Tag Archives: food

Greek Shrimp Scampi

I love shrimp dishes. But unless you make it yourself, these dishes never come with enough shrimp in them to achieve satiety. When I heat this up in the lunch room, all my colleages suddenly look like they’re going to drop over to my office for a little lunch time meeting.

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I like this over brown rice. The rice isn’t included in the calorie count below. I typically use two bags of frozen shrimp, and let it thaw in the fridge before I make it. The hardest part is chopping up the tomatoes, but it’s worth it.


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 30-40 jumbo or tiger shrimp, peeled and rinsed
  • 10 small fresh tomatoes, diced (~4 Cups)
  • 12 ounces low fat or non fat crumbled feta cheese (~2 Cups)
  • 1 to 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet; add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add shrimp and saute on each side for 1 minute or until they are pink on the surface.
  3. Add the tomatoes and feta to the pan and stir until sauce begins to form, about 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice, dill, and salt; cover and simmer for 4 minutes or until sauce thickens. Yield: 8 servings (serving size ~1 1/2 Cups)

Calories 246; fat 12 grams; protien 31 grams; carbs 7 grams. Adapted from a recipe by Karina Tanguay.

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Sausage Chicken Gumbo

gumbo 009

My kids love the gumbo.

Last time I made it, I used okra for the first time and nobody complained. If you can’t find okra, frozen green beans are a family favorite. I rarely have time to grill the chicken before, so I either buy already grilled at the deli (expensive) or I cut up the chicken and blanch it in chicken or vegetable stock. 

Gumbo is great the next day for lunches. 


  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Cups chopped onion
  • 2 Cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 Cups frozen cut okra (omit if not available and use 2 C of carrots OR frozen green beans)
  • 2 Cups chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 Cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
  • 16 oz. turkey kielbasa, cut into pieces
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 Cups cooked brown rice


  1. Combine flour and oil in a Dutch oven; sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add onion and the next 6 ingredients (onion through ground red pepper); cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes and broth; cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups gumbo and 1/2 cup rice)


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Spicy Mulligatawny

Today I cooked Spicy Mulligatawny: difficult to pronounce, but tasty to eat. I was looking for a stew, but was swept off my feet by the curry and apple in the ingredients.

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As it turns out, spicy mulligatawny isn’t a good meal by itself. Not enough protein. Tonight Holly grilled up some chicken sausage to go with it. We had hot dog buns, but a tasty sourdough bread would be an excellent addition.


  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil, divided
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless, chicken breast
  • 2 (medium size) peeled, chopped Gala or Braeburn apples
  • 1 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped carrot
  • 1 C chopped celery
  • 1 C chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons curry
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (14 oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 C mango chutney
  • 1/2 C tomato paste
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chicken, saute 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.
  2. Heat remainder of oil (1 Tablespoon, 1 teaspoon) in pan. Add apple and next 4 ingredients and saute for five minutes. Stir in flour and next 4 ingredients and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, chutney, and tomato paste; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes. Return chicken to pan, cook 2 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Yield: 8 servings (serving size 1 1/4 Cups)

Calories: 242 (20% from fat); Fat: 5.4 grams; Protein: 16.6 g; Carbs: 33 g; Fiber: 3.3g; Chol: 31mg; Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

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Michael Pollan Knows Food

If you want to know more about food, read Michael Pollan. The man knows his food. He’s written at least three great books, one of which I already posted about. I wanted to jot some additional notes on the others.

Omnivore’s Dilemma is a look at the food industry. I got through the first part about corn, but then I had to put it down. He’s a great writer, but the market forces he describes bearing down on the food industry just became too depressing for me to bear. If you want something a little more upbeat, go with In Defense of Food, which describes how best to eat in a world as depressing as the one described in Omnivore’s Dilemma.

But what I like best about Pollan’s work has less to do with food and more to do with his ability to clarify economic and sociological forces that come to bear on an industry. In Botany of Desire he describes how the War on Drugs inadvertently gave us better and more potent marijuana. I haven’t smoked pot in ages, but I remember when it was light green flakes and often cost less than $20 an ounce. Pollan offers an entire history of pot and how the drug crackdown forced pot growers underground, where they tinkered with hybrids until they were able to grow incredibly potent pot indoors. A lot of the hooligans pulling these underground shenanigans were people right here in the Pacific Northwest (Matt Briggs’s, Shoot the Buffalo has characters in the PNW that make a living growing pot indoors).

Fascinating stuff.

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Michael Pollan’s, In Defense of Food

Somehow all my Michael Pollan library requests came through at the same time. I just finished his most recent book, In Defense of Food.

Something about this book touches the part of me that naturally mistrusts doctors (and varying degrees of eggheads all over). I have only just recently learned some of the nutritionist lingo, but who hasn’t been skewered by some smug nutritionists at some point in their life? Pollan’s big idea is to steer clear of foods (what he would describe as pseudo-foods) more than five ingredients, long chemical names, and (especially) any food with a health claim on its label. Why? Because you’re better off. The whole process of getting food to your table is highly politicized, with big business looking out for shareholder interests, instead of yours or mine. Trans fats anyone?

So I was totally onboard with Pollan’s smackdown of the nutritionist until I came to the part where he suggest we should make our meals more of a social event. He wants us to engage with food in ways that foster community and ritual. Yeah, yeah.

Sounds good until I realize this means we can no longer eat meals at our desks. What? That’s where I draw the line.

It’s funny how you don’t realize how important something is to you until someone tries to take it away.

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