Yum, lunch!

A few months ago, I subscribed to Cooking Light. I’ve been good at keeping up with the magazines as they come in; I’ve been sorting through them and pulling out recipes that I want to try. It occurred to me though that they still weren’t going to do me any good if they just stayed on the clipboard where I was collecting them. Lately, I’ve been trying to cook some of them.

The first attempt, which was a stuffed zucchini, was pretty much a disaster. Other than being impressed that my $1 yard sale food processor could reduce several slices of bread into crumbs in a matter of minutes, this recipe wound up being a waste. It was a waste of the HUGE zucchini from my grandma’s garden and a waste of time since it was a pretty complicated recipe.

Perseverance pays. The second attempt turned out much better. Once again, I got to put my food processor to use. Did I mention it was only $1? I love that! I don’t care if it sounds like a jet engine taking off when I use it.  What a bargain. Anyway, I put the food processor to work to make white bean and sage pita burgers.  I didn’t make the suggested sauce for them because I’m not a huge fan of sour cream and don’t know how I feel like feta cheese yet, but these burgers taste great with hot sauce on top or that zesty onion ring sauce from Burger King. Ranch dressing would work too, but it was a little mild. I also used spinach instead of lettuce. I was pretty proud of myself for buying it from the salad bar. Instead of paying $3 for a bag of spinach I won’t have time to eat before I leave town, I paid 24 cents by just buying what I needed from the salad bar.

And, now, I just finished eating my third attempt for lunch. Using Cooking Light recipes means that ingredients are finding my way into my cart that don’t generally make the cut — fresh chives and radishes. Radishes? I don’t think I had eaten them for years. The fresh chives and radishes made their way into this orecchiette with peas, shrimp, and buttermilk-herb dressing dish. This dish packs in the flavor. I’ve just found a new meal to take to lunch at school. It would be easy to put together on Sunday afternoons; the recipe says it will take 30 minutes of hands-on time to make. I didn’t time myself and was listening to an audio book while I cooked, so maybe time escaped without me noticing, but I don’t think this took 30 minutes. In the time it took to boil the water and cook the pasta, I was pretty much able to whip up the dressing.

As a special blog reader bonus, if you want to try the orecchiette and live in the area, stop by to get my leftover buttermilk and chives. They’re just going to go bad in my fridge, and I’d rather they inspire you to cook this yummy recipe for yourself. And, if you’re like me and can’t find orecchiette in the store, try using campanelle. The pasta is shaped a little like calla lilies and looks fun.