Catching up

I didn’t post last night’s dinner because I was in a bad mood. Here it is:

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I’ll call it sweet shrimp stir fry. Here’s how to make it:

Cook shrimp over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil. Add 1 cup beans (I used great northern b/c that’s what I had on hand – I think I’d use black beans if I did this again, though). Cook for another 3 or so minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Turn heat down to medium. Add sliced peppers (I used the pretty little multi-colored peppers that I always put in salads, but a red bell would also work). Cook for 2 minutes. Add mango chunks and crushed red pepper. Also toss shrimp back in. Add some lemon juice and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Serve with quinoa. Or whatever. But quinoa was particularly good with this. I think I might have put some sliced almonds or something in mine because I remember it being crunchy. But my bad mood has kind of deleted the whole day from my memory.

Today was better. I went to the gym, where I overcome foot pain and ran longer than usual on the indoor track. I’m a really slow “runner” because I have arthritis and am also a wuss. I also have asthma, so I can only “run” for a certain period of time before I feel like I’m going to pass out (3 laps). I know what you’re thinking and, yes, I was very popular as a teenager. The combination of a traditional geek disease like asthma with a chronic condition typically associated with the elderly really gave me that extra something I needed to be both loved and understood by my sensitive classmates.

Anyway, back to “running.” Today I passed someone in the runners’ lanes on the track for the first time! He was really old and had a knee brace on but I don’t care. So, that set a more upbeat tone for my day. I then did other things that are, I’m sure, equally interesting to you, like: recycling, taking a walk to the public library to try to remind myself that reading is fun even though I stopped doing it a few months ago, getting coffee on the way back home, having lunch and a snack, watching basketball, making dinner, cleaning in a frenzied state and grocery shopping.

For dinner, I made protein-packed baked pasta. Yes, I just made that up on the fly.

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Matt loves baked pasta dishes, and apparently I do not make them enough for his liking, so he seemed to be more excited about this meal than he has been about anything I’ve cooked in the last four years. Here’s how it all came together:

I cooked 2 cups of dry pasta (we like a mix, so we had 1 cup of medium shells and 1 cup of whole wheat penne). Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, I mixed 1 can of diced tomatoes, about 3/4 cup of crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/3 cup of cottage cheese, garlic and crushed red pepper. I sprayed a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and I drained the pasta and tossed it in the dish. I then added the sauce and stirred it all up. I put about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella on top, sprayed some aluminum foil w/ cooking spray and baked at 350 for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered.

Then I made a salad. It just felt right.

The chickpeas and cottage cheese add protein, which makes this a nice meatless meal. Also, the cottage cheese made it creamier.

After I went on my crazy cleaning spree and took a trip to the grocery store (where a woman tried to take my cart and then followed me around apologizing, with her four kids in tow, and where I also could not find any asparagus), I had a Fage with honey. I get to eat another one tomorrow, in honor of Easter. And because it expires then. I also had a little bit of Edy’s coffee ice cream that I bought on a whim at the grocery store. I’ve been a really big fan of coffee ice cream ever since I went to a Haagen-Dazs stand at the mall in Raleigh and asked for a small coffee (the drink) and got a small coffee (the ice cream).

Okay, I think it’s Reading Time. I checked out a few magazines in case real books don’t work out. I’ve also got a few issues of Tiny Titans and a Batgirl Showcase to fall back on.

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