Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I would like to enter this picture as exhibit A. What is a person to do when he/she wants to dine out without overeating his/her calorie budget? Ask for a box! I had the pleasure of going to lunch with a good friend today. We went to Accurso's. They have a very affordable lunch menu. Everything on it is $5.00!!! This was a good thing and a bad thing. The lunch portions are smaller than their regular entrees (+). However, they are so affordable that I was naughty and ordered a salad (and this wasn't a side salad) and pasta (-). I don't have a picture of the Napa salad, because I ate it all. Let me correct myself. I scarfed it all. It was fantastic. The salad was a romaine and spinach mix tossed with tomatoes, grapes, raisins, and goat cheese. Luckily, the white balsamic dressing was served on the side so I only used a couple teaspoons. I always forget to just ask for dressing on the side anyway. I could easily make this salad at home, but I think I would sub in a few walnuts or pecans for the raisins. I pushed some of those out, because they can be loaded with sugar.
I was torn between the salad and the Pasta Diavolo, which came highly recommended by the waiter. At $5 a pop I had to spring for both items. Now in my defense my husband, Carl, has to eat gluten-free so we rarely go to Italian restaurants (He hates it when I say this! Shh! Don't tell!). That is not to say that I am deprived in any way. He cooks the most wonderful, gluten-free pasta and rice dishes at home. He is the reason that I have to watch what I eat for breakfast and lunch, because in the evening he FEEDS me! I can't stress this point enough. He makes Jamie Oliver's Proper Bloke's Sausage Fusilli, Bobby Flay's Green Rice, amazing risotto bianco, his own marinara, etc. This past Saturday he made what I believe is called "Sunday Gravy." He went loosely off of a recipe, but he put his own spin on it. It's basically a red tomato based sauce flavored with onions and garlic that cooks low and slow on the stove with a pork shoulder and pork ribs. The pork literally falls apart, and then you serve it over pasta. I am vastly over-simplifying it, but you get the picture. He is an awesome cook, and I am very blessed! Okay, okay! The gluten-free defense doesn't really hold up. Now I enter exhibit B.
I made a "mental" commitment to take home half the pasta. I use the term "mental" loosely, because I must have been mental when I thought that would actually work out. The lunch portions were small, but they weren't that small. I ended up bringing home about 1/3 of the dish, and as you can see it came with a slice of garlic toast. It was delicious. I could have stopped at half if the waiter had come to check on me at just the right moment. It wasn't his fault. I was weak. He did his job well. The pasta did not disappoint. He said it was his favorite thing on the menu, and I loved it. I will definitely go back, but next time I will stick to one item off the lunch menu instead of totally pigging out.
The best part of this whole experience is that I'm not finished with my pasta yet. Carl and I are fending for ourselves for dinner, because I have the Made to Crave group tonight. Exhibit B is my dinner. I should have saved half my lunch. Oh, well. Happy leftovers to me!!!
On a side note, I want to give a big shout out to my Uncle Jerry! I'm pretty sure he was the 2,000th hit on my blog today. Yippee! Woohoo!