We had been to San Diego during the first week of June, 2011 for a conference. We stayed there for more than a week and this was my second trip to San Diego. I love the city and I was so excited to visit it again. We had little S with us, so I decided to spent first few days at S's relative's place in Bonita as we thought that he will get time to settle in a new place better and will not fall sick. I was nervous to bits when we took the flight from SFO as I was expecting the little one to get cranky due to ear ache during take off and landing. But he was such a sweet kiddo who was had fun playing with his toys and enjoyed being carried around by air hostess. His favourite toy was an empty paper cup. Since this was his first flight, Southwest airlines gave him the "The first flight certificate" signed by the pilot and first officers. It was a simple card but I saved it and once we got back home, I tucked it safely inside his baby book. I am thinking that he will cherish it later.
N aunty, I uncle and two gorgeous girls S&S were such warm hosts. They made us feel at home and I got a chance to taste easy yet delicious meals from N aunty. With these local guides by my side, I got a chance to know and see even the minute details the town had to offer. Especially the Lotita taco shop in Bonita was worth a visit. San Diego is the best place to taste authentic Mexican food. I loved the clothing outlets on the US-Mexican border and they had amazing deals. I shopped till I dropped!!!
After four days of stay, I shifted back to S's hotel. This time we stayed in Hilton water front near the convention center and the hotel was at a stone's throw distance to Gas lamp. S booked the room on the 14th floor and the view of the bridge that leads to Coronado (man made island) was breathtaking. I suggested to rent a service apartment the next time we visit San Diego and spend a month long vacation there. S for the first time agreed to my idea.
We tasted the most delicious foods from the local restaurants but I couldn't get over the simple dishes N aunty made. After I came back and was still living in that "no cooking mode", I fixed dinner that was quick and easy. The pasta tasted delicious with just spinach and cheese in it and cold salmon salad complemented them really well.
For the pasta
2 cups whole wheat pasta
1 cup spinach - finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 teaspoon olive oil
Water to cook paste
Low fat cheese for garnish (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
For the salmon salad
1 pink salmon tin (3.75oz)
4 celery sticks - finely chopped
1 large carrot - finely chopped
1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoon non-fat yogurt (thick and no water)
1/2 tablespoon fat free sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta
1. Cook the pasta as per the manufacturer's instruction. Drain but retain 1/4 cup pasta water.
2. Heat a large cooking pan. After couple minutes, add garlic and saute for 30-45 seconds. Then add the spinach, cook for 3-5 minutes, until they wilt. Add salt to taste and mix in the pasta and mix well to combine.
For the salad
1. Drain the water from salmon and transfer it to a fresh bowl. Break them into smaller pieces using a spatula.
2. Add the celery and carrots and stir well.
3. Mix in the mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Check for salt and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Take a shallow plate. Transfer the pasta, garnish with grated cheese and place a dollop of salmon salad in the center. Serve with a glass of wine.