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Pasta, Quick and Easy

Seafood Sauce

There’s nothing better after a day at the beach than a light pasta dish with a scrumptious seafood sauce.

Seafood sauce

I suppose, because I’m part Irish, a day at the beach is usually short for me because I fry and freckle like a red-headed step- child. l like the beach; actually, I love the beach. But, after tanning in oil and iodine many years ago, my skin doesn’t want that UV radiation anymore. So, I’m out of the sun business. BTW. Did you know that the majority of women’s skin cancer’s were found on their lower legs? Don’t quote me on this, but I believe it. You sit, head in the shade, legs exposed… bam.

Anyway, I digress. I travel extensively through my friends’ Facebook travel photos. Personally, I’ve only seen a few countries, but I have been around the world on Facebook. I always ask,”What did you eat? “What did you order? What was on the menu?” So today, apparently I was in Bali or Anguilla. Seeing that turquoise water and white coast made me think of shrimp.

When your in a vacation mind-set, nothing will substitute. I knew I did not want shrimp smothered in lemon or dill. How boring… So I made a wine sauce with a few secret ingredients and it was the bomb. I mean really good, ya’ll.

Fresh gulf shrimp and mushrooms take on the flavors of the seafood sauce which entails white wine and a few other ingredients. The beauty of this dish is that the sauce can be prepared in advance; reheated and poured over any pasta. Serve with a salad and call it dinner!

WHY?

Shrimp is a low calorie shellfish that is full of protein. It provides a small amount of Omega 3’s-those EFA;s (Essential Fatty Acids) we need for our brain and overall homeostasis. Yes, shrimp is high in cholesterol, but studies have shown that consuming foods high in cholesterol, in a moderate fashion, is okay. You’re not going to get high cholesterol if you eat a shrimp dinner. Or an egg. Consuming cholesterol is different than producing it within your body.

seafood sauce

Farmed vs. Wild?

There has been a lot of controversy around this subject: “Should I buy farmed or wild fish?”

There are marine-certified fishermen out there catching farmed and wild fish. Farmed fish are in huge nets in the sea, or in special holding tanks that might even be off shore.  Some farming of fish is legitimate and clean. Some isn’t. Wild, or wild caught seafood is just that. It has not been monitored, nor fed by man.

You may have recently seen some “organic” salmon at your grocer. Under U.S. standards, fish nor shellfish is considered “organic”. It is classified as either “farmed” or “wild” – not “organic”. The fish you see labeled “organic” is usually from Norway. European “organic” terms and standards vary a bit from the U.S.

seafood sauceThe Seafood Sauce

This quick and easy seafood sauce goes along way; I use butter, shallots, mushrooms, a bit of oil, wine and a cornstarch slurry to thicken it. If you prefer, you can omit the cornstarch slurry for the seafood sauce. You can make this ahead and refrigerate it up to three days.

 

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Pasta, Quick and Easy

Greek Penne Rigate-Not all Pasta is Italian!

Penne rigate

penne rigate

Yogurt is an ancient food made from the fermentation of milk. Prior to the industrialization of food, it was known basically as milk that had been allowed to sour and curdle; in the southern parts of the United States, it was referred to as “clabber”.

Today, yogurt is a processed milk that has been pasteurized, homogenized, and fermented with gut-healthy microorganisms, namely Lactobacillus.bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Yogurt undergoes the process of lactic acid fermentation, such as sauerkraut and fermented vegetables (tempeh, kimchi), where these specific microorganisms are added to promote lactic acid bacteria.penne rigate

Decisions, Decisions

There is a plethora of yogurt styles and flavors in the market, representing more than two-thirds of the dairy section in many grocery stores. The fat content of a yogurt is based upon the type of milk used–skimmed, low-fat or whole-fat. Additionally, many yogurts are available with added ingredients such as fruit, honey and granola. Unfortunately, these designer yogurts often offer more sugar and peace of mind than true nutritional benefits. The saying, “less is more” is a perfect description of how to go about purchasing a truly healthy yogurt. Plain with no added ingredients is recommended as the best option; always check the label for sugar content and degree of live cultures.

Greek or French

The National Yogurt Association indicates to look for a “Live and Active Cultures” seal. This seal is voluntary to yogurt manufacturers whose products contain at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of processing. A major yogurt manufacturer produces several lines of yogurt; one is partially GMO, one high in sugar and another represents itself as French style. This is interesting because most of the yogurts on the market are “Greek” style; but now, there’s a trend toward “French” style. These yogurts attempt to replicate the strict European criteria for production. As for now, the majority of the yogurts in U.S. grocers are “Greek”. It will be interesting to see if the cleaner “French style” takes to American consumers. Continue Reading