Dinner From The Sea

February 11, 2008

Seafood Linguine with Spinach + Tomatoes in a White Wine Sauce

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Muy Delicioso! We used the Trader Joe’s frozen seafood blend of calamari, bay scallops and shrimp to put together this pasta classic. I thought this version was just as good as similar dishes I’ve had in restaurants!

For two people:

  • 4 oz whole wheat linguine, cooked
  • 1/2 a bag of frozen seafood (~8 oz), thawed
  • 1 bunch of spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp buttery spread, such as Smart Balance
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth if you’re opposed to wine)
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • Red pepper flakes, chopped fresh parsley and asiago cheese to taste

Cook pasta on the side. Heat oil and butter in a wok or large skillet until melted and hot. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add seafood and cook for 4-5 minutes until shrimp are bright pink. Add wine. Bring back to high heat. Add spinach. Toss into sauce until well coated and wilting begins. Add tomatoes. Cook until warmed through. Add cooked pasta, red pepper flakes and parsley. Toss to mix. Plate and sprinkle with cheese. Makes 2 servings, ~450 kcal each.

Seafood in oil/butter:

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Right before adding pasta:

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To eat!

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I Couldn’t Resist

I got home around 3:30 and had pumpkin mixed with 1/2 a cup of plain yogurt and some graham sticks. When I put the sticks around, it looked too much like hair to not draw a face :) Those are chocolate chips from my trail mix and a cashew!

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And in the spirit of using up old tea, the husband made some iced raspberry tea today. It’s delicious! It’s made with splenda, so I have to try not to chug too many glasses since I’m trying to be mindful of my consumption.

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I’m off to continue my week of Epsom Salt baths. I started to feel a lot of pressure on my schedule recently. Obviously, I spend a ton of time on the blog, and school is getting crazy with all these tests. A bath takes 15 minutes out of my day and afterward I feel like 15,000 tons are lifted off of my shoulders. I use baths as a form of meditation - floating there in the warmth with my eyes closed. Plus, it’s a great way to unwind before bed. I always feel so much more relaxed and cozy when I climb in. And I spent over a year writing to magazines about the benefits of Epsom Salt (that’s my former client’s site!) so I should practice what I preached and take an Epsom Salt bath a few times a week!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BethT February 11, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I’ve wanted to buy that mix for ages – you’ve inspired me! So cheap compared to buying all tghe seafood separately.

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2 Katschi February 11, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Unfortunately I don’t like seafood but I will use this method with my standby chicken. I can imagine it does taste like dishes you’ve had in restaurants because it sure looks like a dish you’d have in one.
Too funny with the pumpkin face!
I can surely appreciate all the effort you take with your blog…it shows and it’s wonderful to visit here.

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3 melissa February 11, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Hi Kath,

I was wondering what, if any, techniques you used to work through weight loss plateaus. I just read an article on yahoo health from nutritionist Joy Bauer. These are her tips:
1) Boost Your Metabolism
Try adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes of cardio-exercise to your daily routine – you’ll burn at least 50 additional calories. Also, add two to three days of strength training.

2) Check Portion Sizes, Get Rid of Extras

3) Remove All Starchy Carbs With Dinner

4) Don’t Eat After 8 p.m.
To really understand her tips, see the article here: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/joybauernutrition/25060/bust-through-a-weight-plateau/;_ylt=AitdRqsbGMJygT2rQRuOUrYa788F

If you don’t mind comment on these ideas, and if any of these worked for you, or if you could just give some of your own suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

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4 Tina February 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Do you use canned pumpkin in your yogurt? Sounds wonderful!

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5 Alyssa February 11, 2008 at 9:21 pm

It looks like the sun!

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6 amanda February 11, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I have a question about calorie counts.

I had a decent breakfast but had no time for lunch with classes, and then a big dinner. However, my calories for the day are around 700. I am full from dinner but I was wondering if I should keep my count this low, or have a snack later on?

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7 michelle February 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm

i know that some people are opposed to calorie count, but can you please just post the calorie count of tonight’s dinner. i would really appreciate it.

also, i wonder if you take rests during your 4-5 mile runs. if so, how long?

