If You Want It To Taste Right, Cook It Yourself

If You Want It To Taste Right, Cook It Yourself

(story time + recipe)


So I’ve heard stories about pregnancy hormones and thought they were all over exaggerated tales men tell to make their life seem hard lol. Boy, was I wrong on that one. After my first emotional (hormonal) breakdown, I had to reevaluate myself. I’m not a super sensitive person at all. I’m not even a crier, honestly. I cried, though. Big, ugly tears ... over a bowl of noodles. 


Last Friday, I was craving a bowl from Noodles & Company. I searched Postmates, UberEats, even GrubHub ... none of them delivered it. So I waited until my other half got off work that day so we could go because I was determined. Nothing was going to stop me from having my moment of bliss and, in my mind, that bowl didn’t stand a chance against me once I did get it. 

I order my food, make sure it’s right before I leave to go pig out in a non-judgmental environment and I’m on my way to what I thought would pure bliss and a feeling of accomplishment lol. The experience was the total opposite: overcooked noodles & shrimp, undercooked vegetables and hardly any sauce to coat it. I was disappointed, confused, sad and I felt ... betrayed. (Did I mention that I am extremely dramatic at times?) I cried the biggest tears at that moment, got frustrated with myself for crying about something so stupid, then cried some more. It was ... dramatic. There’s no other way to describe it.


I decided I wasn’t going to waste my money there anymore and since it was still on my mind three days later, I wanted to make my own version at home - the right way. 



Penne Rosa (with shrimp)



* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 4 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

* 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

* 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped

* Salt & pepper, to taste

* 4 cups fresh spinach

* 1/2 cup marinara sauce

* 12 ounces whole wheat penne, cooked

* 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

* 1/4 cup grated (or shredded) parmesan cheese



1. Cook penne pasta following instructions on packaging (I prefer “al-dente” style but it’s whatever you like). 

2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften. 

3. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.

4. Add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach “wilt” for 2 minutes. Remove lid, stir in the pasta sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. 

*this rest period gives you enough time to cook your shrimp! season to taste (a little salt, pepper and red pepper flakes works just fine - we’re adding it to the pasta, after all). In a medium skillet, cook shrimp until both sides are pink and remove from pan. 

5. Stir in the Greek yogurt, then add the penne and cooked shrimp. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese. 



You might be tempted to skip the resting step before adding the Greek yogurt—don’t! At high temperatures Greek yogurt breaks down and curdles. Give the dish a few minutes off the heat before stirring in the yogurt to avoid chunk sauce.



If you like this recipe, let me know via Twitter @_tiairraa! I’ll post more recipes (hopefully with less dramatic stories behind them, lol) if you’d like to try something new! :) 




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