It's a new day, with a new out look, along side a fresh perspective. When a rider falls off a horse, the most important thing is for that rider to get right back on that horse, or fear will hinder the ability to learn with confidence the next time around. So here I am, back on my horse, putting things behind me and feeling excited about learning yet again. On a side note, my dog got a hold of two chocolate chip cookies today, so I spent a good hour watching his every move to see if he would get sick. (He didn't.) This could not, however, ruin the good day I had begun with a very heart warming experience: My beautiful African friend told me of her children, whom I drove to school this morning, and how they could not sleep last night, awaiting their car ride to school. It's almost bitter sweet, as I think of my own children and of how much they have, and how I often feel they should have so much more. But sweet it is to be able to give something so simple, which means so very much to some one else.
Since I have started my new way of cooking, I often ask myself after a meal, "Would I be satisfied with this dish if I ordered it at a restaurant?" Tonight's dinner was one that appealed to my taste buds on every level; it was bursting with fresh and diverse flavour, it was tender but did not lack texture, and kept my interest right to the last bite. I also love that it feeds at least 5 for under $10. Have a look, I give it a big y-e-s:
Sauteed Shrimp with Penne Pasta and Puttanesca Sauce
Preparation time: 40 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
4 (large) garlic cloves, minced
28 oz diced tomatoes, canned
3 tbsp Nicoise olives, pitted, chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
1 lb penne pasta
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta while preparing the tomato sauce:
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan over low heat; add 2 tsp of garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (with juice), olives, capers, 1/4 cup parsley and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes. Set the sauce aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the reserved garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the remaining parsley, saute for 1 - 2 minutes, then add the shrimp to the tomato sauce. Cook the shrimp in the sauce for an additional 3 - 5 minutes, or until opaque in the center.
Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
After composing myself, I did get around to making a menu for this week:
Whole Wheat Quesadillas with chicken, jalapeno jack, and mango salsa.
Black Bean salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Sauteed Shrimp with penne pasta and puttanesca sauce
Lasagna (since it's so great for weekend leftovers when the cook is out of town!)
Puree of Cauliflower Soup
with Onion Cheddar drop biscuits