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Tummy is grumbling. I can feel my hanger (angry because I’m hungry) coming on. The world is a fog. Everyone is annoying and I need to get some food in my belly before the acid in my stomach starts eating through my spinal cord (not literally, but that’s what it feels like).

I run into the house, fling off my coat onto the couch, throw the grocery bags on the counter and start making my lunch.

From grocery bag to table in 5 minutes. Here goes.

I pull out the mandoline, wash my zucchini and basil, and I quickly slice the zucchini by setting my mandoline to 1/16″ thick. I place the pile of zucchini in a bowl, toss with olive oil, the juice of a meyer lemon, plenty of fresh pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and I add in some basil leaves and garnish with toasted pine nuts and shaved pecorino cheese. Done.

Funny thing is, I didn’t even have to eat it to feel better. Just the brightness of spring green colors and the freshness of the lemon juice made me smile.

It was light, satiating (olive oil lends to this feeling) and a wonderful snack/side dish/lunch.

When hunger pangs hit you, even though you want the drive thru, or that donut, or whatever you might be craving, first get something light and refreshing with plenty of nutrients in your body. Tell yourself that if you still feel like the junk afterwards, you’ll let yourself have it, but only after you eat something healthy. Chances are you won’t really be craving that junk food anymore and your body and mind will thank you for it!

I can’t say I manage this every time. But I’m getting better at it and 95% of the time I do. Much better than my 40% average 3 years ago.  Little bits by little bits.

Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino Cheese (optional for vegans)

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (I used meyer)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to garnish

Thinly slice the zucchini into 1/16″ slices. This is super fast if you have a mandoline. Alternately try using a carrot peeler. Put the zucchini slices and basil in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper. Garnish with pine nuts and a few slices of shaved Pecorino cheese. Best served immediately so the basil stays bright green. Serves 2.

I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday ManiaMeatless MondaysFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty TuesdaysA Little Birdie Told Me, Cast Party Wednesday, Pennywise Platter ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Food Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

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