As I write this post, I am eating this:
And it is soooooo good. This is the first "just for me" meal I have made in a while. And several things about it make me smile -
First, Giada has a real knack for coming up with health-conscious but super-satisfying flavor and food combinations.
Secondly, I am developing a knack for making her recipes my own, to suit my tastes and whims of the moment.
A delicious, nutritious dinner that I can make in fifteen minutes (and ten of those are for cooking the pasta). Perfect for absolutely any season of the year, and if you've been reading this blog long, you know how I feel about eating and cooking seasonally!
Next, this is, unapologetically, girl food. At least in my house. (Sorry guys, if any men are reading - hopefully, you are more willing to try new foods than my husband!) And you know what? I could not be more delighted to enjoy it. Every once in a while, I LOVE to make a recipe without caring whether my husband will eat it. Or even try it. And this is something he pretty much won't touch. But I hope you will!
This has a handful of ingredients, not including olive oil, salt and pepper. Ready?
Whole wheat spaghetti
Lemon (zest and juice)
(...and a hint of butter. 'Cause I could not resist. But shhhhh!!! If I don't call it an ingredient, it doesn't count. Right?)
I won't really give proportions, because this is all about however you like it. For example, the next time I make this I will double the spinach and chop up my olives, which I was too lazy to do tonight since it was 9 pm as I was making this meal. But next time I will, because that salty bite is really delicious throughout this dish, and rounds out the flavors perfectly. So just boil however much spaghetti you want and cook as much salmon as you need. You'll need at least one lemon. Anything from a handful of spinach and a few olives (I use Kalamata, but just because they are my favorite) to a bag of spinach and a ton of olives would be great!
Now, here's what can make this a super-fast, weeknight, pantry meal. On Sunday, when your husband is grilling burgers, ask him to grill a bit of salmon for you. When he says "huh?", sweetly reply that you will save money on lunches this week! Refrigerate the fish until needed (reheat slowly - like at 30 or 40% power - for several minutes in microwave). Boil your spaghetti to desired tenderness. Drop in tons of spinach when it's done (but before draining) - then drain all together. This will wilt the spinach perfectly. Zest the lemon and toss pasta with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add in zest and olives to taste. Top with salmon, drizzle with lemon juice and enjoy - or do what I do - thank God for Giada's food, because otherwise I'd still be eating Easy Mac on nights like this!!
Another reason to love this dish? It contains at least four of what they are now calling "superfoods." Foods like salmon, whole grains, spinach and olives/olive oil are all things we can agree are good for us. And in this dish, they are so delicious you won't even feel like you're eating healthy!
And now...back to my dinner!
(Adapted from this recipe, by Giada de Laurentiis. Notes on original recipe - I grilled the salmon instead, swapped kalamata olives in for the capers, which I don't prefer, and eliminated the garlic, but only because I was eating dinner late in the evening!)
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