Spaghetti and More…

It’s a Beautiful Day In Our Neighborhood.

One reason Tom Hanks wanted to play Mr. Rogers in the movie A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood, was to counteract the daily cynicism we’re all exposed to and to interject the reminder that it’s okay to feel good. 

(It took Hanks 22 takes to get the entrance to the Mr. Rogers show to everyone’s satisfaction– the singing, the jacket off, the sweater on, the changing of the shoes.)

What if we have a beautiful day in our neighborhood?

On one beautiful day, I noticed how much fun it was to watch someone else cook, yet I didn’t want to do it myself.

Do you find yourself riveted to cooking shows?

Maybe it’s just me.

And then yesterday I found myself interested in what clothing Jill and her husband wear in Wyoming’s cold winters.

Jill has a lot to say on her fabulous blog, Jill@theprairiehomestead.com, and when someone asked what they wore in those freezing Wyoming winters, she answered—complete with pictures. 

I laughed at myself for my interest in heavy jackets, silk neck scarfs, and muck boots.  Been there, done that, but then, I’ve cooked too—and I’m still interested in how others do it.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

A couple of days ago I mixed up a quart of Master Cleanse Drink “To cleanse and provide all six tastes–reduces cravings,” so say the instructions I got from my Naturopath. 

The suggestion is to drink 1-2 quarts a day. I haven’t gotten through an entire quart yet, for I keep giving glasses of it away. (My grandson loves ginger, as do I.)

The drink is fabulous, tastes rather like Ginger Beer. (That is nonalcoholic.)

Here’s the recipe:

Mix a quart at a time.

Drink 1-2 quarts a day.

  • 4-8 tsp honey or to taste. (No wonder it was good, I measured 4 TABLESPOONS instead of tsp.
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper—reduce if too strong. (I could hardly taste it.
  • ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 TBLS fresh lemon or lime juice. (That turned out to be the juice of one lemon)
  • 4 oz. Apple juice
  • 28 oz. Filtered water. (This fills a 32 oz blender. I stirred it instead, and used bottled spring water.)

Beware this causes extreme spaghetti cravings.

By the end of the day, I wanted spaghetti so much that I called my husband and asked if he would bring home a box of pasta. 

See, I do cook. 

Everyone has a spaghetti sauce recipe, so carry on with what you like. Depending on who makes it, spaghetti tastes different. My mother put a bit of sugar in hers, for it cuts the sharp tomato flavor. I inherited the idea of adding a little grated carrot to the mix from a dear friend of the family.

Making spaghetti feels creative, throw in a little of this, a little of that, with no measuring. Besides, it’s one of my favorite foods. 

Don’t tell me pasta is bad for me.

Long ago, it seemed that the Italian way was to simmer the tomato sauce half a day, reducing it to a thick paste. Then I found that wasn’t necessary. I like a lighter sauce with a mild tomato flavor, so I make it with only diced tomatoes. 

Here’s my Spaghetti recipe: 

Begin, of course, with garlic and onion sautéed in olive oil. Throw in diced tomatoes, a bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, and a small amount of grated carrot and zuchinni. Cook until tender, and the flavors are blended. Ladle the sauce over cooked spaghetti, and top it off with plenty of freshly grated parmesean cheese. Oh yes, and add a little butter to your spaghetti. 

(This recipe can be made with meat, of course. My husband skips the tomato sauce and goes with buttered spaghetti, some hamburger, and lots of parmesean cheese.)

I ate leftovers three times the next day.

I think that satisfied my cravings.

Today I mixed up more of the cleansing drink. 

I wonder what’s coming next…

While I am on the subject of food, I ran into information that shocked me.

I have been a whole grain nut for years. 

I grew up on white bread, but after I left my folk’s house and chose for myself, I went the whole grain route. I raised my kids on dark bread, thinking that white stuff was an abomination—except for french bread and sour dough, of course.  Various artisan breads entered into the fray, but, for sandwiches, I went the whole wheat route.

Now we hear how wheat is bad for us, especially gluten.

And it puts weight on us. 

And it is constipating.

Then I ran into this:

There are cells called lectins in whole wheat husts that can cut into the gut, or loosen the tight junctions, and leave us with leaking gut syndrome, which means that some large molecules leak out into the bloodstream. 

Once in the bloodstream, these large molecules can affect the joints, skin, heart brain, and the brain goes on high alert, toxins rampage.

The peoples of Asia eat white rice. (That means no husks, no lectins.)

I found that in India, the people ate white bread and white rice. I believed that a country in need of nutrition had it backward.

It looks like I did.

Scientists have found that in the #Blue Zones, the areas where people live the healthiest and the longest, it is not the diets, specifically, for some eat meat, some do not. Some eat bread, some do not, some drink wine, and so on. The bottom line is they have good gut health.

#Lectins are naturally occurring proteins found in most plants. Their purpose is to protect it’s owner, the plant. They are a defense for the plant against insects, and certain herbivores, and have no nutritional value 

Certain lectins can cause digestive distress. Phytohaemagglutinin, found in raw kidney beans, is poisonous. As is ricin, the lectin found in caster beans. (My dog snarfed down a caster bean once—they grew wild in California—I  called the vet, they said to give her a salt ball. Moisten in a palm full of salt, making a ball and pretend you are giving the dog a pill, in other words, push it down her throat. 

She threw up on the way to the Vet and lived many years after.

The good news is Cooking degrades most of the lectins in foods. So soak your beans and boil them.

Lectins are resistant to Dry Heat.

So baked goods don’t apply.

Some foods that contain higher amounts of lectins include beans, peanuts, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, fruits, wheat, and other grains.

Well, there are my tomatoes on the list; however, I further annihilated the lectins by boiling the tomatoes, and I used white floor pasta, also boiled, so, I’m thinking–that spaghetti was good for me.

Fascinating food facts:

 Raw kidney beans contain from 20,000 to 70,000 lectin units, while fully cooked beans usually contain between 200 and 400 units.

Other ways to reduce your lectin intake is:

  • ·       Fermentation
  • ·       Sprouting
  • ·       Soaking
  • ·       Cooking.

Certain seaweeds and mucilaginous vegetables bind lectins in a way that makes them unavailable to the cells of the gut.

The Benefits of mucilaginous fiber:

  • Prebiotic effect Corrects bowel movements
  •   Suppress blood sugar responses
  •   Beneficial effect on cholesterol
  • Heal gut lining
  • Removes toxins  
  •   Boosts immune system’helps adrenal fatigue


Foods rich in Mucilaginous fiber: 

  •     Cassava plantain
  •       Fenugreek
  •      Okra
  •       Figs
  •      Marshmallow root
  •      Fermented soy bean
  •       Kelp
  •     Algae