COOKING TIP #1
Microwave ovens are more for reheating or thawing than cooking. I know that statement seems blasphemous since my generation grew up on nuked foods. However, if you want tasty food served to rave reviews, take a little extra time and use some of the methods our moms and grandmas used.
For instance, if re-heating roast beef, warm it slowly in gravy. I make a little fat-free gravy in a large skillet or gourmet pan by combining a 14-oz can of low sodium, fat-free beef broth with 2 Tablespoons corn starch. Bring to a boil. As it thickens, I lower the temperature and add slices of roast beef to the gravy. (If it gets too thick, I simply thin with a little water)Warm for about ten minutes while I put together the rest of the meal. The beef flavors the gravy while the gravy moistens the meat, and it’s still fast enough to be a Hasty Tasty Meal!
COOKING TIP #2
Have you seen the latest in frozen convenience foods at your grocery? It’s called “Fiesta Blend” and contains chopped onion, chopped red bell pepper, kernels of corn, and black beans. I bought a bag and am delighted with the time it saves me. I can make a fast chili by adding to browned meat, chili seasonings, and a can of tomato sauce. Or I can toss it with cooked brown rice in a skillet over low heat for a zippy side dish. When I really want a kick, I sauté a handful and stir in a can of Rotel® tomatoes and green chilies to serve as a dip for tortilla chips. For breakfast, I use a handful as a starter for my breakfast burrito. Fiesta Blend has many applications, especially for the Tex-Mex cook. Keep a bag in your freezer for your southwestern Hasty Tasty Meals.
Are you trying to follow a low-carb diet? Or are you just trying to squeeze more vegetables into your day? Try this recipe for shrimp scampi. I did and I swear it really did fool my taste buds into thinking I was eating pasta!
Shrimp Scampi on Zucchini “Pasta”
½ pound cooked medium-size shrimp (I keep bags of them in the freezer)
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
2 medium zucchini, washed with the ends removed
3 cups water
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Bring water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Meanwhile, preheat an 8″ skillet. Using the #2 cone of the Kitchen Cutter (or you may use a vegetable peeler or julienne tool), cut the two zucchinis into little ribbons.
Add the extra virgin olive oil to the preheated skillet and reduce the heat to Low. Add the garlic, shrimp, and tarragon. Cook together just long enough to heat the shrimp. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drop the zucchini “ribbons” into the boiling water for two minutes. DON’T OVERCOOK! Drain, reserving ½ cup of the water. Divide the zucchini and place in the bottom of two individual pasta bowls. Mix the reserved water with the shrimp mixture, toss together, then divide and serve on top the zucchini “pasta.” Sprinkle each serving with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, toss, and enjoy.