Saturday, March 4, 2017


If you are at all familiar with my BLog you know that my food preparation is all stream of consciousness.  I rarely shop for ingredients for a recipe.  What do I have in the house?  What can I make from it?  Well, I always have carrots, zucchini, various cheeses and often have shrimp in the freezer.  So I collected what I had and got to work.

I know it seems like I post this dish a lot, but it's because I like it so much, so I do make it often.  I vary it a bit each time and this time I added three more veggies.   Usually it's just the zucchini and carrots with some garlic and ricotta cheese.  Tonight, I cleaned out the vegetable drawer. I felt like being at the counter tonight using my favorite knives and some of my favorite ingredients. While I sliced and diced, I watched "The Edge of the Universe" again and "The Code" again to keep me company. I've seen each one at least three times before! I'm turning into quite a geek - these two  documentaries are so intensely fascinating!  And yes that is a Cosmopolitan you see there at the upper left in the picture of the ingredients.  I enjoyed that during this whole process!! 

Cleaning out the veggie drawer yielded a 1/2 pound or so fresh green beans which I sliced length-wise to make nice long strips to match the julienne zucchini and carrot strings that I prepared. The green beans took the longest to cook so I added just a touch of white wine to help steam them to tenderness. Some scallions that would have ended up in the trash soon, also ended up sliced length-wise. 8-10 large mushrooms cut up into some nice matchstick pieces were all added to 2 medium sized zukes and 2 large carrots on which I used my TITAN veggie stringer (pictured below).

You can obviously use whatever stringer type devise you have.  A mandolin is good, one of those
 hand cranked gizmos, or a small Veggetti tool!  Take your pick, they all work just fine! The Veggetti Pro will be the fastest!  I just felt like doing everything by hand tonight!  I truly love chopping and cutting veggies etc.  For me it's a therapeutic exercise!

As usual, I sautéed each veggie separately and removed them to a platter, cooking the next batch.  As soon as everything was done, I added LOTS of minced garlic and sautéed that for a minute before adding some 2% cottage cheese, light sour cream and grated parmesan cheese to make a nice cheesy sauce.  A little chicken stock loosened the sauce that was just a little too thick.
I thought I might add some dill, but opted for Cajun seasoning instead!  So glad I did!  The spiciness what so good!  But alas, I added a bit too much making it just a little too salty.  Hmmm.  How to compensate?   I cooked 1/2 lb of linguine with NO SALT in the water, and added it to the whole pot.  It was fantastic!  

Of course, I couldn't let I go at that.  I added more than a dozen large shrimp and let them cook and warm in this savory, cheesy spicy concoction. 

Delicious and satisfying! Let's see if I can write this into a recipe:

If you want pasta in the dish, get the water started and get the linguini cooking - about 1/2 pound.

2 medium/small zucchini, made into strings
2 large carrots, made into strings
1/2 lb. nice fresh long green beans cut down the center into strings
10 large mushrooms cut into matchsticks
5 small scallions cleaned and cut down the centers into strings
3 large cloves garlic
salt to taste
Cajon Seasoning (optional) or Dried Dill (optional)
1/4 c + chicken stock

2 T olive oil into a large hot skillet or Dutch oven

Sauté carrots strings and remove to a platter
A tiny bit more oil, and sauté the green beans strings until almost soft, remove to platter
A tiny bit more olive oil and sauté mushroom matchsticks and just before done, add scallions, remove to platter
A tiny bit more olive oil and sauté zucchini strings until just barely soft - remove to platter.
(A tiny bit more means  approx. 1 - 2 teaspoons)

Into the same pan, add a tiny bit more olive oil and sauté 3 large cloves of garlic for 1 minute.
Add 1/2 c sour cream, 1 c. cottage cheese, 1/4 c. grated parmesan and a little chicken stock to keep it from getting too thick.  Stir well until all the cheese melts together.  Add 1 - 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning to taste (or 1 - 2 t or dried dill if you don't like Cajun flavoring). 

If you are adding shrimp, add 12 or so shrimp to this sauce and let them cook until just pink. 

If you wish, add the pasta you cooked now and stir together with all the veggies mix well.  Ready to eat!!!

