garlic paste

Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Not too long ago, one esteemed member of our happy ChefsOpinion family mentioned that I prepare shrimp too often. While I understand that not everyone loves shrimp as much as I do (many folks do, though), 99.9 % of my posts show what Bella and I actually prepare and eat at home and is not selected for popularity but for whatever we feel like eating that day. 🙂
If I would write this blog to get “likes”, make money or be universally popular, I would pick the food according to those criteria. ChefsOpinion evolved from my original, for-profit online business “Chefcook.Us” and is now a simple account of food I like and prepare at home for Bella and myself, with the occasional opinion about food in general thrown in.
Remember, ChefsOpinion is about “Real Food & Real Opinions”, not about trends or “in”- food, otherwise I would not feature such delicacies as ham hogs, tripe, liver, heart, gizzards,snails, kidneys and so many other dishes which are definitely not popular or even known to most folks, at least around here in the US. I pride myself to try to also cater to all (including myself) who love food that is not easily available at other places and has disappeared from the mainstream, even if those posts are sometimes only popular with a select few.
Obviously shrimp are not in this category, I just wanted to make this point again, lest my readers forget – “ChefsOpinion – Real Food & Real Opinions”
So then, please forgive me, but here, once again, is another post about Shrimp. 🙂

(To Robert, With Love) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Before you make a long face at the Mollejas (Chicken Gizzards), pls know that you can easily replace them with any other part of the chicken, such as breast, wings, tighs, etc. If you are not in the mood for chicken, many other proteins will work just as well, such as beef, pork, shrimp, or any other seafood, or just add more veggies of your choice.
However, if you love mollejas as much as I do, this soup will surely find a special place in your heart 🙂
In my opinion, the mollejas fit perfectly with the other ingredients, but as usual, use what you prefer, what you can afford or whatever you have in your larder that seems to fit the dish.
If you look at the pictures and try to immagine the taste of it, you’ll know that the main attraction is the Ginger/Tamarind Broth, the pasta pearls and the bok choy, everything else is just icing on the cake 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Breakfast Of Champions # 63 – Veal Blade Steak With Poached Eggs, Tzatsiki & Pita

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Breakfast Of Champions # 63 – Veal Blade Steak With Poached Eggs, Tzatsiki & Pita

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The  beautiful 2 lbs veal blade steak on this page cost all of $ 5.00. As soon as I got home, I felt like kicking myself not to have bought a few more to keep in the freezer to serve in the coming few weeks. While not the most tender of steaks, veal blade bursts with flavor and has a wonderful texture (think of strip loin cap).
Anyway, I did not go back to the store since I know that it features this cut as a special often, so there will be no problem to repeat the wonder of this superb breakfast 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Veal  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Breakfast of Champoins  on  ChefsOpinion
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sauteed blade steak

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Breakfast Of Champions # 63 – Veal Blade Steak With Poached Eggs, Tzatsiki & Pita

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Breakfast Of Champions # 63 – Veal Blade Steak With Poached Eggs, Tzatsiki & Pita

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Breakfast Of Champions # 63 – Veal Blade Steak With Poached Eggs, Tzatsiki & Pita

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Vacio (Beef Loin Flap), Sauteed Banana Peppers, Cherrie Peppers Relish and Mashed Avocado With Peruvian Salsa Ají Amarillo

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Vacio (Beef Loin Flap), Sauteed Banana Peppers, Cherrie Peppers Relish and Mashed Avocado With Peruvian Salsa Ají Amarillo