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8 Sarah February 11, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Kath, I just wanted to let you know that I was stressing over chemistry problems, and decided to make a mental break and visit your site…your “yogurt face” made me smile and completely made my night. :D

Looks too cute to eat…but I’m sure it tasted absolutely yummy. :D

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9 KellyA February 11, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Wow Amanda, 700 calories for the DAY???? That is much, much too low for a young woman. I’m not sure you could manage a decent breakfast and dinner with that few calories. Maybe try to stash some snacks in your bag (Kath style lol) to eat mid-day to keep up your calories and metabolism. Plus, I find that a PB sandwich on whole wheat works wonders…very satisfying and easy to eat on the fly. I think that the LOWEST amount of calories that a woman should eat is around 1200, but I’m no expert. Anyone else want to chime in? Hope this helps!

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10 kay February 11, 2008 at 9:38 pm

I love grapefruits but strongly dislike (hate is too strong!) canned pumpkim.. I just feel like I am eating a can flavored pumpkin… Is there a way to get rid of this can taste??

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11 VeggieGirl February 11, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Kath, your afternoon-snack made me chuckle – such a fun, playful design!! :0D

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12 kay February 11, 2008 at 9:44 pm

The yogurt face is funny! Kind of looks like the husband??!! Just kidding :p

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13 mags February 11, 2008 at 9:45 pm

michelle… the post says one serving of the dinner was around 450 kcal (not sure if it was edited after you posted that but just wanted to make sure you saw!)

amanda… you should EAT! 700 calories is WAY too low for anyone in a single day. eating so few calories slows down your metabolism and is NOT healthy!! be careful!

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14 grace February 11, 2008 at 9:50 pm

When I was in college, there were definitely days I was only eating between 700-900 calories by accident. I counted one day and realized what I was doing! I just started carrying around Zone bars (not the most natural, but it worked) and other meal replacement/snack bars like that. It really helped. Then I also made sure to find the time for lunch, even if it were a light and healthy frozen meal, peanut butter sandwich, or salad. I even would eat in class if necessary. If you feel uncomfortable, talk to your professor about it. I’m sure they are more understanding than one might think!

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15 Alyssa February 11, 2008 at 9:51 pm

700 is too low! I can’t imagine only eating that much!

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16 amanda February 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm

I know 700 is too low, and I always eat over 1200 but I am wondering if I should eat even if I am not hungry at night. I make it habit to eat lunch. The question was not if the number was right (I know it is too low) but rather should I try to make up for it at night even if I am full from dinner?

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17 B_Hlthy February 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm

One concept to the “1200″ minimum rule is that we all have a metabolic rate (we burn calories of energy for all bodily functions, add any form of walking, thinking, studying, exercise, even eating and those all burn additional calories.) So this metabolic rate for sedentary young women 18-35 yr is going to be around 1200-1600 based on height, weight, bmi, activity level etc. (for example: I know that if I sat on the couch all day long, without doing anything .. my body would need 1321 calories to keep itself sitting) Thus I would need to have an intake of 1321 calories to maintain my current weight if all i did was sit all day.

Another idea to keep in mind is that the lowest recommended intake of 1200 is based on all the required nutrients your body needs to keep functioning (in the simplest way I can generalize: you need things such as calcium for your bones, vitamin K – protein – iron for muscles and blood functions, carbohydrates for fuel, fat for tissue/brain functions, the list goes on and on…).

The only way to acquire all these key nutrients your body needs for health is to eat the minimum amount of each food necessary to fufill the daily reccomendations for calcium, fat, protein, other vitamins, minerals, etc . The minimum amount of these foods (which come for a wide variety of food groups) that will get you all the recommended intakes usually is around or just above 1200 calories. That is minimum, not the true amount you need optimally.

If you are CONTINUALLY getting below 1200 calories/day, you are not meeting the minimal requirements for nutrients that your body needs. I say continually because lots of people have a day or two where they just arent that hungry. Much too many days of this severely low calorie intake as in 500 below the minimum 1200, can have serious negative health implications.
Bone loss, hair loss, metabolic problems, the list goes on.
…Your body most likely will go into or is in a “starvation” state. This means, your body senses that the sotmach is empty, so it starts to save anything it can. So the next time you do eat, it immediately goes into fat storage- your body’s most dense energy resevoir. Not getting enough food often enough will have your body saying in response to the food you do eat “Save this! We are going to need it and she’s not going to feed us for another 7 hours!” In turn, your body will burn the easiest energy sources for fuel ( muscle tissue!).

You don’t want to lose muscle and store fat!!! You want the opposite! Burn fat and build muscle! The best way to do this is to ensure you are eating healthy foods, for your health, and meeting nutrient requirements ( check out a site like mypyramid.gov and enter in all your info to get a personalized dietary intake recommendation) and also exercise to keep your heart (and muscles) healthy!

