Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation Time

It's that time of year again when you want to get the hell out of town for some time away. That time, although be it short, is tomorrow. We are heading out to the east coast to see my dad and his wife. We will also see some family friends who now live in Halifax and will be vacationing close to where we will be in Charlottetown, PEI. I was hoping to get over to Cape Breton Island to see my grandma, but we are only there for a week, so unfortunately there won't be time for that this year.

With vacationing comes big eating. There are a few restaurants I want to go to as they seem to have good food on a consistent basis, one of them being Sirenela Ristorante. They make a great grilled calamari I will be sure to inhale.... at least once. The other place is Sims Corner Steakhouse. Good food and good service. They have an oyster bar which I usually put my best effort into emptying whatever they have in stock but never seem put a dent into. Do you see how I'm stepping up the amount of seafood I eat? We're going to be next door to the ocean so I'm not going to let fresh seafood pass me by. There are a lot of other great places to eat and we will find them. But, I am going to be diligent on eating properly and although I won't be running, I will be walking a lot, on the golf course (if allowed), on the beach and around town. Little O demands to be walked at least once a day, so there will be a lot of accommodating. There are lots of things to do in the summer in Charlottetown and all over the island, so I am looking forward to every bit of it.

While we're gone, our greenhouse will be tended to by our neighbor who is quite capable of sustaining life for us in the little place full of tomatoes and basil. The flowers are sprouting all over and there is already one tomato making it's way out into the world. A good sign, but there's still a long way to go. We also have four zucchini plants planted off to the side and so far they have been making nice progress. The heat wave of the past three days or so has been a welcome addition, we just had to make sure they were all watered very well as to not let them dry out. I can't wait to start eating the flowers. Yum!!

Today, around the kitchen there are a few ingredients I want to get rid of as they have been here for a few days and we're leaving, so as you know I hate throwing out food. Then I went for a walk in the back yard and picked what I thought would go well out of the garden. The herbs are already coming along very nicely, so they had a lot to offer this dish. Here's what I threw together for lunch:

Ingredients

- 1 cup Prairie Harvest Certified Organic Gemelli
- 10 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsp red onion, finely diced
- 2 small cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
- 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 3 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
- 8 oregano leaves, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- EVOO (a little of the good stuff as well)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1) Cook pasta according to directions on the package
2) Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add EVOO and when hot enough, add the onions and stir. When the onions start to turn a little opaque, add the garlic, the anchovies and stir.


3) After a minute or so, add the tomatoes, oregano, a sprinkle of salt and stir again. Coat them all in the oil so all the flavors mix together.


4) Add the parsley and basil. Crank up the heat to medium-high, mix together and add the pasta, which should just be finished cooking. Add a little of the pasta water as well, about 1/8 to 1/4 cup and cook for another minute.
5) Grind a little pepper in, pour a little of the good EVOO over top, grate some Parmesan over as well and serve.
Yield: Serves 1-2, depending on who #2 is (see Little O's Menu below).


There's quite a bit of pasta here, but you can always save some for later. Better than filling yourself up to much. I'm not doing that to myself anymore, I promise. The health benefits in this dish are present and tasty as well. The tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano.... blah, blah, blah. They're all loaded with vitamins and nutrients to make your brain a better tool and your body a better vessel for you to use everyday.

I have been cutting back on any white flour as of late, so I figured today was a good day to eat pasta. This brand of Gemelli has, besides Durum Semolina, organic beets, spinach and tomatoes in it. I hope there are as many  (or close to) health benefits from the vegetables in the pasta as there are when they are in regular form. This is a nice dish to eat on the patio on a warm day. It's not to heavy and has a great flavor base to it.

Little O's Menu

Today she ate her lunch with me. When I said it depends on who the second person is, this is what I meant. I had no idea how much she would eat, but she ate about 1/4 of what I ate. I didn't eat that much, but she was almost a bottomless pit. I'm happy to see this as she doesn't eat big portions hardly ever. I was able to mix in all of the ingredients by hiding them when I fed it to her by fork. Devious I know, but healthy. She has also been snacking on fresh apricots with me and will eat 3/4 of one in one sitting. Not a lot left for the old boy. I'll take that deal any day.

Quote Of The Day:

"Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer."

~ Unknown


Until next time, good eating (and vacationing) everyone.

Mark