Both Boyfriend and Boyfriend's Brother (Bro here) have birthdays coinciding with major holidays. Bro's bday had just happened and I figured that the easiest way for the bros to hang was to have him over our place.

Bro is actually even more healthy-food conscious than I am and to that end, I went all out. Nothing with butter, oil, sour cream etc.

I started with Pinto Bean Dip. The garnish was celery and some acorn squash.

The bean dip was gone in a flash and the acorn squash was a little underdone (I need to learn patience) but was mostly gobbled up too! That  bean dip is so the best entertaining tool. It's beautiful, vegetarian, adaptable...you name it.

Next up: Throw-Together-Pasta! This is one of my favorite meals to make when I'm serving multiples (or when I want to have leftovers!) I defrosted some uncooked tail-on shrimp we have in our freezer with a few tbsp of herby marinade on top for a few hours. When I got home and the shrimp were nice and room temperature so I threw them on a pan and cooked them until they were just a HAIR underdone and transferred them into a clean bowl. At the same time, the pasta was cooking along in a big pot (Spinach Pasta this time).

Meanwhile, Boyfriend sliced up 1.5 zucchinis, 1 tomato and a few handfuls of basil. I sauteed the zucchini in the shrimp pan, then tossed in the tomatoes and basil. I satueed all THAT for just 1 minute before throwing in about 1/2 of a jar of tomato sauce (this was "spicy roasted red pepper" sauce) along with the almost cooked shrimp. This can pretty much simmer for a while to reduce (20 minutes?). When the pasta is done, drain that and toss it with the tomato/shrimp/zucchini mess and you have a beautiful dish of food. Of course, topped with a little Parmesan. Mmmm. Below is my bowl. The boys got seconds but I stuck with this guy and took exactly one serving of leftovers to work the next day. This dish works sooooo well as leftovers because it tastes great cold.

Just look at those beautiful green spinach noodles! =) This was so incredibly filling and I spent all morning the next day looking forward to lunch (even though there was only one shrimp left).

Pssst.....the secret to the amazing zucchini....Liquid Smoke. I sauteed it with Liquid Smoke + S+P and it was perfect. Liquid smoke, sold in most supermarkets is kind of like soy sauce, but it just makes things taste smoked. Amazing. What will they come up with next?

_A quick weekend recap: Drinks with the cousin from California on Friday, dinner at an Italian/Latin fusion place on Saturday (lobster quesedilla, cheese/mushroom croquettes and veal made it a very ethnically mixed meal) and a wedding shower brunch with soooo much delicious Russian food this afternoon. There was no working out today. I'm just gonna hope my one gigantic meal + 2 snacks don't stick around for too long!

Also saw the Descendents this weekend. The new George Clooney Oscar contender. It was poignant, beautiful and heart wrenching but also was kind of voyeuristic because it was more character than plot driven. George was fantastic as usual =)


Excuse me waiter, there is a naked lady in my cocktail... =)

Dr. Jules



12/17/2011 17:47

Best wishes with your recovery! Again got some great ideas with ingredients i can get here. Good luck with your new rotation. Happy Holidays.

12/19/2011 11:49

Hey Serenity,

Yes! You can get canned beans and canned roasted red peppers anywhere. Fat free feta cheese is not as common but you can use reduced fat or full fat. I *prefer* the fat free for it's texture and taste (I also prefer cream cheese in fat free form!) My favorite thing is to change up the type of beans (used navy, red kidney, and a mystery bean that I thought was pinto but was wrong!). Great additions include lemon, garlic and chipotle peppers.

Happy holidays to you too, will you be spending them with family? I'll be on call =(


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    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

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