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Thursday, July 5, 2012

A truly "light" dinner that got rave reviews from the homefront!

This whole blog thing has got me in such a state!  I have had a request for a "light" dinner.  Originally, I thought that it meant "not a lot of ingredients" kind of meal, when in fact he was looking for light calories.  So, tonight, this dinner is for you!  It requires minimal  cooking and almost no fat!.   If there is a tricky part, it is the tasting and adjusting that took a little time! we go!

My basic ingredients were the above!  Vidalia onion, zucchini, fresh tomatoes, hearts of palm, fresh arugula and basil, pasta, and shrimp.  I added a few more seasonings later on (sea salt, more lemon pepper, parm cheese, parsley)... later!  So, I sauteed the onion with a little olive oil and some lemon pepper and salt. When it was almost done, I added the zucchini, garlic, and basil.

Basically, the rest of the ingredients only needed to be warmed, not cooked.  I turned off the heat and threw in the tomatoes, hearts of palm, fresh basil, shrimp  and arugula.

After a few minutes, in went the shrimp!  This is when I started to taste and adjust.... 

I needed to add some onion powder and garlic powder, only because I didn't taste enough of those flavors.  I also needed to add more parsley as well.  

I wanted some kind of sauce to pull it all together, and thought....what about a white wine/chicken broth sauce.  I checked it out on line and learned that it was just about 1/4 cup of chicken broth and a little less of white wine.  I whisked in parmesan cheese and a couple of tablespoons of butter, along with a splash of lemon juice.  I thickened it with a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with a bit of water.  Whisk everything while it is over some heat to thicken.  

Folks came home and spooned some of this into a bowl, and all I could hear was moaning and groaning...."oh my God, this is unbelievable!!!" to my ears!  Now, for all you first-time cooks, don't be afraid.  You have the basic ingredients..... the tasting is key!  Add more of what you don't taste!  If you're not sure, put a little bit into a bowl, and add different ingredients... If you like it, add the ingredient to the whole pan..If you don't like it, dump the small amount you spooned out and start over!  Once you figure out what you like, you will never forget it, and you will be able to add the seasonings with confidence the next time!

So my friend, this is a "light" calorie, healthy dinner....the problem won't be with the calorie count, it will be the serving size!!!  Folks had huge second helpings!  I truly hope you try this and make it your own!  What does Julia Child say??? Bon Appetite!

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