To me this dish is a bit labor intensive because of all the vegetable stringing. I don't mind because I love fussing over food.  But if you use one of those automated stringers instead of doing it all by hand like I did, it's a lot faster. Either way - to me it's well worth it.  So delicious and adding healthy veggies to my diet!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Zuchinni Noodles - Again

I make this often!  I LOVE pasta but I don't really want to eat all the carbs.  And most of the time I don't miss it.  I make these just a little differently every time and tonight's tweaks on the recipe yielded a super delish batch of Veggie Noodles in a cheesy garlicky sauce.  Use your imagination and change it up in any way you think it might be great!  Add shrimp, firm white fish, mushrooms, scallops, and change up the spices to complement your other additions. Change it up completely and use soy sauce, ginger and thinly sliced beef for an Asian flair!

After I sautéed the zucchini strings, and then the carrot strings, separately, with a little sea salt,  I made sure they were "squeezed" of their liquid back into the sauté pan and set them aside on a platter. Don't overcook the zucchini strings or it will just turn to mush.  All this liquid got reduced by about half.  Add a little more olive oil to sauté 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  THEN, and this is where the magic happened - I added 3/4 c. of white wine to deglaze the pan and reduced it by about half again.  Now, about 6 oz of mascarpone cheese that I had in the refrigerator went into the pan.  I let that melt and added about 1/2 c of grated parmesan.  That simmered until it thickened up a bit. All the veggies strings got added back to this sauce and tossed it well. You might look at it and think, look at all that grease around the dish!  NO!  It's not grease!  It's a beautiful cheesy garlicky white wine sauce!  I could have eaten the whole pan!!!  But instead I put it away for tomorrow's lunch with a piece of sautéed salmon.  There is still some left and I'll add some sautéed shrimp to the rest of it OR it will be a side dish to a lovely piece of chicken breast or another steak. 
It's a delicious way to avoid eating too many carbs with regular pasta.  You will NOT miss the regular noodles in this dish!  That said, I have on occasion added 1/2 pound of cooked angel hair pasta and added the shrimp to make it a complete meal.  You can also add your favorite Marinara or Bolognese Sauce for a super delicious treat! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's been a long time since I posted at this blog. A year or more!! I've just been posting at FB with abbreviated descriptions and a picture. The nice thing about a Blog is that it allows you to go on and on about what you've created, and your Followers can decide to read or not to read. I would never post something this long at Facebook and I feel like telling you more than you want to know tonight. But I promise, I'll try to get right to the point. When I got home tonight, I suddenly had this urge for Nachos!! But of course, I didn't have what I needed to make them.  Or so I thought!

As most of you know, the way I usually cook is trying to figure out what to make with what I already have at home.  It's relatively rare when I shop for food to make a specific recipe, although I love doing that too. 

I had some leftover Chicken & Mushroom Shit on the Shingles (SOS) that I made with some chicken from a pot of stock I made last weekend. (In case you don't know what that is - it's just creamed chicken and mushrooms).   I had the dregs of some tortillas chips in a bag I found in the pantry.  It wasn't really enough for Nachos, but I found some frozen thin slices of French baguette.  I had some cheddar cheese.  I had a new package of Queso Fresco, which I've never tried before.  And I had 2 half bags of taco seasoning mix left on the spice rack.  Yep, You guessed it!!  I made chicken  nachos!!

Shit on the Shingles went into a sauce pan with some shredded cheddar and the taco season mix.   Ooey gooey yumminess! 

The tortilla chips went into the center of the skillet and were surrounded by some French baguette slices brushed with olive oil.  The newly seasoned and "cheesy" chicken SOS topped the chips and the bread slices.  Then it all got topped with some more shredded cheddar and some crumbled Queso Fresco.  Under the broiler it went!! Maybe 5 minutes!  Don't take your eyes off of it!!!  It will be charcoal. 

Well let me tell you.  I was TOTALLY satisfied!!!  I couldn't even eat it all.  I would have been happy if I'd been served this dish at a restaurant, except I would have paid +/- $15.00 for it.  I made it with leftovers and pantry items.  Want more details?  Jus ask me.