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Vasio. This is yet another cut of beef which is not usually utilized for steaks outside of South America. Yet, if you visited South America and had a chance to sample it, you might agree with me that this is one of the best steaks in regards to texture and flavor.
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Vasio
, (Flap steak, or flap meat) (French-Bavette), comes from a bottom sirloin butt cut of beef, and is generally a very thin steak. Flap steak is sometimes called sirloin tips in New England.
The flap steak is sometimes confused with hanger steak as both are usually cut thin. Skirt steak is a cut of beef steak from the plate. It is long, flat, and prized for its flavor rather than tenderness. It is not to be confused with flank steak, a generally similar adjacent cut nearer the animal’s rear quarter.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Cherrie Peppers Relish is my new go-to condiment/sandwich spread.
You can prepare it yourself, but it is widely available in stores and online in good quality and various spice-levels, from mild to burning hot 🙂
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Click here to see another South American favorite of mine, the  Picanha
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Click here for an extensive list of  Beef Cuts from around the World
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Click here for  Salsa Aji Amarillo Recipe  on  Chefsopinion
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Mashed Avocado with Salsa Aji Amarillo Recipe :
Mash the flesh of one ripe avocado with 1 tblsp chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp garlic paste and kosher salt and salsa aji amarillo to taste
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Vacio (Beef Loin Flap), Sauteed Banana Peppers, Cherrie Peppers Relish and Mashed Avocado With Peruvian Salsa Ají Amarillo

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Vacio (Beef Loin Flap), Sauteed Banana Peppers, Cherrie Peppers Relish and Mashed Avocado With Peruvian Salsa Ají Amarillo

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Vacio (Beef Loin Flap), Sauteed Banana Peppers, Cherrie Peppers Relish and Mashed Avocado With Peruvian Salsa Ají Amarillo

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck – probably the most underrated cut of beef overall. Simmered for soup or braised in red wine sauce, the texture and taste of this cut is only surpassed by beef shank. On top of that, since few people use it, it is the cheapest of all beef cuts, pound for pound. I hope it stays under-appreciated by most folks for much longer, so I can buy it often and in large quantities without breaking the bank 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Bella’s Portion

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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When I was growing up in the  Black Forest  in Germany, there were only two species of fish I experienced – the native Trout ( Bach Forelle ), which was available fresh in nearly every single restaurant, and  Cod , which was the most affordable ocean fish, available fresh at most fish shops in the bigger towns and cities. Since trout was local and inexpensive, it was not really a treat for the kids, also, because it was usually served whole, head, skin and bones, it was something the parents ate, while the kids sticked to fish fingers made of cod fillet, served with plenty of sauce remoulade. 🙂
Once I became an apprentice and then during my many years of cooking (and eating) around the world, fish and seafood in it’s endless varieties became some of my favorite food.
For years,  Turbot  and  Chilean Sea Bass  (“Pacific Sea Bass” / “South American Sea Bass” / Merluza Negra / Patagonian Toothfish) , topped the list of my most beloved fish species. Then, surprise surprise, slowly but surely my preference wandered back to the simple Cod, where is stayed until today. Sadly, because it has lost it’s “inferior” reputation, the once very reasonably priced cod now costs the same prohibitive $-amount as any other good quality fish on the market.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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Baked Atlantic Cod Fillet, Cauliflower, Sweet Cherry Peppers And Capers In Lemon & EVO

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Seafood Indulgence

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Seafood Indulgence

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In that perfect world we’re all longing for, we would all have neverending access to fresh-caught, properly handled and expertly prepared seafood, plentiful and for a reasonable price……….. 🙂
Yet, for most of us, this is but a dream.
However, thanks for modern technology improvements in transport, handling and distribution, there is abundant flash-frozen seafood available in specialty markets, top-tier seafood suppliers and even the internet.
But, in order to get the most out of this seafood, it has to be properly defrosted, cooked (if raw) and seasoned. While I want to keep my seafood chilled at all times, at the very last moment before  consumption, I like to submerge my seafood in  hot cooking liquid from the just cooked shrimp (and crawfish and crab if applicable), just for a minute or two.
This treatment will bring the flavor and texture of the seafood to a whole new level, far improved from chilled seafood fresh out of the fridge.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Seafood Indulgence

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Seafood Indulgence

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add the shrimp and the simmering stock with a tongue carefully mix all together,

