Archive for ‘Side dishes’

May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day Feast – Lobster Fest

Lobster being on sale this week, this is what I ended up eating this week-end, instead of the pizza I had originally planned. I guess that pizza will have to wait again… I simply couldn’t pass up on live lobster at 5 bucks a pound, and, frankly, I think I wasn’t the only one. Just the morning when I went to buy mine, they had already sold over 600 pounds worth of the little beasts at my local supermarket.

I can’t say that I am a huge fan of lobster. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE its great taste and texture as well as good nutritional values and low cal density (bonus!!!) but I hate the fact that eating it has to be so unbelievably messy. Sure, you could always prepare it ahead of time and make it into something, instead of just eating whole lobsters, but it does take away from the experience. Plus, it would be just as messy, only not AT the table…

Messy or not, I would say that this was a feast fit for a king queen (hey, it was mother’s day, wasn’t it?), served with a nice light salad, cute little loaves of multi grain bread, red wine and garlic butter, although I stayed away from that last item, for very obvious reasons! I wouldn’t want to annihilate the low cal density bonus, now, would I? 😉 

Now, don’t ask me how to cook lobster. I’m not even going to touch that subject with a 10 foot pole, for fear that the lobster police will come and arrest me for talking about something I know nothing about. Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to drop the poor things in the water… my ex has always taken care of that for me, and this time was no exception! 😉

What I can tell you about, however, is what went into that beautiful salad! (even though my ex took care of that one also… hey, it was mother’s day, was it not?)

  •  1 tomato, diced
  • ½ seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced
  • 4 cups raw baby spinach
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • a splash of olive oil
  • A few shakes of salt and pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together except for baby spinach. Let stand for about 5 minutes to allow flavours to develop and mushrooms and cucumber to wilt ever so slightly.
  2. Add spinach and toss to combine.

Advertisements
May 2, 2011

Nofish & Chips

You guessed it allright! You SHOULD in fact be looking at a mouthwatering plate of this English classic we refer to as Fish and Chips. But, you see, Mr. Cod here had some very important business to attend to and had to send his regrets when he got invited to this photo shoot. Boooh!

Seriously? My attempt at making pan fried buttermilk battered cod failed miserably. Shamefully! It didn’t even pass the taste test. Well, barely. I think next time, I ought to use a non-stick pan…

The chips, however… while they too were “THAT CLOSE” to becoming a failure, I managed to save them and almost succeeded at making this home made, healthier version of a classic potato chip.

I know, I know, I can hear you say Fish and Chips are called Fish and Chips but are in fact served with FRIES! Typically, our friends from over the pond call French Fries chips and chips crisps. How’s that for confusion! But it’s not because I was confused that I decided to make chips instead of fries. I wanted chips…. Well, crisps… well, you know… those!

So, to make them, I sliced 3 beautiful medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes very very thinly. You definitely need to use a mandoline for that! I patted them dry and then coated them with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt. ¼ tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp organic unsalted seasoning (Ms. Dash type) and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I gave that a good stir to coat the potatoes evenly, laid them in a single layer on a cooling rack and cooked them in a 475F degree oven.

While extremely satisfying (and much better than the bagged stuff), this cannot at this point be made into an official recipe because, one, I let my potatoes “marinate” in the seasoning for a good 10-15 minutes while I was researching buttermilk batter options, which resulted in the potatoes rendering a lot of liquid and I am not sure as to whether that was desirable or not, and two, I had to also use the broil feature to finish “drying” the chips and I can’t tell for sure that this step would’ve been necessary had it not been for reason number one stated above.

Still, they were too pretty and way too good to pass up. I HAD to log this attempt. This will help me with my future experimentations (or anyone else’s who would feel like giving them a try!)

April 15, 2011

Tofu Balls and Mint Yogurt Sauce

Soy is one ingredient that I want to eat a lot more of. The only problem is, I don’t really know how to incorporate it into my diet. Plus, up until recently, soy, to me, basically equalled tofu, and I didn’t care much for tofu.

I’m learning, however, that soy really does not equal tofu. There is a lot more to it. You can consume soy in the form of beans, be them dried, sprouted, fresh (also known as edamame), or roasted. There’s also soy “milk”, soy flour, soy paste, tempeh, yuba and miso, to name a few. Now that’s a lot of options to choose from!

I’ve already switched from cow to soy milk quite a while ago. I never cared for cow’s milk anyway, so it was rather easy to change. It was just a matter of getting used to the taste. I started with vanilla; then I switched to unflavoured and more recently to unsweetened. Good. Now what else? How do I cook with soy? I need to find inspiration, and lots of it.

My mom recently gave me this SUPERB recipe book entirely dedicated to cooking with soy. The pictures in it are really beautiful and truly inspire me to try some (a lot) of the recipes. This is the first one I tried. Since I was extremely happy with how it turned out, you can expect to see a quite a few more in the upcoming weeks / months.

Ingredients (Adapted from Healthy Soy, Cooking with soybeans)
(serves 4)

Tofu balls

  • 300g extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup soy and flax breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli paste (sambal oelek)
  •  ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp soy oil

Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • 180g silk tofu, drained
  • ¾ cup 0% plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Almond rice

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g toasted almonds, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Rice

  • In a fine sieve, rinse rice thoroughly under cold running water.
  • Transfer to saucepan with salt and water. Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until water is absorbed.
  • Add almonds and stir to combine.

Tofu Balls

  • In a food processor, grind the tofu until its texture resembles that of breadcrumbs. Add parsley, garlic, green onions and celery until mixture and give this mixture a quick pulse until well combined.
  • Transfer to mixing bowl, add breadcrumbs, tahini, raisins, soy sauce, cumin, coriander and chilli paste. Mix thoroughly and shape into little bite size balls. Roll each ball in cornmeal.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat and cook the balls until nice and golden on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in total.

Yogurt Mint Sauce

  • Puree tofu in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.