A most devastating thing happened to me earlier this week.
The horror. The bland food tasteless mushy horror.
Thankfully, the situation was promptly rectified today with a quick visit to my friendly neighbourhood grocery store. It was a tense few days, but somehow, I made it through. Because garlic is important. It seems that no matter which cuisine strikes my fancy, garlic is front and centre of the dish. Want Indian? Get yer garlic. Want thai? Definitely garlic. Italian? Hello....you NEEEEED garlic. I'm beginning to suspect I may have been Egyptian in a past life.....turns out ancient egyptians worshipped at the altar of the garlic bulb.
Funny enough (or maybe it's not funny?), Americans eschewed the venerable root until the mid-twentieth century. Of course in this respect, if you look at primordial north American cuisine, the utter uninspired blandness comes as no surprise. No garlic= BLAAAAAND.
And peeps. We need the real deal. I bought 5 heads of garlic tonight at a monumental cost of 59 cents. There is zero excuse for resorting to powder. As I've oft mentioned when it comes to parmesan, any food that has been reduced to powder form is definitely NOT going to be good.
Natural state means natural food. Natural food means that it will have pure, strong flavour. And that's a goooooood thing. :)
So of course now I have to backtrack and admit that a good portion of my dinner came from a can....canned clams. In my defense, however, at least food in a can was preserved at the height of freshness....and to be frank, I'd rather opt for clams from a can (that I *know* won't wreak havoc on my system) than the sad saggy looking seafood one is able to obtain mid-continent.
I really enjoyed this dinner. It met all the weeknight criteria - it was fast (20 minutes - kick ass!), it was easy (practically zero chopping!) and it tasted great (because, folks, garlic ROCKS MY WORLD). I served it with a simple salad and it made for a 400 calorie dent in my daily allowance. Not too shabby. Best of all, I have leftovers for my lunch.
Apologies in advance for some of the shite pictures.....not sure why they aren't in focus, but of course by the time that came to my attention, the dinner was residing comfortably in my tummy, so no retakes. This are the hazards of live blogging. :)
Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas
shamelessly stolen from the June 2007 Cooking Light, which you should all promptly buy
(I think this would also be good with shrimp or chicken)
1 package fresh linguine (or about 8-10 ounces of dried)
1-2 T olive oil
3-4 minced cloves of garlic (original recipe calls for bottled, but I shudder...)
3 6-ounce cans chopped clams, undrained
1 cup veggie broth (I actually just kept all the clam juice)
1/4 c dry white wine (I probably used half a cup....when in doubt....add more wine!)
2 T fresh lemon juice (plus grated zest, if you desire)
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 c. shredded fresh basil
1. Cook pasta according to package directions (omitting salt). Drain and keep warm.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan. Sauté 1 minute. Feel free to double garlic.
(heh - funny story, somehow, right after I snapped this picture, I managed to snap my wooden cutting board clear in two. GRRRRRR)
3. Drain clams, reserving 1/2 cup juice (I reserved all). Add clam juice, broth, lemon juice, wine and pepper to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add clams and peas to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until peas are no longer frozen.
5. Add pasta to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese and basil. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional content - 368 calories, 11.9 g fat, 19.8 g protein, 46.5 g carbs, 4.3 g fibre, 1.9 mg iron, 961 mg sodium, 166 mg calcium.
(apologies for this.....my ISO was too low....GRRRRR). Trust me that it looked cute. I also think this sauce would be great if it were a little creamy - perhaps 1/2 c. of sour cream would be a nice addition (1/2 c. of whipping cream would be even better, but my butt can definitely live without that!).
I served this with baby arugula, topped with strawberry, blackberry and apricot. I dressed it with my favourite lazy new discovery - Hellman's Salad Spritzers. These are great - 15 calories for a salad that actually tastes good and ISN'T the ubiquitous light Italian that I've so come to hate.
Thanks all for the reads and the comments. :) I'm debating right now whether I should finish this bottle of wine and sob my way through this miserable excuse of a game, or if I should strap on my shoes and run away my sorrows. I'm thinking number two might be better.....
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