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce (Fish Soup). It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But in many parts of Italy, fish soup rules, and rightfully so.
Since Italy is bordered by water on three sides, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of variations of zuppa di pesce throughout the country, especially in the towns that dot the coastline. Families in the same village often have utterly distinct, yet equally delicious, preparations.
In Genoa, fish soup is called burrida, a name residents got from their neighbors in France from the Provencal dialect bourrido (“to boil”). There, it’s a soup made of cuttlefish, angler and anchovies. In Tuscany, it’s called caciucco, and on the opposite side of Italy, along the Adriatic, it’s referred to as brodetto. Many Americans are familiar with the term “cioppino,” which is not an Italian word. It comes from the Ligurian immigrants in San Francisco and is based on their dialects name for the dish, ciuppin.
While this recipe calls for some specific species, feel free to use any firm, light-fleshed fish. There’s a delicate balance to a good zuppa di pesce, so strong-flavored fish like salmon or snapper don’t work. No sole or flounder either–they’re too flaky. Use an ample supply of shellfish, whatever’s freshest is best. Finally, make sure you have a good loaf of bread to serve with the zuppa.
Some traditional preparations from Liguria do not add tomato,, as the original recipe calls for the full flavor of the sea to be maintained in the fish soup.
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Cioppino  is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful of this delicious seafood stew.  Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen different kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch and/or your personal choice.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Cioppino.  The key to this recipe is experimentation.  Be creative with this fish stew: Leave something out, or substitute something new.  Serve cioppino with a glass of your favorite wine and warm sourdough bread.
History of Cioppino:  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.
The origin of the word “cioppino” is something of a mystery, but many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.”  It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Thanks to its ease of preparation and its wonderful taste and texture, chicken noodle soup in its never-ending varieties is one of the dishes I prepare at least once every week.  🙂
I remember the noodle soups from my youth, which had the same flaw as all other pasta dishes at the time in the “old country” – the pasta was nearly always overcooked. Not just in the home I grew up in, but in all homes and restaurants.
To cook pasta al dente became only common after the influx of Italian Immigrants and the explosion of Italian restaurants in Germany in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Unfortunately, nowadays, the original Italian patrons of these restaurants have mostly retired. Their (German-educated) kid’s, and more often than not, new immigrants from countries such as Turkey, Albania, Rumania, etc have taken over these restaurants and unfortunately, the cuisine has been watered down to an unfortunate mix of second-class Italian and third-class German cooking style, including in many cases, overcooked pasta. Sadly, when I visited Germany last September, it was nearly impossible for me to find decent pasta, pizza, and other traditional Italian food of good quality ( see also “My trip to Germany and Spain“)

However, let’s get back to the “Chicken Noodle Soup” at hand.
No danger of overcooked pasta to be found here, although, there is the (slight?) possibility to overcook the carrot noodles and/or the beans, so if you decide to prep this dish, please keep the veggies bright in color and of proper texture. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Bella’s Chicken Noodle Soup (She still ate half my wings and carrots) 🙂

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE
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Arugula & Crab Salad In Yogurt Dressing

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Arugula & Crab Salad In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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Lately, I eat a lot of salad as a main course, any time of the day, even for breakfast if I have leftovers from the previous day.
The key to a great leftover salad to enjoy the following day is to look at the total quantity of all ingredients BEFORE you add the green leaves and dressing, then set them aside separately, cover airtight and store in the fridge overnight, so that the leaves will not wilt and the salad does not get soggy. Only mix and add the finishing touches to the salad you can actually eat for the one meal you’re about to have.
Seems logical enough, but sometimes when everything looks so tempting and delicious, the eyes are bigger than the stomach and we are stuck with a beautiful salad that will turn messy in just a short while 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Use any type of crabmeat that suits your taste buds and wallet, or substitute crabmeat with lobster, crayfish, shrimp or scallops.
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Click here for more  Crab  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Yogurt Dressing Recipe :

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup EVO
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped oregano (or 1 pinch dried oregano)

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Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk ’til smooth.

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Arugula & Crab Salad In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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Arugula & Crab Salad In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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Arugula & Crab Salad In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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