Squeezed for Time
Eggplant Parmesan is one of those homey Italian dishes, like lasagna, that warms the cockles of your heart. The flavors are pure Italy with a rich tomato-y sauce, garlic, basil and cheeses like mozzarella and fontina. This is a far cry from the spaghetti and meatballs my Mom made back in the day. It’s richer and more flavorful but fast and easy to put together and serve.
There are times when I want the flavors of a dish like this – but don’t necessarily want to sacrifice the labor intensive time or the calories. A busy week night for example. I’ll make the real deal on the weekends when I have more time to go through all the proper steps.
I have a mysterious connection with the flavors of Italy. I’m not Italian. I’m like Julia Roberts in the movie “Eat Pray Love” when she said, “I want to have a relationship with my pizza.” That’s about the only thing I have in common with Ms. Roberts. *wink* Don’t have her gorgeous looks or her money. But I digress.
I bought some croissants at a charming little French bakery this afternoon. I was thinking about making bread pudding with them in a few days. I bought five of them. Absolutely knowing I can’t bring croissants home without Ernie scarfing down at least one with tea or coffee. He loves their flaky, buttery goodness. Then I figured I’ll have four more of them to make bread pudding with later in the week.
I was so pleased with myself for stopping there on my way to another errand. The croissants were perfectly flaky and light – not at all like those slightly rubbery ones you see in the grocery stores on a regular basis. Figured I was saving time and thinking up a great dessert recipe in my head I’ll share soon. The rest of the afternoon I was focused on business and crossing a few more things off my to-do list for the day.
Yesterday, I was having a day where I knew I’d be running around all afternoon and finally walk in the door by 6:00 pm. So, getting dinner together quickly on those days is essential. Cajun Salmon is perfect. Otherwise we’re either going out for a quick bite, or, not eating until almost 8:00 pm.
I make an effort to not eat anything after 7:00 pm. It’s a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule – but many books on fitness and diet say generally speaking it’s a good idea to refrain from eating later in the evening. I’ve even read some info that says finish eating by 6:00 pm. That’s probably not realistic for most folks.
Cajun Salmon is a satisfying entree that feels and tastes good almost anytime of year. During the warm weather months I’m likely to make a quick, easy green salad and toss it with a little homemade vinaigrette. Now that it’s cooler I serve salmon with a hot green veggie like roasted asparagus spears. They cook at the same temperature in the oven. So you can have both going at the same time.