened is I haven’t gotten any slimmer. In fact, I am actually heavier now than I was when I started. Yeah, yeah I hear you. “Muscle weighs more than fat.” It’s like the mantra of every failed weight loss regime out there and all I’m missing is a group of girlfriends telling me it’s not my fault while feeding me margaritas. I have gained a lot of muscle, but me and my 30-something body is hanging on to all of this “baby” fat like Linus to his blanket (Can I call it baby fat when my kids are 10?)
I would really like to blame my trainer, Joe (because he loves to torture me with planks and burpees), but I know that my penchant for wine, cheese, bread and chocolate is the one at fault here. And probably my love of cookies as well. And maybe salami. Ok, and Arby’s chicken sandwiches (the ones with the buffalo sauce, oh man are they good.)
Nevertheless, I’ve reached my weight threshold. The one where you have to decide to either get thinner or go buy bigger pants. I really don’t want to get any fatter, so it’s time to pull up my big girl panties and quit eating like a 12-year-old. So, I’m putting down the cookies and the wine and I’m starting the New Year off on a healthier foot. It’s easier to diet when the rest of the world is, too. But I think good health doesn’t have to mean bland salads and dry chicken breasts and I need something fancy to help me feel better about the loss of my favorite treats. So, I’ve dug out my Veggetti Pro and put it to work making some fun noodles out of my veggies. Are sweet potato noodles the answer to all of my problems? Probably not, but it’s a delicious way to start.
For Sweet Potato Noodles:
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
For Moroccan Turkey:
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- ½ onion diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- ¼ cup chicken stock or water
- ½ pound Swiss chard or spinach chopped
- 1 roasted red bell pepper chopped
For Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. With a spiral cutter, cut each sweet potato into thick noodles (about ¼-inch wide). If you don’t have a spiral cutter, simply cut the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch matchsticks and continue with the recipe. Toss the noodles with the oil and seasonings and spread into an even layer on a baking sheet (you may even want two baking sheets). Roast until the noodles are cooked through and a little crispy at the ends, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until they begin to soften. Mix the chili powder, paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano and salt together and add it to the pan along with the turkey. With the back of a spoon, brown the turkey until nearly cooked through. Toss in the chicken stock Swiss chard and the roasted bell pepper. Continue to cook until the chard has wilted. Turn off the heat.
- While the turkey is cooking, mix together the yogurt sauce ingredients.
- To serve, fill 4 bowl with sweet potato noodles, top each with the Moroccan turkey and drizzle a little yogurt sauce on each one. And enjoy!
- Note: The noodles won’t be crispy if you reheat them for lunch the next day, but they will still be delicious.