Warm Scallop Salad & Comfort Food for Wisdom Teeth

For those of you who have never had your wisdom teeth out, consider yourselves VERY lucky.  I had mine out a week before I turned 18.  I ate way too many McDonald’s chocolate milkshakes and looked like a chipmunk for about a week.  Then proceeded to go on a roadtrip with 3 friends to New Jersey to go to 6 Flags for my birthday – still puffy.  Not the most attractive week of my life.

                                          Me and Melissa in Barcelona, Spain

My sister had hers out a week ago and her surgery didn’t go as well as mine.  Poor kid – she hardly ate all week so when she needed “substance” the other night, I made mac and cheese from scratch for the first time in my life.  I had to overcook the pasta a bit so she could chew it but you don’t have to.  I’m happy to say that she liked it and is now (almost) fully recovered from her not-so-great experience with her wisdom teeth.

Easy Homemade Mac & Cheesy (ew, how cheesy is that title? Leaving it.)

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat macaroni (I used spirals)
1/4 cup Brummel & Brown margarine spread
3 TB flour
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 cups grated cheese (I used mild cheddar but it’s up to you)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Cook macaroni according to the box directions, drain and set aside.

In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When melted, add the flour and seasonings and stir consistently to form a roux.  Cook an additional 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste – you will notice the mixture begin to thicken.  Add wine then gradually add the milk. 

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened and smooth.  Add cheese and continue stirring until it has fully melted and the sauce tastes like cheesy heaven.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and pour into a generously greased 2-quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with extra cheese and bake in a 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve while hot.
Serves 4-6.

I will say, I wanted to eat it SO badly.  I resisted.  Instead, I bypassed the carbs (and the meat since it was Friday) and had a craving for scallops instead.  While at the grocery store, the strawberries looks particularly good and I knew I already had walnuts at home.  I grabbed a few cans of mandarin oranges, some fresh baby spinach and a red onion.  A summer salad complimented by warm, seared scallops.

Light, delicious, perfect.

Warm Scallop Salad

Ingredients: (Makes 1 salad)
Fresh bay scallops (the BIG ones!), about 5-6 per person
Fresh baby spinach (approximately 2 cups)
1 14-ounce can of mandarin oranges (in Sugar-Free juice), drained
Fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 TB red onion, finely chopped
2 TB chopped walnuts
Dressing: Total optional.  I have a feeling that citrus-y dressings would be divine on this salad, but I dressed it with about a tablespoon of plain Balsamic vinegar.  Plain would also be great.

Bring a non-stick skillet generously sprayed with cooking spray to medium-high heat.  Sear scallops 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through.

Place a large handful of spinach leaves into a salad bowl.  Top with strawberries, orange pieces, walnuts, red onion and dressing if you like. 

Place warm scallops on top and enjoy your nutritious, delicious, carb-free, meat-free salad!

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