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!!

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