Hope this is helpful!

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18 Mel no2 February 11, 2008 at 10:08 pm

That yogurt face reminds me of the Banana/PB/raisin smiley faces my mom used to make for us (my brother, sister, and I) as kids! Thanks for the nostalgia Kath!

PS I’ve been craving seafood pasta lately, so now I’ll just have to try your recipe!

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19 B_Hlthy February 11, 2008 at 10:13 pm

* amanda…i hadnt read your latest comments.. You shouldnt force feed yourself just to meet a number, but eating a small snack if you know you are low could be very helpful.

I would suggest planning your meals and snacks accordingly so that you don’t end up super low at the end of the night when you arent interested in eating anyway! As many readers suggested, take healthy snacks with you! Balancing meals takes a little planning but its worth it!
That way there is NO ISSUE about “should i make myself eat if im not hungry” I am sure you and all of us really know the answer to that question…No, you shouldnt force yourself to do something you dont want to do to meet a number. But you should be able to plan ahead enough that you usually get your nutrients so one night of being under isnt a big deal.

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20 Kate February 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I am not a fan of shrimp or scallops, but your dinner looks really delicious. Maybe I will try it with chicken. The yogurt face is so funny and cute! I love anything pumpkin–I made pumpkin chili with ground turkey for dinner tonight.

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21 amanda February 11, 2008 at 10:19 pm

thanks for the comments. I feel silly now, because I don’t usually have this problem and I feel like some people thought this mishap was a habit. I was just rushing around and by the time I got to eating, it was dinner time. I do appreciate everyone’s advice. I will definitely try to plan my snacks ahead of time!

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22 Kristen February 11, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Mmmm Mmmm…

Since it’s pasta on the brain, I was wondering if anyone/Kath has any suggestions as to how to measure dry pasta without a food scale (for example, with spaghetti-type noodles, is there a diameter comparison that would work like a coin?). I never know how close I am to the actual 2 oz. serving size, and worry I could be ‘sneaking’ hundreds of extra noodlicious calories.

Thanks all!

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23 Meg February 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm
24 Heather K February 11, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I was wondering what the machines’ (ET, Stairmaster) calories burned readings are when you exercise compared to the reading on your HR monitor. Your dinner looks great by the way!

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25 cara February 11, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Wow that looks absolutely amazing. I am always looking for alternatives to chicken broth (I am allergic to chicken) and wine seems like a fun idea :-) Thanks for the idea!

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26 B_Hlthy February 11, 2008 at 11:19 pm

oh wow ive commented alot tonight! I have off work tomorrow hee hee..

I also wonder Kath, can you let us in on what the cardio machines say you burn total vs. heart rate monitor readings ( seem like you usually burn about 400+). My cardio workouts according to the machines burn anywhere from 450-800…I am curious as to if yours are similar and your monitor gives you a much different reading…ie I need to get a polar f6!

…. I am asking for the heart rate monitor as a gift since grad school for nutrition = no money for me!

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27 M.E. February 11, 2008 at 11:21 pm

B_Hlthy-
Is muscle tissue really the easiest energy source for fuel? If that is the case, then do we lose muscle first and then lose fat?

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28 Nadia February 11, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Quick question about this meal for Kath or anyone who know…can red wine be subbed for the white wine or will the flavor be much different? Never cooked with wine so have no idea…thanks!

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29 Nadia February 11, 2008 at 11:47 pm

i meant for anyone who “knows”…sorry, it was bothering me

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30 Megan February 12, 2008 at 12:33 am

M.E.
I know you asked B_hlthy but I think I know the answer…you will burn muscle first, IF you don’t exercise…ie your body will not burn the muscle if it thinks it needs it!

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31 Kath February 12, 2008 at 6:16 am

Melissa,
I think Joy gives some good tips but they seem to be a little strict (not eating after 8, no carbs with dinner)

You hit a plateau when your body gets used to eating a certain number of calories and/or you have lost enough wait that what was once a good number for weight loss is now a good number for weight maintenance. Hence, you need fewer calories to fuel your smaller body than you did when you were larger. Since it’s hard to eat less, most R.D.s recommend adding 10-15 minutes onto your workout to burn that calorie difference.

