Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Way of Doing Things

Tuna fried in Nori Seaweed
Yes, I'm still here...and I have been making interesting meals and even trying out something completly new when it comes to eating.  I'll start with the something completely new.  I have been eating mostly according to the paleolithic diet.  For those of you unfamiliar with the guidelines, here are the "no's": salt, sugar, grains, legumes, processed food.  What do you eat? Vegetables, fruit, meat, and nuts. Think lots of salads, at least in my case. And yams.  Love yams.  The first thing I noticed was how I never really felt thirsty eating this way.  This is probably because normally I love to add salt to everything.  It also continues to be the hardest part of the eating arrangement.  I just think that most foods taste better with salt.  When you eliminate salt (and sugar for that matter) you need to make your own salad dressings and things like ketchup are out. Eating this way becomes a good practice in simplifying your food and consuming more raw foods.

I have waited a while to post about this due to my feelings that much like religion, it is never a good idea to limit yourself to any one belief system.  That being said, following, or at least understanding a belief system, or in this case, a diet (yuck what a lousy word) can give you greater understanding in general, provided you don't become rigid within it.  So, although I really enjoy eating this way, I by no means require myself at anytime to stick with it.  If I want to eat cake or sushi or burritos, then I do.  Eating should be fun!

In this post I wanted to share with you some of the meals that I have made, inspired by the paleolithic eating.  Enjoy!

Salmon, cilantro and toasted almonds with sauteed chard and garlic butternut squash
Salmon is my favorite, favorite, favorite!!!
Although I'm sure vinegar is not paleolithic, I find it makes salads more tasty without any added salt or sugar and I love cooking fish in it!  Above is a picture of some salad dressing I made: equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar with raw pressed garlic.  Mix thoroughly and toss salad. 
Salmon, grated carrot and jicama on mixed greens
Kale and beet salad with toasted pumpkin seeds
Grated potato and yams with egg... making pancakes!  See below:
Yam and potato pancakes
Curry Scrambled eggs with avocado on a bed of sauteed purple kale

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy new year from the girls

Dear friends and visitors,

We wish you an abundant, healthy, delicious, joyful, and transformational new year!  Happy 2011!


Candice, Marina, and Stella

Garlic-Balsamic Pan Fried Salmon with Almonds, Squash and Chard

I am taking a little break from the usual food choices and doing a lot of veggies, fruit, and protein.  Basically sugar, salt, and grains are out.  Tonight I made one of my favorite combinations: salmon, butternut squash, yam, and chard topped with toasted almonds and raw garlic. 

Garlic-Balsamic Pan Fried Salmon with Almonds, Squash and Chard
serves 2

1 pound of salmon
bunch of chard or beet greens
a few handfuls of almonds
small butternut squash
1 yam
5 cloves of garlic
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
fresh basil

Begin by preheating an oven to 350 F Bake.  Cut butternut squash in half and scoop seeds out.  Cut Yam in half or quarters, so it will cook in about the same amount of time as the squash.  Oil a cookie sheet or pan with olive oil and place the squash and yams on it and in the preheated oven.  When they are almost done cooking you can begin to cook the salmon and chard. 

For the salmon, heat a cast iron pan on medium and add equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whisk together with a fork.  Use a garlic press to add 3 cloves of garlic to the cooking marinade.  Place the salmon red side down in the pan and cover.  Cook for a few minutes or until it turns from red to pink.  At this point you can add the almonds to the pan and cook them in the garlic marinade for about 3 minutes, then remove and set aside.  Flip salmon and cook covered until it is almost done and flip again or turn the heat off and allow the salmon to cook slowly to your liking.  Salmon is usually best a little red in the middle so that it is not overcooked and stiff. 

In the meantime you can cook the chard/beet greens.  I cut the stems in to 1/2 inch pieces and add them to the pan first (with some olive oil), as they take a little longer to cook than the leaves.  After a few minutes add the leaves and cover with a lid.  Chard is done when the stems and leaves are soft, but still vibrant green. 

Dice the basil for garnish.  Use a garlic press to mince garlic and garnish squash and salmon with it and the basil.  Serve with chard and yams. 

Ith gu leĆ²ir!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Kale and Beet Salad with Mustard-Balsamic Dressing

So here I am cutting vegetables, boiling beets, toasting pumpkin seeds, and mixing dressing on Christmas Eve.  Aren't I supposed to be baking cookies or putting out a plate for Santa?  I did wrap presents while boiling the beets, does that count?

