cooking up a shrimp storm

after taking stock of my pantry and my freezer, i decided to make another attempt at this recipe, making the few alterations i had suggested the last time i attempted to cook this.

I started out with my favorite kind of GF pasta shells -- the kind made with brown rice and rice bran.  I had read that stabilized rice bran has all sorts of health benefits and is packed with antioxidants and all that good stuff.  I'm not sure if the bran included in this pasta falls into that super-food realm, but the little extra fiber can't hurt, right?  plus it tastes good and the texture is pretty decent.
instead of just using shrimp as the recipe calls for, i went for a seafood mix that i had picked up at my all-time fav shopping spot - trader joe's.  this mix includes shrimp, scallops, and calamari (oh i am such a fan of the calamari rings!).  
in another attempt at mixing up the recipe, i cooked some thinly sliced onion in a pan with some olive oil and garlic, until the onion slivers became clear and caramel-colored.  i had to overdo them a little because my fiance will pick them out one by one if they don't blend in well enough, and since onions are healthy i want him to eat some!
i then followed the recipe as stated, removing the julienne potatoes and adding extra zucchini instead.  when it came to sautéing all the ingredients together, i added the onions and cooked everything until it was hot and sizzling.  two bowls were filled, topped with some crumbled goat cheese and we had a home-cooked dinner!
it was okay.  the changes i made didn't turn out to be improvements as much as i had hoped.  i also cut out a lot of the salt that the recipe calls for and i was sorry for doing that.  i tend to like things a little on the salty side.  i was too light on the onion, and i'm not quite sure that the seafood mix added to the flavors at all.  that fish mix would make an awfully good risotto though...  maybe next time.

oh, and i thought i'd mention that this time i learned my lesson and did not attempt to julienne zucchini with a cheese grater.  ha!  instead i used one of the new pairing knives i purchased when i was feeling brave and thought i could handle sharp utensils for a change.  i have since managed to cut myself on each of the 4 new knives on many separate occasions, but this night i managed to make it through unscathed.  ha!  

i am the master chef!  i can cook sub-par meals!  ha!

i made this dinner on friday night, and it was full of my favorite night-before-the-long-run food -- brown rice pasta.  on saturday dan and i set out for our 8-mile weekly long run.  if it weren't for the gale-force winds the run would have been fine.  but for the duration of the run i continued to find myself jogging along at an angle, just to stay upright when the psychotic breeze caught my shirt.  then the wind would suddenly run away, releasing its grip on me, sending me careening off the trail and making me appear as if i was one determined runner with a severe case of vertigo.  

the tsunami winds blew against us on the way out.  our eyes teared and we tipped our baseball caps over our eyes to protect our faces from the wind.  shorts blew about and shirts became wind sails working against us.  even downhill runs were a battle, and we were pushing our bodies sisyphus-style just to make it to the 1/2 way point.  but then we saw that glorious mile-marker on the trail and we were there!  basking in the sun we knew the wind would no longer be our enemy, as it would be at our backs for the run home.  after a quick stretch we turned and started the 4-mile trip back home.  that's when we realized...

the winds had changed.

oh man.  you've got to be kidding me.  we tipped our hats and trudged along again, wondering why chicago weather is so cruel.  first winter comes and lingers, reaching its fingers into every crevice of my window, staying much longer than it ever intended.  picking fights with spring and winning every one of them, beating the gentle season into submission and stomping on its attempts at warming the ground.  when spring finally gets the upper hand, the winds come.  a peak out the window shows sunshine, people roaming about without scowls on their faces and gloves on their hands.  thrilled at the sight, you sprint outdoors to join them, only to be scooped up by the horrible wind and tossed about.  seriously?  it's almost may, kids.  let's get the summer started!

well, that's all for now.  maybe.  we're on our way to the grocery store this afternoon and perhaps i'll grab some ingredients to make some seafood risotto tonight...

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