Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald It looks like the zoodles trend is here to stay, which means you can now purchase spriral-cut zuchinni noodles ("zoodles") at the grocery store. Throw together a quick, delicious olive tapenade tomato sauce and you have a quick, delicious meal.

Pan-seared, hot, spicy sausage; stiff, crispy bacon; buttery, fluffy biscuits; red potatoes with garlic; eggs with just a little yoke and creamy gravy slowly simmering ready to blanket this entire feast. The boys were enticed by this scene, and this morning we all lingered over breakfast for as long as we could possibly stretch that delicious ceremony where stuffing our faces ended in long-overdue conversations we all kept hidden til we gathered again.

I miss them. I miss their little boy faces that still shine through their deeper voices and grown up expressions. I miss the way they playfully interact, and their constant sarcasm was music to my ears because it was all exchanged in love - and I realized my dream of raising my boys to become close best friends who are always careful to spend time together and genuinely care for each other has happened. I prayed for this and it's here.

We ate. We laughed. We loved. It went too fast. They're going back to their grown-up life and their grown jobs and their homes away from home.

My reality is back as well, and the over-eating has taken its toll, which calls for a meatless Monday dish like zoodles and a to-die-for tomato sauce. I love zucchini, yet using them in place of pasta didn't really appeal to me until now. I love the idea of eating a great stand in for the heavy, flour-laden pasta but I have been reluctant to purchase the tools to make this. The produce section at Kroger offers packaged zoodles, prompting this lovely idea of making this dish as a test run. I am impressed mostly with the sauce, but overall I'm happy with this meal.

I never like the anticipation til we meet again. Replaying the vision of the lingering dinner conversations with my family, smiling grown up boys and all the glances while we passed the food around, hurts but helps the time to pass and without it I would have nothing. Our experiences are my treasures; they help me prepare for our next dinner.

Until then, I'll eat healthy with this new meal.

Zoodles with Olive Tapenade Tomato Sauce

1 package of zoodles

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black olives

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon oil

In a heated pan, place the oil and saute the zoodles for 3 minutes on high. In a food processor, place the tomatoes, black olives, onion, garlic and vinegar. Blend until chunky but smooth. Pour this over the zucchini noodles and top with Parmesan.

Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals" and owner of Let's Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.


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