September 16, 2010

Pasta Carbonara? Really?

It has been a shocker to me that I can eat up to 300 carbs in a day and not gain weight. We rarely hit that number but our intake thus far has far exceeded the sub-40 carbs that Ed and I generally observed. So, for me, eating a bowl of steaming Pasta Carbonara was definitely the highlight of the experiement so far - and it didn't torpedo our day's goals.

Vanilla Yogurt and Granola

Turkey and Cheese Sandwich on White

Whole Wheat Pasta Carbonara with Ham and peas

Total Daily Expenditure:  $10.09

½ Wheat English muffin with Peanut butter

Turkey and Cheddar on ½ Wheat English Muffin
Carrots and Celery

Whole Wheat Pasta Carbonara with Ham and peas

Total Daily Expenditure:  $6.47

Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal

Turkey on Wheat English Muffin
Carrots & Celery

Whole Wheat Pasta Carbonara with Ham and peas

Total Daily Expenditure:  $5.39

Lessons Learned and Observations

On the cost front, we did alright. As a family we kept the daily spend to under $22.00. Ed was at the budget limit because he bought a take out sandwich – proving, again, that it is not an option while Eating in 3D. I know – it takes us a while. Celia rung in at an astounding $5.39 for the day!

Nutritionally, we were all over the place relative to our goals. Ed loaded up on protein but skipped the fruit. I wallowed in cheese, milk, cream and more cheese. Celia over did the sugar but actually fared well overall. Let me say that Pasta Carbonara (recipe below) – of any variety – is ecstasy after days of lean foods. This variety with chunks of ham rather than bacon and peas really hit the spot without totally killing our goals. As a result, we overdid the sodium, cholesterol and calories from fat but it was worth it. All things being equal, our gluttony was still significantly healthier than the average daily intake and everyone was satisfied when the last pea left our bowls. Viva la Italia!

Pasta Carbonara with Ham and Peas
To prepare:  Start with the ham and peas at room temperature. If necessary, warm them in microwave before adding to pasta.

Ingredients (per serving)      
3 oz Ham (84g)
Whole wheat pasta (56g)
Peas (84g)
1 oz Heavy Cream
1 Egg yolk           
1 oz Parmesan Cheese (28)

Estimated Cost: $2.45 per serving

Prepare pasta per instructions.
Cut ham into small cubes.
Combine cream, egg yolk and cheese in a bowl.
Strain pasta, reserving a little (2-3 tablespoons) of the water.

While the pasta is still hot, return to the pan and add the ham and peas. Quickly add cream mixture and the reserved water. Stir and serve immediately.

Serve strawberries in cream for dessert to round out your milk, Vitamin C and fruit goals.

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