August 29, 2012

Eating Out vs Home Cooked

After this weekend, I've put some thought into eating out vs home cooked meals.  On Friday night Michael and I went out to dinner.  Then we were in NYC for the weekend, living the city life and eating out breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We were there to run in a 5k Color Run with some friends, which was definitely not your traditional race.  It was more like a 9am rave of paint, music, and good memories!

While in the city we ate out at some amazingly good restaurants.  I'd have to say my favorite was a Mexican taco bar.  I had shrimp tacos, which got me thinking of duplicating the recipe myself.  Since Michael decided on salmon for dinner on Monday night, I thought it was the perfect time to recreate the tacos that I had on Saturday since they were still fresh on my taste buds.  Although I didn't prepare the dish as a taco, next time I made it, I will serve it with some shredded lettuce and a whole wheat soft taco shell.

Shrimp Tacos
  • 10 large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 onion
  1. In a large bowl or freezer zip-lock bag, combine all ingredients and mix so vegetables and shrimp are evenly coated
  2. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring a couple of times
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat
  4. Thread shrimp and vegetables onto skewers
  5. Lightly oil grill grate
  6. Cook skewers on preheated grill for 2/3 minutes per side, until shrimp is opaque

For tonight's dinner, it was all about cleaning out the refrigerator.  We had some zucchini and tomatoes that I wanted to use.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided it'd be a great way to use my veggies and pair with a nice piece of grilled chicken.  I was skeptical about getting the approval from Michael because he's not a huge fan of zucchini and tomatoes, but I knew that I could make up for it with the rich, potato gnocchi.  I was right!

Gnocchi with Zucchini and Tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2  medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions until they float, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately. 
Adapted from: Delish 
Don't get me wrong, I love eating out and having somebody else do the cooking and dishes, but after having every meal out for 2 days, I realized how lethargic it made me feel.  It was nice to come home and get back into the kitchen where I can control the ingredients.

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