Sunday, May 17, 2009
Mark did it. He graduated. I'm so proud, and he's so relieved. Life will be a bit different now that he's not on campus for most of his meals. It means my little hiatus from cooking is history, which is fine, especially considering the changing seasons. I love using spring and summer produce to create light, simple meals. Sometimes though, we just don't have much on hand. After making potato salad, cole slaw, burgers, and guacamole for Mark's grad party yesterday, the last thing I wanted to do was cook tonight. Mark was in the mood for pasta, which is a good thing - minimal prep. We had some random frozen ingredients for nights like this, and I put the dish together in about fifteen minutes. Not only was it easy and filling, but it was packed with nutrition.
I mentioned before, I'm working on a piece about the Michael Pollen lecture, and I know he'd cringe at this paragraph. He's a big proponent of eating food, not nutrients. I totally agree with him - we can be obsessed with the latest superfood or nutrient. I've been steering away from including a nutritional breakdown of my recipes for some time now, but depending on where you are on your real food journey, you may really like knowing what you're eating. So this snapshot is for those people (hi, Mom!):
**Shrimp are an excellent source of selenium, a nutrient touted for its cancer-preventing qualities. In addition to selenium, shrimp provide a good source of protein, vitamin D and B12, and omega-3s. I decided to add lots of garlic (known for their anti-fungal, antiviral properties), sun-dried tomatoes (go vitamin C and iron!), and spinach (vitamins K, A, and folate).**
To throw together your own shrimpy pasta, start with:
1/2 pound of your favorite pasta (we use 100% whole wheat)
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c white wine
4 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 cup tighty packed spinach, chopped (I used frozen and thawed it in a strainer with some water)
20 cooked medium shrimp (again, went with the frozen here and defrosted under water)
handful of sundried tomatoes, reconstituted in boiling water for ten minutes and sliced thinly
freshly grated parmesan cheese
ribboned fresh basil
Cook pasta according to directions on box.
Add olive oil and garlic cloves to large skillet and cook several minutes over medium low flame.
Add wine, shrimp, spinach, and tomatoes.
Simmer til sauce is reduced by about half.
Turn off heat, add pasta, and stir to combine.
Add cheese and basil if desired.