Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I Made For Dinner Last Night

I haven't done one of these "What I Made for Dinner Last Night" postings in a while, but I thought it would be a good idea to show that I can still find time to make dinner most nights even though I am in radiation every day.

The radiation now takes an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes out of my busy day.   The actual radiation treatment isn't that long--on 10-15 minutes, but getting to the hospital and back every day is time consuming.

To make up for the lost time, I've been doing a lot of "double cooking" and cooking on the weekends.    When I "double cook" I make enough food for 2 meals and freeze the remainder, and when I cook on the weekends, I just prepare food in advance and either refrigerate or freeze.

For example, last week I made a big pot of minestrone and froze half for a later meal.    Two weekends ago I made two pans of my mushroom/spinach lasagna (I'll write out the recipe one day), and froze both.  

Even with that advance planning, I still need to whip up some quick dinners during the week.   If I have a chance to get to the grocery store, grilling fresh salmon is quick and easy, and a crowd pleaser with my family.   I can either make a salad or steam some green beans or broccoli to go along side it, and top with one of my home-made vinaigrette's.

Last night, however, I went back to an old family, quick and easy favorite.  My grandmother made this dish quite often, and I always liked it because you cook the cauliflower and pasta together in the same pot which saves clean up time.    The whole dish takes less than half and hour to make from start to finish, and you can substitute broccoli if you don't care for cauliflower.   It's also great because all the ingredients are easy to keep for at least a couple of weeks, so you don't have to run out last minute to shop.

Here's the recipe.

1 head of cauliflower cut into 1 inch pieces
1 12 oz box of whole grain pasta
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion peeled and chopped
1 2 oz. can of anchovies, drained and rinsed.
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add cauliflower and pasta.  Stir and cook until pasta is al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat and add the chopped onions.   Cook until they begin to turn translucent and then add anchovies.  Stir until anchovies break apart (about 3 minutes).   Add 1 cup of the pasta/cauliflower cooking water and let the liquid reduce by half (2-3 minutes).

Drain pasta and cauliflower and add to the pan with the onion/anchovy mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste and parsley if using.

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