Friday, January 11, 2013

Cooking On The Fly


Cooking On The Fly

Eating healthy is not hard. If left to my own devices I would probably eat sautéed vegetables with pasta or rice every day. It is easy, fast and inexpensive. And it is simple to change the flavor with different herbs, spices and sauces.  Your can use frozen or canned vegetables and dried beans.

During those times when my husband is on travel, that is how I eat. For the most part, however, he is more of a dining traditionalist with a preference for having meat as a main course with a starch and salad or vegetable. Since he does most of the cooking, I just go with the flow.

My culinary preferences are based upon Chinese and Italian cooking styles - which rely upon utilizing whatever fruits and vegetables are in season or readily available.  And, I am an unapologetic fan of carbs and never tire of rice and pasta.  And garlic.

And many dishes can be readily thrown together with items that are already on hand. I hadn’t planned on cooking this evening. About 7:00 pm my husband, who has been working on finishing his observatory, popped in and said he and his friend were going to keep working and asked if I’d run into the store to buy bacon so he could make spaghetti carbonara for dinner.  I really wasn’t in the mood to drive 20 minutes round trip to the grocery for bacon or to eat cabonara. So, I said I would throw something together.

Since I’d made an abundance of pesto from our summer basil harvest and had frozen several batches, I knew something fabulous was possible on short notice. A quick check of the freezer and I spied a package of tiger shrimp. We always have on hand olive oil, fresh garlic and a selection of cheeses. For me, dinner was a no brainer.

So a mere 20 minutes later, we had a fabulous concoction of steamed shrimp tossed with olive oil, extra garlic, lemon juice, rotini, basil/walnut pesto and grated padano cheese. Fast, healthy, tasty, and easy.

Really, I could eat this everyday – eliminate or substitute the shrimp with smoked salmon (really!) or chicken, add asparagus or broccoli or shredded carrots, add olives or artichokes or chopped mushrooms, some chilies, and onion, tomatoes, more garlic…. the possibilities are endless mixed with pasta, rice or beans.




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