Easy Tuesday Night Dinner

When I have to cook dinner and I’m exhausted after a long day, all I do is get some can of soup and heat it up, toast some buttered bread and voila –  an easy dinner. I have even given my soul to the ramen gods (not my proudest moment). But recently, I have found it easy and pleasurable to cook and enjoy food sitting down at the table and enjoying every bite. Last night’s dinner as exhibit A – chicken and corn soup & chili lime shrimps served with brown rice.

These recipes can be done on a Sunday with every ingredient from scratch, or done on a weeknight with store bought items. Since I did this on a weeknight after an exhausting day, I used many store bought ingredients.

I started my dinner with an easy chicken and corn soup. The main ingredients here are chicken and a can of cream style corn. I had some left over rotisserie chicken which I shredded into pieces and used in the soup. Other alternatives can be fresh boiled chicken or even chicken chunks in a can from the grocery. The recipe is simple. Heat up a can of cream style corn and add a cup each of water and chicken stock. When it starts to simmer, add the chicken pieces and let it completely boil. When its boiling, remove it from the heat and add one beaten egg (the hot soup should cook the egg nicely). Once the eggs are cooked, just serve it up and enjoy a hot soup. This can also be altered in different ways. Instead of chicken, you can add seafood like mussels, shrimp or crab meat. This can also be vegetarian by removing the chicken and chicken stock and replacing it with blanched vegetables and vegetable stock.

The next part of dinner was the chili lime shrimp which I got from a cookbook called Fresh Food Fast. Like the soup, this was a very easy recipe. It needed very few ingredients and only took less than 10 minutes to cook. Sauté some onions in olive oil, when it becomes translucent, add the shrimp (I used frozen because that’s what I had at home, but fresh shrimp would definitely taste better) and some chili powder. When the shrimps are done, remove the pan from the fire and add lime juice, butter and salt & pepper to taste. When the butter melts, garnish it with chopped spring onions and serve with brown rice. While I was eating, I realized that this could also be served with French bread, sour dough, texas toast or even ciabatta bread. Something about dipping the bread in the chili lime sauce seemed appetizing. For a completely different recipe, you can add some cream to tone down the acidity of the lime and spice of the chili, and toss the shrimps in pasta. Don’t let your creativity stop you!

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Best Homemade Pizza Ever

My sister and I made a pact to start eating healthy. We said we would not diet but just make a lifestyle change. Lifestyle change – meaning we still can eat a lot of the carbs and starch but eat everything in moderation and make healhtier choices. Thus my post for today…

We found a cookbook with light and healthy recipes. One of the recipes we tried was a grape and arugula pizza. Grapes and arugula pizza??? Why would that taste good? I was skeptical too but believe me, it was amazing!

We decided to use a wheat crust the first time we made and when we tried again to make it, we couldn’t find personal size wheat crusts so we just used regular white crusts. Both times the pizza was amazing.

The first step is to preheat your crust for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your crust. Then on the heated crust, layer sliced grapes, crumbled blue cheese (I think the Kraft Crumbles worked well with this recipe) and the walnuts.

Then arrange a layer of arugula on the top of the pizza. You can use the bunched arugula or the salad in a bag variety. As long as the arugula has that tart flavor, it will do.

Place the pizza in the oven to bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the arugula  slightly wilts and the blue cheese  starts  to heat up and moisten. The reason the crust was pre-heated was so that the arugula would not wilt and loose its color.

While the pizza is in the oven, heat in a sauce pan some balsamic vinegar until it reduces and thickens. Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction on top.

For even more flavor, I spritzed a little balsamic dressing (I used Wishbone). It gave the pizza some kick and sweetness. I had this pizza two days in a row because I was too good that I just wanted more.