Posted by: Hil | September 8, 2008

Losing my Appetite

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At the moment, I’m stressed out and feeling a bit under the weather, and my appetite has been less than it’s normal self.  The last couple of days, I never find myself feeling hungry, but never feel particularly satisfied either.  I’m hoping that in a few days will go away, because this is no fun.  I like looking forward to a meal.  In the meantime, I am trying to keep up with some semblance of a normal food schedule, but with lighter, lower volume meals, and more snacks when I felt up to it to keep my daily calorie total at a reasonable level.  Breakfast was half an English muffin with a smear of avocado and a cup of applesauce.

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Lunch was some soba noodles in hot broth with spinach and shrimp–a well-rounded, soothing, one dish meal.  I had a few edamame and some dried mango to round things out.

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Dinner was something I’ve been curious about for a long time:  Ellie Krieger’s mac and cheese.  The gimmick is that instead of thickening the sauce with a lot of roux or cream, the sauce is based on frozen pureed squash.  I ended up tweaking the recipe slightly:  adding a bit more cheddar, swapping jack for part skim mozzarella, and omitting the bread crumb topping.  It ended up tasting very good, but I definitely would not sell it as a mac and cheese…the squash flavor was a bit too pronounced for that.  As both the husband and I like squash, this wasn’t a problem.  Re-label the recipe as pasta with cheesy winter squash sauce, and you have a winner.

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The method is wonderfully simple–simpler than a standard mac and cheese.  (The following instructions reflect my changes).  First, cook up 16 oz. of pasta–I used whole wheat shells–drain, and place in a baking dish.  For the sauce, melt two 10 oz. boxes of frozen pureed squash with two cups of low fat milk in a saucepan.  When the squash is fully melted and combined with the milk, add 5 oz. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, 2 oz. mozzarella, and half a cup of ricotta cheese.  You can go low fat with the mozzarella and ricotta, but you really need full flavor sharp cheddar to make this taste right.  When the cheese has melted in, add a teaspoon of mustard, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt and black pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix.  Top the whole thing with a bit of grated parmesan and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes…until the filling is bubbling.

To go with the pasta, I had roasted asparagus (hiding in the background of the above picture) and some melon.

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Responses

  1. I too lose my appetite when I’m stressed, so I know how you feel 😦 Hang in there!!!

    Haha, your new title for Ellie Krieger’s recipe sounds more appropriate, since it DOES contain a lot of winter squash 😉

  2. That is funny about the mac n cheese. I actually made it for my family and my in laws for thanksgiving and no one had a clue it had squash in it. I used one whole fresh squash rather than frozen and I roasted it before pureeing it. Maybe that made the difference?

    Sorry about the stress 😦

  3. Oh no! I hate losing my appetite! I hope things ease up a bit and you feel back to normal in no time, feel better 🙂

  4. i hope you get your appetite back soon! your eats look amazing though – the squash mc & cheese looks so good, as well as the soba of course.

  5. I am sorry you’re stressed. When I get stressed I eat, so at least you don’t do that!

    Thanks for sharing that fantastic macaroni and cheese recipe.

  6. Thanks everyone for the good wishes.

    Heather–I usually eat when stressed! This is a new thing for me. I have to say that I always used to think that losing my appetite would be so much better than stress eating, but looking at it from this end, it’s not! Both of them are about feeling unsatisfied and out of tune with your body and neither is any fun.

  7. I’ve been meaning to try that mac n cheese! And since I love butternut squash… sounds like a winner 🙂

  8. I just made the squashy mac & cheese – very good! I didn’t have any cayenne pepper and i forgot the mustard, so it turned out a TAD bland, but nothing a little salt and pepper cant fix. I couldn’t find frozen squash so I used fresh – baked it then pureed it myself and you can hardly taste it, although the texture is a bit “squashy.”

    It was not hard at all, and I love mac and cheese but don’t like how unhealthy it normally is, so this is a huge winner for me!


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