I’m flying solo this week since my husband is out of town again.  Generally when he’s away, I find that my habits become rather manic.   All of a sudden there are so many more hours in which to get things done…and eating and sleeping are usually the first to get shafted.   But I am trying to be somewhat more mindful this time around.  Case in point, yesterday, after my 4th day of  eating leftover pasta for dinner, I was inspired not only to do a BIG shopping trip (we New Yorkers all have our OWN handy-dandy, folding shopping carts, thank you very much) but to cook healthily as well.

old lady shopping

(Me, in a year or two…)

While I did plan the menus, I didn’t thoroughly read through the recipes (tsk, tsk), so at 9 p.m. I’m writing this blog post while my shrimp marinates and the cucumber salad rests overnight rests in the refrigerator ’til the shrimp is ready.  As I said, my sense of time does tend to go all wonky…

Every nice meal needs appetizers and a drink.  Here’s what I enjoyed as I did the chopping prep-work for the dinner:


Mixed nuts, olives and a vodka-tonic “mock-tail” (my non-alcoholic version omits the vodka)

Although shrimp is the main feature of this meal, I needed a vegetable to accompany the shrimp.  Since it’s been so hot this week, steamed veggies really didn’t appeal.  I’m in love with beets, so this salad seemed perfect.

beet salad

Quick ‘N” Easy Beet Salad

1 cup coarsely chopped no-salt-added canned beets

1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed

2 tablespoons sliced green onions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing

2 lettuce leaves

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour dressing over mixture; toss gently. Cover and chill 2 hours.  Serve on lettuce-lined salad plates; sprinkle with hard-cooked egg.  Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup beet mixture and 1/2 egg.)

And, for whatever reason I also felt like I should have a salad to go with my salad!

cucumber salad

Marinated Cucumber Salad 

2 English cucumbers, julienned

1 red bell pepper, seeded, julienned

1 yellow pepper, seeded, julienned

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 cilantro chopped

In a large bowl combine cucumbers, peppers, salt and pepper.  In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients for dressing.  Pour mixture over vegetables; toss well.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 2 days.


my dinner

(Shrimp recipe follows)

Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Thyme

1 Tbs. minced fresh lemon thyme or thyme

3 Tbs. fresh lemon or lime juice

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Salt, to taste

16 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Vegetable oil for cooking

1 lemon cut into wedges

In a bowl, combine lemon thyme, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.  Preheat a grill pan or prepare a fire in grill.  Coat grill pan with vegetable oil and lay shrimp on pan. Or, skewer shrimp and place on grill.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  Turn shrimp and continue cooking until pink and opaque throughout.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 4.  (Adapted from The Golden Door Cookbook, by Michel Stroot.  Broadway, 1977)


Note:  I wish I could give credit for the beet and cucumber salad recipes.  Alas, I clipped these recipes years ago from magazines and didn’t think to include the authors when I pasted the recipes in my recipe folder.  My apologies to the chefs!


  1. meh meh says:

    Oh my word, a feast for you and our eyes as well! And what charming serving bowls, if I do say so myself! xoxo mm

    • Joana says:

      Yes, I was going to put in a plug for the very talented potter who made the bowl with the plums, but I forgot her name. Hee hee!

      I love you! J

      On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 9:47 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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