What’s On My Plate: Valentine’s Edition
For me, Valentine’s Day conjures up getting seriously cozy. Plus, it’s winter so … cozy! And “seriously cozy” means a comfort food dinner, curling up on the couch with someone I love, and an after-dinner sip of something wonderful. (Maybe a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc?)
For dinner inspiration, I reached out to Jimmy Winslow, our Saratoga Café Chef who has a culinary background AND is a cozy guy at heart. Take it away, Jimmy!
Prepping for the Future
I started in the culinary field at 18, right out of high school. My mom worked as a server at Red Lobster, and since I didn’t want to attend college and didn’t really have a plan for what I wanted to do with my life, she got me a job in the kitchen as a prep cook. This was only supposed to be a summer job until I figured out what I wanted to do with myself, but I ended up spending 12 years at Red Lobster!
It was a fun ride. I climbed the ladder from prep all the way up to lead line cook. I was there for the launch of their certified Grill Master program and helped train other chefs. In 2010, they held their first Grill Master Olympics, and I won! After I had gotten as high up as I could get, I started to look around at other kitchens/restaurants, and along came Healthy Living!
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
I guess I made an impression at my interview with HL because I was hired on the spot. I’ve been here ever since, going on six and a half years now, and loving every minute of it! It’s so nice to work for a company that is family-owned, and I’m not just another staff member.
Katy, Nina, and Eli actually know my name and go out of their way to say hi to me (which I know sounds like a small thing but means a lot to me.) Interested in joining the team? Check out our job openings! And that’s my story; now let’s talk Valentine’s Day dinner!
What’s cozier than a lemony pasta dish? My wife and I make this recipe all the time—it’s very quick and easy to do! It’s bright and fresh, and also extremely versatile. I’ll include the base recipe below, but you can jazz it up with chicken or shrimp, or swap in your favorite veggie like zucchini or mushrooms. Enjoy your cozy dinner!
BACK TO KATY:
Thanks, Jimmy! The constant guest praise I get further reminds me how fortunate we are to have you and your talented team with us for the ride! Your kitchen continues to deliver fresh, innovative culinary products that the community loves. Whether it’s fantastic take-home dinners, tasty lunch specials, or bakeshop magic, your team is simply awesome!
See Jimmy’s recipe below, and have a comfy Valentine’s Day!
Jimmy’s Cozy Lemon Pasta
- 1 ea. large head of broccoli
- 2 ea. large lemons
- 1 ea. clove of garlic
- 6 oz. spaghetti
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 qt. vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp. sour cream
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 ea. chicken breast per person if desired (shrimp can also be used)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Break down the broccoli into small florets.
- Mince all of the garlic.
- Zest the lemons, set aside, and then juice the lemons, set aside.
- Once the water has come to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook for about 10 minutes until al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- In a large non-stick pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add broccoli, season with salt and peppers, and sauté until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Set broccoli aside and wipe out pan.
- Heat up the pan again with a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the lemon zest and chili flakes.
- Stir in the vegetable stock, the lemon juice, and reserved pasta water. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Cut the heat and add the spaghetti, broccoli, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, butter, and sour cream to the pan.
- Toss this around until everything is well coated. Divide onto serving plates and top with the remaining parmesan cheese for garnish.
NOTE: If adding any proteins, you’ll want to sauté them in another pan and add in at the end.