Garden Shrimp Rotini

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Way, way back, I got on a cabbage kick. And since then I really haven’t put the kibosh on cabbage.IMG_1193

Friends, especially Derek Smith, have noticed that I’m a sucker for veggie+protein+pasta combinations. Usually, there’s red sauce in the mix. But sometimes I shake things up, literally. Shake a little lemon, a little EVOO, red wine vinegar, and herbs for a fresh alternative.

Some more veggies and sauteed shrimp make this delightful. Plus, cabbage is a fab mix-in because it gives a bulk to the pasta that’s very, very good for you.

Veggie and seafood lovers, you will definitely want to give this one a go.

IngredientsIMG_1195

2 oz. dry whole-wheat rotini noodles

1 cup cabbage, sliced into “noodles”

1 Roma tomato

2 T sliced onion

2 oz small shrimp

dash of rosemary, sage, basil

1 T olive oil + 1 t red wine vinegar + a big squeeze of lemon (optional: grated parmesan) IMG_1185

Directions

Bring 5 cups water to boil in a pot and add in wheat and cabbage noodles. Boil until cabbage is tender and wheat noodles almost cooked all the way through–a little al dente is good for controlling the blood sugar levels, in case you’re wondering.

Meanwhile, slice tomato up and sauté with onion and herbs in a medium to large skillet. Then add in shrimp.

In a small container you can seal, add in liquids: olive oil, vinegar, and lemon. Add in grated parmesan if you like that, too. Shake well. Set aside.

In skillet, add in the noodles once they’ve boiled and have been strained fully. Turn up the heat for a minute or so (medium to medium-high) to extract out any remaining water. Let sauté for a few minutes, tossing occasionally.IMG_1188

Transfer to one large bowl. Serve warm as is; but I of course had to have a little red sauce under my pasta. I still can’t resist a good marinara.

And honestly, this recipe is probably big enough to serve two people, but it’s so good and healthful there’s no shame in eating it all yourself, I think.

Zucchini Mac-and-Cheese

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My foodie-paleo friend Sara and I went to a cooking class a few weeks back on gluten-free cooking. Okay, this recipe is not gluten-free, but it’s inspired by the class instructor’s zucchini pasta recipe–the one I mentioned a while back with the delicious cashew cream sauce, remember?SAM_5885

love zucchini in the summer and I’m always looking for smart, tasty ways to incorporate veggies in my pasta-protein dinners, which I eat almost every night. So zucchini works great with cream-based dishes. My little lactose intolerance problem usually steers me away from cream-based sauces, but every once in a while I splurge or hybridize the sauce to my stomach’s liking. That’s what I did here, and hopefully this solo-culinaire creation pleases others with similar dietary situations.

Ingredients

1/4 cup whole-wheat macaroni noodles, drySAM_5884

1/2 cup shredded zucchini

pinch of onion powder

1/2 t Dijon mustard

1 wedge of Swiss Laughing Cow cheese

3 T non-dairy cheese shreds

1/2 T Parmesan

dash of pepper

DirectionsSAM_5882

-Use my easy Mug’O’Mac recipe to boil your noodles quick! Just put your 1/4 cup of dry noodles in about 3/4 cups water and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and then 2 more minutes in the microwave. Drain when finished.

-Once noodles are dry, toss in zucchini. Mix around.

-For the sauce, break up the cheese wedge into chunks and spread around, sprinkle on the cheese shreds, then the mustard, pepper, and onion powder go in. Heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove and stir quickly. If still not melty enough, heat for another 15 seconds or so. Toss around until noodles are evenly coated. Serve warm and garnish with Parmesan!

Spring Pan Noodles

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Last week at my friend Sareena’s Paint’n’Pour Ladies’ Wine Night–where decorative pots were painted and wine was poured, FYI–my other friend Snezana was telling me about eating for your blood type. She’s a B+, and apparently her type likes Asian cuisine, especially rice.SAM_5327

I do not know my blood type, but if it had a food preference, it would most definitely be Mediterranean. You all know I’m a pasta+protein+veggie addict. Honestly, sometimes I have to encourage my creature-of-habit ways to try something new.

That’s exactly why this recipe (adapted from Lillian’s Spring Noodles) was sought out and tried. Yes, it is still a pasta, but it breaks my routine preference for a thick and hearty red sauce.

And you know what else I find interesting? I loved it. I’m always reminded of how much fun it is to try something new when I leave my “food comfort zone.” It’s a small challenge, but I think those are the ones that make big differences in terms of day-to-day happiness. Making myself try new things, especially fun recipes, is just about as satisfying as eating them.SAM_5325

And this dish is really good!  A nice, light veggie noodle with a little salt, and just enough ginger sweetness. You can’t beat that.

Ingredients

2 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti or rice noodles

dash of minced garlic

a few sliced onions

handful of diced cabbage

1/3 cup broccoliSAM_5309

1 T low-sodium soy sauce

1 t freshly ground ginger

1 t honey

2 T sliced carrots

2 T sliced celery

1/4 cup cucumber, sliced into sticks

optional: shrimp

DirectionsSAM_5320

-Boil noodles as directed on package. Drain water. If broccoli and shrimp are frozen, defrost in microwave now and drain in collander over noodles to remove excess water–but over noodles ensures that nutrients in broccoli water aren’t lost entirely (!).

-In a small- to medium-sized pan, simmer garlic and onions in cooking spray. Then slowly add in noodles, broccoli, and shrimp. Stir a bit. Add in half of the soy and ginger. Stir a bit more. Add in the rest of the soy sauce and ginger.

-Once noodles seem coated in soy sauce and ginger, drizzle honey over the top. Then toss in carrots.

If you’ll be serving this warm, remove from heat, plate, and sprinkle cucumber and celery on top.

If you prefer a cold noodle dish, then remove from heat and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight. Top with cucumber sticks and celery prior to serving.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup for the Crock-Pot

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Remember my adorable Crock-Pot? The one with the damask pattern my mom surprised me with? I used it like crazy over winter break, and now I’m back at it again, Crock-Pottin’ away (my new favorite verb). SAM_4942

Lately, I’ve been using it a lot to create tasty soups. I’ve blogged about this before, lots actually, that I love making big portions of soup.

Yes, this sort of goes against my single-serving approach, but it’s the one kind of cuisine I (1) can’t get enough of, and (2) one that I actually like having as leftovers. Why go against my usual routine? Because soups freeze so well. They almost never taste like leftovers.

Here’s what I do: After making a big batch of soup, I portion the remaining soup out to mason jars and old glass salsa jars I’ve saved. I like to freeze in glass because it’s more sustainable, reheats well, and freezing glass doesn’t break down chemical compounds as plastic containers do. So anytime I need a quick lunch-on-the-go, I grab one from the freezer in the morning, let it thaw throughout the day (leading up to lunch), and then heat it right in the glass jar. It’s kind of fun eating soup from a little glass jar, but you can always pour it into a bowl if you don’t get a kick out of that like I do.SAM_4947

So to make this very easy Crock-Pot soup, here’s what you need and need to do:

Ingredients
4 cups water
2 cans cream of chicken (or mushroom or celery) soup
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (10 oz.)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or -10 oz. bag)
1 t garlic pepper seasoning
1.5 cups dried egg or rotini noodlesSAM_4952

Directions
-Turn the Crock-Pot on low if you have time to let it cook for 6-8 hours, high if you only have 3-4 hours.
-Stir in water, then condensed soup until well blended.
-Add in chicken, vegetables, and seasoning. Cover and cook.
-About 20-30 minutes before serving, add in the dry noodles. If you’re using the low setting, switch now to high. Serve once noodles are tender.