Puma Night @ Casa d’Alexis

Four of my girlfriends and I call ourselves “the pumas” – this generated one night when we were out on the town. One of the pumas is slightly older than the rest of us, but she looks younger than the rest of us. Younger men are always hitting on her and trying to get her attention. Thus, she is a successful puma. This term was created to describe a woman in her 30’s who dates younger men. My friend does not have a habit of dating younger men, but she certainly could if she wanted to. Since we’re such a close knit group of girls, we lovingly carry the term across all of us.

So, last night was “puma night” at my apartment! I cooked, the girls brought vino, and we chatted and chatted as good friends should. One week had passed since our last “puma night” which left plenty of catching up to do.

Being that we were four ladies, I tried to come up with a healthier menu. My previous recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp was perfect, but I changed it a bit by added more vegetables than just broccoli. I added asparagus, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. They all roasted beautifully.

For a side dish, I thought brown rice would be perfect. It would add something more filling, but still in a healthy way. The recipe is simple:

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups – vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup – brown rice
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 cup water chestnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen carrots
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup peanuts

2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons minced ginger

Recipe:
boil stock, ginger and rice in a small pot until boil
add frozen peas and carrots
lower heat and let simmer until stock is absorbed – approximately 25 minutes
fluff with fork and let stand for about 5 minutes
add sesame oil, sesame seeds, peppers, water chestnuts, soy sauce and peanuts
mix and serve

How easy is that?! When you serve, put the rice on everyone’s plate, then top with the roasted vegetables and shrimp. Yum-my.

For dessert, I prepared a fruit salad with mangos, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi and blackberries. In the end, everyone was looking for chocolate or cookies. I guess I shouldn’t have pushed it over the health edge with the fruit. I think the wine made up for anyone’s cookie-craving. Always does.

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