This recipe is so good that I had to put it in the fridge so I wouldn't eat it all before the Christmas dinner I'm bringing it to tomorrow.  Yep, just like a batch of cookies.  Only this is kale and beets.

Recipe adapted from:
Kale and Beet Salad with Mustard-Balsamic Dressing
Serves 5-6

5-6 small to medium beets, or the equivalent
1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 carrot
4 scallions

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 small cloves of garlic, preferably use a garlic press to mince
handful of fresh basil, diced
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
black pepper to taste
  • Boil the beets for 1 hour or until soft.  Once they are cooked, cut them into bite size pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.  When it's boiling add kale for 30 seconds, remove from hot water and run under cold water.  Cut into bite size pieces. 
  • To toast the pumpkin seeds spread them on a baking sheet in an oven at 350F Bake and check often, while turning them to avoid burning. 
  • Finely dice scallions
  • Peel carrot and cut into very thin rounds
  • Mix beets, kale, carrots, and pumpkin seeds in a bowl
  • To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients with a whisk.  
  • Combine the dressing with the salad ingredients carefully.  
  • Serve chilled.
Prijatnovo appetita!

    Making Nori Rolls

     One of the girls' favorites!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Miso for a cold winter morning

    Marina enjoys her miso soup, rice noodles, hard boiled egg, and broccoli.
    It's worth saying again: Miso is my favorite healthy breakfast (I have some favorite less-healthy ones too that involve ketchup). One reason I love it so much, it's very versatile.  You can use just about any vegetable from your fridge, a variety of proteins, and noodles or rice.  Here are some of my favorite things to add to miso soup:

    rice noodles
    wild rice
    soft boiled eggs
    edamame beans
    broccoli, carrots, celery

    You only need a few of the ingredients from the above list for your soup.  Simple is usually better.  I mix a tablespoon of aged miso paste with a few tablespoons of warm water until all the chunks are gone.  Then I bring a kettle of water to boil, letting it cool slightly so as to not kill the good bacteria in the miso paste when they are mixed.  Add the hot water to the miso mixture and your favorite precooked ingredients, and you have breakfast!

    Believe it or not, this breakfast is a favorite of my kids.  They love it, especially when we have seaweed to add to it. 

    Today's breakfast: red miso with fried potatoes, broccoli, and rice noodles.
    My favorite Miso paste, aged red miso, also wheat and gluten free.
    Here is a wild rice miso soup with edamame beans and broccoli I made last week.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Sweet Orange Chicken with Wild Rice and Baked Garlic

    This recipe is funny because I was looking for some pineapple to marinate my chicken in (I was loosely planning to make teriyaki sauce) and all I had was orange juice, which sounded interesting.... next thing I know I made a pretty delicious meal.  To make teriyaki sauce I mix equal parts soy sauce, pineapple juice, and mirin with a few spoonfuls of brown sugar and a lot of garlic.  So for this recipe I substituted the pineapple juice for orange juice (I added extra orange juice), and I like it better!  Much better!  Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Sweet Orange Chicken with Wild Rice and Baked Garlic
    Serves 3-4

    6-8 chicken thighs
    1-2 cups uncooked wild rice
    2 baby oranges
    3-4 heads of garlic for baking (1 for each person you are serving, assuming they like garlic)
    Sweet Orange Marinade:
    1 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4-1/2 cup mirin
    2 TBS brown sugar
    6+ cloves of garlic, pressed

    Follow directions on wild rice and begin cooking it, It will take roughly 45 minutes to cook.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all of the marinade ingredients thoroughly with a fork.  Add chicken to marinade, flipping chicken to make sure you have both sides covered in the sauce.  I like to cook it with the bumpy side up, as the smooth side tends to dry out faster.

    Place chicken in oven. You can cover the chicken with aluminum foil if you like.  It will make it more tender, but it will also cook faster.  Cooking time will depending on the size of your chicken thighs (hehe) and the amount of marinade you have.  Assume it will take at least 20 minutes, and check every 5 minutes after that.

    Cook the whole garlic heads at the same time you cook the chicken, although the garlic will probably be done sooner than the chicken.  Place garlic in a pie dish and cover it with olive oil.  Cook for 20-30 minutes.

    Serve chicken on a bed of wild rice topped with chopped baby oranges.  Give each guest a baked garlic and green salad.