Archive for November, 2010

24
Nov
10

veggie topped quinoa, beet salad.

There was a time when I’d regularly allocate $12-$15 for a week’s worth of food, and then I’d stay within those parameters. I’d invest in some Poor Man’s Food, such as eggplant or polenta, and stretch that out over 5 or 6 meals. A solitary green bean was my go-to side dish, and bread was rationed to the point of absurdity. These days, I’m eating gold on the regular. Platinum is my choice side dish, and when my sweet tooth kicks in I reach for some diamonds. And yet, I still appreciate some veggie-centric Poor Man’s Food. Especially in pre-Thanksgiving starvation phase. Nothing but water and laxatives until prom!

Last week, I made a vegetable stir-fry atop quinoa.

quinoa with veggies

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 dashes of Cholula
salt and pepper to taste
1 c quinoa

I started by sauteeing the onion in olive oil, and then added in the bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms. I added in the garlic after everything was starting to soften, and then I topped with lemon juice, olive oil and Cholula. Meanwhile, I cooked the quinoa as instructed on the box. Dinner in 20 minutes? Can DO.

On the sweaty side of things, I’ve been doing cardio for about an hour a day. What?! It’s true. All the better to go with the straight veggie diet, my dear. I even had an impressive two hour stint on the elliptical while watching “The Biggest Loser” a few weeks ago. I don’t typically consume 4,000 calories in one sitting, so I’m doing my best to get lean and mean before Thanksgiving.

I roasted my first beets the other day, also. I went with two red and one golden, and they came out pretty unattractive. Luckily, I’m not too deterred by looks, so I saw the potential. I actually put together a pretty little salad featuring my beets.

roasted beets

Ingredients:
2 c arugula
1 red beet, roasted and sliced
1 golden beet, roasted and sliced
1/8 c feta cheese
1/3 gala apple, sliced
1 tbsp grey poupon mustard
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar
salt and pepper, to taste

I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees and scrubbed the dirt off the beets as best as I could. I had the foresight to use kitchen gloves so as not to marroonify my hands, though I neglected to change my white shirt pre-scrubbing. Whoops. Ruined shirt notwithstanding, I cleaned my beets and moved on.

I drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and wrapped them in aluminum foil. I roasted for 30-40 minutes, and pulled them out of the oven to cool. Meanwhile, I mixed together the Grey Poupon mustard, agave, black pepper and sherry vinegar for a dressing. I sliced my apple, and created a bed with the arugula. I removed the skin off my beets, and then I sliced those. I combined the beets, apple, and feta, and then I topped with my honey-agave vinaigrette. So very tasty, and much more attractive than they were in their inception:

beet and apple salad with honey agave vinagrette.

10
Nov
10

fish tacos and smoked salmon chowder.

I just had the most romantic reunion with my gym. After a rocky, 5+ year relationship, I realized a one month hiatus was necessary. I’d grown bored of the same three cardio machines, and my strength training had become entirely too predictable. I started dancing to restore some sense of endorphin release, and it was fun for a time. I crave the dependability and convenience of my gym, though, so by month’s end I was itching to get back. And, not to be cocky, but I had a feeling the gym missed me, too. We all but slow-motion ran to each other on November 1st, and it was straight magic from then on out. It’s good to be back.

tastebud assasin

Keeping with the theme of doing what I know, I made some fish tacos last week. Fish tacos are probably my favorite meal of all meals, so it’s far from my first time preparing them. I vary my recipe each time, though. This time, I bought some Tilapia at Whole Foods and marinated the fillets with this tasty and attractive Coconut Lime marinade you see to the immediate left.

Now, I’m an equal opportunity condiment-ingester, but I have to tout the benefits of this particular marinade. Not only is seafood an ideal match for citrus (lime), but it damn near explodes when combined with fruit (coconut). Just ask Bobby Flay. Combine that ideology with the fact that coconut is a rarely consumed and delightful addition to my repertoire, and I’m a fan.

I let that marinade for about an hour, and then I got on with it. I sauteed it in a skillet on medium heat for about four minutes each side, and then chopped the flaky fish into bite-sized chunks. The fish was done, and it was time to move on to the fillings.

Ingredients:

tilapia fish tacos3 Tilapia fillets

1/2 cup Whole Foods’ Coconut Lime marinade
1 avocado, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
Juice of one lime
2 tsp Cholula
whole wheat tortillas
salt
pepper

I chopped some avocado, mango and red onion for a salsa, and I topped the whole mix with the juice of a lime, salt and pepper to taste. I folded the whole family in whole wheat flour tortillas, topped with Cholula, and enjoyed. Highly recommended, and they’re easy on the eyes, too.

I’m having an interchangeable love affair with fish and soup these days. When I’m not eating bisque, I’m taking in some sea bass, and vice versa. I’d never dreamed of combining the two, but I found this insane recipe for Smoked Salmon Chowder on Epicurious. My interest is piqued. I’m into the idea:

leeks

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups milk
8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chives, chopped

You start by heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and then add the garlic and leeks. Sauté for two minutes. Add the potato, celery, salt and pepper, and sauté for another minute. Add the broth and simmer for another 15 or so minutes, or until the potato softens. Add tomato paste and milk, and bring to a simmer. Stir in cream, remove from heat, and stir in some chives.

This is one delicious chowder. I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. I’m sure that’s a genetic improbability (for now), so I’ll settle on eating it for dinner. YUM.

smoked salmon chowder




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