My husband asked me recently what I enjoy doing. My reply to his question was that I am finally enjoying cooking again.
For a long time, I didn't enjoy cooking. I always felt like I was inside a pressure cooker, ready to explode and working as fast as I could to get dinner on the table. But, I have begun to finally make myself get started earlier when it comes to cooking dinner. I've also realized that I needed to look for the enjoyment in my cooking. As I began looking for it, I discovered that my enjoyment in cooking comes when I try to think about what I'm cooking and be creative.
Today I was really hungry after mowing the lawn, cutting down a rose bush, weeding two flower beds in the front yard, and trimming the grass along the fence. (I did a little at a time while taking multiple breaks to teach my kids and help them get their work done.) Nothing in the refrigerator appealed to me when I was finally done with the yard work, so I decided to make some pasta seafood salad. Here's the recipe I came up with: (my youngest son and my pickiest eater both gave it a thumbs up)
4 oz. imitation crab, chopped
12-15 shrimp (1/2 pound) cooked, peeled and chopped in large chunks
3 cups cooked pasta (small noodles like shells, elbows, or small rotini)
pinch of dill (to taste)
1 tsp deli mustard (or 2 if you like more mustard)
Juice of one lemon, fresh is preferable
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 medium size red bel pepper, diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
Mix everything in a bowl and chill. Add more salt and pepper to taste. You can also add 1/4 cup diced cucumber and/or 1/4 cup diced carrot to taste.
This is going to be lower fat than most versions because I added more lemon juice and cut the mayo. It doesn't taste heavy.