Fast(ing) Food - Spicy Lemon Butter Pasta

Day 73, Fast Day #35

Turns out I lost another pound, so I have surpassed the 20 lb milestone and am down 21 lbs  (9.5 kg) since I started alternate day fasting back in April. I also busted out the measuring tape and I have shed two inches from my waist and a bit over one inch from my hips. My slimmer self is now fitting into clothes that had magically "shrunk a lot in the dryer" over the years.

My copy of Wheat Belly should be arriving in the mail tomorrow. I would like to stop eating wheat products in the near future as an additional experiment, but that day is not today. Plus, I just looked at the list of food and alcohol supplies for my hen weekend at the end of the month, and there are some really tasty wheat products (vodka, croissants  muffins, more vodka, beer, more vodka). It will be an epic weekend at the shore with my girls with some epic feasts. 

While I had carbs on the mind, I worked on using up the last box of pasta in the house and threw together a savory and spicy pasta dish. 
Spicy Lemon Butter Pasta (Yields 3 servings) ~325 kcal/serving
Takes 10-15 minutes

I really enjoy pungent, strong flavored foods like mustard, garlic, olives, vinegar, and pickled vegetables. So, if you are not as fond of these sorts of strong flavors, I would recommend cutting the olives and garlic, then perhaps adding more lemon. Capers would be good instead of olives, but I unfortunately had none on hand tonight.
  • 4 oz pasta (I used whole grain medium shells) ~400 kcal
  • 2 tbsp olive oil ~250 kcal
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter ~102 kcal
  • 1/4 large onion (I used a yellow onion) ~15 kcal
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly - optional ~4 kcal
  • 8 kalamata olives, sliced - optional ~50 kcal
  • 8 grape tomatoes, halved ~16 kcal
  • 8 pieces of marinated artichoke heart (quarter pieces), chopped (I used Costco's~108 kcal
  • 1/4 cup sliced banana pepper or peperoncinis (I used Mezzetta's mild pepper rings~10 kcal
  • 2 cups arugula, chopped ~10 kcal
  • 2 tsp lemon juice ~2 kcal
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar ~7 kcal
  • pepper, to taste ~1 kcal
  • Italian seasoning, 2-3 dashes (or mix of marjoram, thyme, oregano, and basil)
  • red pepper flakes, to taste - optional for even more spiciness
Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water and heat to a boil. While the water is heating up, prep the veggies and garlic. Once the water is boiling, add pasta to cook for 6 minutes (slightly underdone, because they are going in a skillet later) with a little salt so they don't stick.

In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add in the onions.

Heat onions until they start to become translucent. Stir occasionally. Add in garlic.

After about a minute, add in the olives, artichoke hearts, and peppers. 

After a minute or so, add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

Once the pasta has cooked 6 minutes, drain and toss the pasta into the skillet. Add arugula. once the arugula is wilting, season with pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes . Eat!


  1. I'll be interested to see how cutting out wheat products will go for you. It's something I've toyed with but that I'm a bit reluctant to do as I love bread and pasta so much. I have found that I do it on fast days, usually, but feast days usually make up for it then! Do you ever envisage cutting out carbs completely? Or at least, potato products?

  2. I don't think it's wise to cut out all carbohydrates, as fresh veggies and fruit can have a lot of carbs. However, I would like to try eliminating wheat and refined corn products, as well as cut back on added sugars. I basically want to eat lower on the glycemic index. I don't think I am going to stop eating potatoes because of their potassium content, since my grandmother has had some E.R. scares from low potassium, so I try to watch mine. I'm also part Polish, so I consider potatoes in their various forms one of my ultimate comfort foods. I'm sure you understand about potatoes.