I hit two plateaus during my weight loss and the methods that always worked 1) I started walking at lunch 2) I added 2 new kinds of exercise 3) I clean up my diet

In addition to walking at lunch, I started taking a new boot camp class last spring and began swimming with the warmer weather instead of just doing the Stairmaster and ET every day. I also was eating a “dessert” every night (even if it was a healthy one like cereal) and was eating more packaged foods than I probably needed, so I started eating more produce and a little more dinner instead of dessert. It worked – I broke through and the last 10 pounds came off (slowly!)

Kay,
I usually add some cinnamon/pie spice and sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar to my pumpkin mixtures. It kind of takes the squashy taste out of the pumpkin.

B_Healthy,
Thanks for your well-written response to starvation mode. I’m putting this in the FAQs!

Amanda,
Glad to hear you don’t eat 700 regularly. I agree that you should work to plan your day a little better and have snacks on hand so you can nibble at times when you are hungry so you don’t miss out on vital nutrients. Your stomach may not be hungry but your brain, cells and tissues are screaming for a bite of ATP!

Kristen,
Generally 1/2 a cup of uncooked pasta yields 1 cup of cooked and is about 2 oz. For long spaghetti, click the Crate and Barrel link Meg gave you and search for “Pasta Measure.” It’s a cute ring that lets you put different amounts in to get about 2 oz. But you might as well buy a food scale if you’re going to buy the ring!

Heather and B_Hlthy,
I rarely take note of the calorie burns on the machines so I’m not quite sure of the exact numbers compared to my heart rate monitor. After 30 minutes on the Stairmaster I am usually at about 275 kcal burned and I think I’ve seen the monitor report numbers like 350-400, so it’s pretty far off. The machines tend to overestimate a lot, sorry to bring bad news! Calories burned on the machines is entirely based on the type of machine (such as arms or no arms) and the resistance you have. I would not trust the elliptical screen to estimate your calories burned, even if you do put in height and weight, as I’ve found them to be a good 25-30% higher than my heart rate monitor’s number.
A general estimate for calorie burn is about 80-100 calories per mile run. If you run 10 minute miles, that’s 270-300 calories in 30 minutes. If you don’t feel like the elliptical gave you the equivalent of a 3-mile run workout, you probably didn’t burn more than you would have when running. Make sense? It’s a good way to estimate. Estimate being the key word there!

Nadia,
While some recipes are great with red wine (think tomato sauce bases) I wouldn’t use it with this recipe, which is very light. Generally red wine needs a heavier sauce to support it’s more complex flavors. You can do a search at http://www.myrecipes.com for recipes that call for red wine. We put it in tomato sauce and beef dishes and it adds wonderful flavor!

Kath

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32 B_Hlthy February 12, 2008 at 8:37 am

thanks megan for getting to M.E!
M.E… Exercise physiology is very complicated and you arent just continually burning muscle and no fat…However, I intended to give a general response as to what does happen often when in starvation mode… If you are consuming such little food on a consistent basis, your body will turn to burning muscle before fat (muscle utilizes protein and carbohydrates both offer 4 cal/g… but fat is 9 cal/g and the densest nutrient, so your body would store it because of its density if you arent eating enough overall food to repair muscle tissue from everyday strain). essentially you tear the muscle when you use it for an activity (say lifting a dumbell or a bag of groceries). your body will tear that muscle slightly. Your body needs enough nutrients to repair it..hence why everyone says you should eat within 60-90 minutes post workout… you need fuel to repair the muscle or else your body will not be able to repair it, losing muscle tissue.

Please any exercise physio’s out there – chime in- it was only my major for three semesters in college…

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33 TrishT February 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Melissa,
I have recently lost 12 pounds, I have averaged about 2.5 pounds a month loss. I noticed (Thanks to Selfdietclub.com) that I don’t lose any weight the week before and after my period. The other two weeks I will drop the 2.5 pounds, my eating and exercise is consistent throughout. My guess is be patient and if your plateaus are longer than a few weeks, then a change might be needed.

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34 Melissa February 12, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for the advice Kath and Trish!

I will definitely start making half my lunch breaks walks whenever possible! It is exactly 15 minutes to powerwalk to the new CB2 store in Soho, so that is my fun destination.

For me not eating after 8 would be hard because I work until 5 and then have class straight through until 7:45 so I don’t get home until 8:30ish. Good to know it is not the only way!

NOTE TO PASTA LOVERS:

If you stack long dry pasta on a quarter, it is almost exactly 2 oz. fun trick.

Hope the exams went well Kath!

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35 mel February 12, 2008 at 6:30 pm

wow melissa. great trick!! and great name! haha
Mel

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