Paella Power

Today I cracked open Giada’s new Feel Good Food cookbook. We all want to be like Giada: constantly cooking and eating amazing food but gorgeous and healthy at the same time. Her book explains how she does it. Her philosophy works for me, which is to not deprive yourself of anything, but to eat moderate, occasional portions of whatever you chose. Giada came to visit Minneapolis recently and my friends Erica and Allison picked up a signed copy for me – sweet!

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Giada’s Noodle Paella looked especially good so I decided to give it a go. Mike and I love paella – when we studied abroad in Spain, we saw enormous paella pans the size of kiddie pools at outdoor festivals… amazing. Giada’s version swaps out chorizo and rice for chicken and whole wheat spaghetti, making it lighter and simpler but still delicious. The dish was a culinary adventure – it required me to find and cook with three things I had never had before:

1. Clam Juice: I don’t know exactly how clam juice is obtained, and I don’t really want to know. If, like me, you had no idea where to find it in the grocery store, it’s near the canned tuna. 

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2. Saffron: The world’s most expensive spice! Wikipedia says that each squiggle comes from a flower, and it takes 50,000 – 75,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron. A small test tube of saffron cost me about $8 at Cub, but I have lots left over for future saffron endeavors. Any suggestions?

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3. Fennel: I was perplexed as to how to chop the fennel, and which parts to use. Luckily, this gent came to the rescue! The root is edible, the green part is not. It smells like licorice but when cooked, I think it was one of the star ingredients of the dish.

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We really liked this dish and it will make an appearance again soon. We may up the cayenne next time because we like things a little spicier.

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Here’s to food that both tastes good and feels good!

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Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks

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