It was an unusual cooking week for me - and lots of fun! I drove to Connecticut to take care of my mom. She had hip surgery three weeks ago and can not yet do much for herself. We enjoyed watching movies and chatting, but I was also excited to cook for her because she and I like the same kinds of foods. Also, it gave me an opportunity to cook some more exotic type dishes that my kids probably wouldn't like!
My mom is a partial vegetarian (she eats fish, seafood, and poultry), so we added that criteria to my restrictions of no dairy and limited gluten. No problem. As is typical, all of the recipes came from Cooking Light, and we had some delicious meals!
The first night I was there, I went for a super quick and easy old favorite that I have made several times before for my husband or friends when the kids aren't around (they're not too fond of either asparagus or coconut milk), Spicy Thai Coconut Shrimp. This goes together in about 15 minutes and is sooo tasty! My mom loved it so much that she told her visiting physical therapist about it, and she took the recipe home and made it that night!
Wednesday I had to get groceries before the (snow!) storm hit, so I went with another simple recipe, Miso-Glazed Salmon with Wilted Spinach. You can see from the photo here that I over-wilted the spinach a bit, but it was still delicious! On the side, I made a simple salad with all of my favorite ingredients: Bibb lettuce with ripe pear sliced on top, dried cranberries, a sprinkle of blue cheese, and sugar-spiced pecans, with a balsamic vinagrette (I used Newman's Own light). The pecans are also very simple:
- Heat a small frying pan or sauce pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
- Add halved pecans (it only takes a tablespoon or two for each serving).
- Sprinkle with a half teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper and stir constantly to prevent burning.
- When pecans are toasted but not burned (watch carefully!), add to salad.
I went all out on my last night there. My mom and I both love Indian food, but I have found eating in an Indian restaurant upsets my stomach severely since I became dairy-intolerant because they usually add yogurt and/or cream to many of their dishes. So, instead of take-out, I made our own dairy-free Indian dinner. I made Red Dal and served it with brown Basmati rice (a favorite from Trader Joe's) with peas. Although it isn't actually Indian, I also made Curried Cauliflower with Capers. We both loved it! I had never roasted cauliflower before; it was delicious, and I will definitely make it again here at home. I wish I had taken a picture of the meal, but I was too excited to eat it and forgot!
So, those were my culinary adventures for this week! Back at home, I returned to more basic cooking: grilled pork chops with roasted butternut squash, my son's favorite pasta dish. We are having friends over for dinner tonight and keeping it very simple to save my energy for socializing - make-your-own soft tacos/burritos. We will just grill some chicken breasts, slice them up and set those out with tortillas and a variety of other fillings like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, refried beans, gaucamole, etc. It's a great, easy meal for a crowd (especially one with a wide variety of food intolerances like tonight's group!).
Hope you also enjoyed some great food and cooking this week!