Tuesday, February 19, 2013

my new favorite obsession

sometimes eating healthy starts to get boring. you can get stuck in a rut making the same things over and over,  just like regular foods. another thing that seems to happens when we choose to eat healthy is we skip eating altogether when we are bored or in a rush. this is never a good option. 
 the other day i was really hungry and really bored with juice, yogurt, oatmeal and fruit for breakfast.  i stood there staring in my refrigerator and my pantry, hoping they would inspire me. you know what i'm talking about when you open the door and look in and then you close it walk away and then go back and open it again, hoping something new might magically appear. don't laugh, i know you all have done it before. well this time, it actually worked. when i reopened my refrigerator door i was staring at a container of ricotta cheese. okay, so the cheese was in there the first time, but remember i was looking for breakfast, not making lasagna, stuffed shells or cheesecake. did i say cheesecake? yes that was what first came into my mind, but then i remembered my mom's jack lalanne days. this was his pre-juicing days when he used to be on tv everyday with his work out program. ok, no i'm not getting side tracked, but i started to think about what my mom used to eat for breakfast now and then. she would eat what she called her poor mans version of cheesecake. this was ricotta cheese, fruit and honey. 
 most of you have probably eaten cottage cheese at some point in your life, unless your like me and  won't touch that stuff with a 10 foot pole. being italian ricotta cheese was always readily available in our house or easy enough to make on our own if we were in a bind (that's a recipe for another time). now cottage cheese is runny and lumpy and just generally kind of blah, to look at. ricotta is not watery, lumpy or blah. it is creamy and a bit sweet too. so i don't think cottage cheese would have the same effect that this dish had for me, but feel free to try it if your a cottage cheese fan.
i never ate this with her, i would just roll my eyes and reach for the pancakes and syrup and she would look at me and smile. which i now know why, she was secretly laughing at me because she knew that time and age would be all the payback she needed to make me understand her choice. this is when i lived on carbs and chocolate and looked like no one ever fed me. ahhhh those were the days. anyway back to my point, i decided why not, since cheesecake wasn't really on the list of foods on my new years resolution diet. i had some wonderfully sweet blackberries in their too, so i dished myself up a bowl of ricotta, added the blackberries and a drizzle of honey and dug in!
doesn't look like much does it? well looks can be deceiving, it tasted great! not exactly cheesecake, but it was creamy, sweet and satisfying. it is also packed with protein and very filling. 
i am now hooked and have been using the ricotta cheese just like yogurt for a change up when i am looking for a little variety. i have mixed it into smoothies and topped it with granola. it's great sprinkled with a little brown sugar instead of honey or even agave. the sweeter and juicier the fruit is the yummier it tastes. the other night i sprinkled some amaretto and brown sugar on some strawberries while we ate dinner and then poured it over the top for a delicious after dinner treat. 
to think, this little gem has been sitting in my refrigerator this whole time and it just took thinking outside the box for just a minute to create a new fun choice for my taste buds. of course, i'm sure my mom was up there looking down on me laughing as she nudged my brain in the right direction, she probably even rolled her eyes at me too!!!!

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