Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fruit and fish salad...or what to eat when you need to empty the fridge

My family was blessed to visit Oahu last week, including my in laws, we were six strong in Kailua!  It was amazing....

We rented a little house walking distance from the beach, we didn't want to be stuck eating out all the time plus with Paulo's food allergies it just isn't an option!  We were lucky enough to find a cute little three bedroom, two bathroom house literally a two minute walk away from the ocean.  We spent a lot of time in this water! 

Since we had a well equipped kitchen we ate at home as much as we could.  Mostly simple stuff, a lot of fresh fruit and salad and we took advantage of the local Whole Foods to buy some fresh Hawaiian fish.  A couple of days into our trip we bought some Marlin steaks.  I steamed them up and seasoned with black salt-I'd never seen that before!-and pepper.  Very simple and very good.  We had some left over that my mother in law shredded up with the intent of making a "tuna" salad.  Good intentions aside we just didn't make that happen.  So on our last night there we were faced with the task of emptying the fridge as much as we could, we made a gallant effort to eat up the left over goodies and to that end I made this for dinner:

In a large bowl combine:
Diced tomato
Peeled and diced mango
Chopped pineapple
Red onion
Minced serrano chile

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with salt.

Heat a pan with oil, we had canola on hand, and add the shredded (cooked) fish.  Squeeze lemon and season with salt and pepper.  Heat through and then add to the fruit, stir well to combine.  Serve on a bed of baby spinach with crusty bread and cheap wine!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Juicing for Health

This juice should come with a caution sticker to warn you that you might question the health and well being of your internal organs if you drink too much...but don't worry-it's the beets!

I make no secret of my love for my Breville Juicer, it sits in a place of honor on my counter-right next to the best Mother's Day gift EVER a Vitamix (thanks Daddy!).  These two appliances get daily work outs, sometimes both of them in the same morning if I'm feel particularly undernourished.  I love green juices, so does Paulo, and we drink those regularly and I love to experiment with new juice recipes and create my own concoctions. 

Before I get to the ingredients though I want to encourage anyone that is thinking about juicing to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It is an amazing documentary about the healing power of good nutrition.  While I believe that most people would not need to go to the extreme that Joe had to go to in order to get healthy I think that just about everyone on the planet could use a little, no a lot, more vegetables in their diet and juicing or blending is an easy way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.  My normal morning juice is kale/celery/apple/lemon.  It's refreshing, energizing and it tastes great.  But when I saw this particular juice on the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Facebook page I knew I had to try it.

So, what goes into this beautiful glass of goodness??

1/4 pineapple
1 orange, peel cut off
1 lemon, peel cut off
1-2 beets (depending on size)
4-5 carrots
5 fresh strawberries

Run the above through the juicer and enjoy!  The strawberries were an addition I made, they weren't in the original recipe but I had some extras on hand and they looked so good I had to use them. 

I hear a lot of feedback about how much time juicing takes and yes, I agree, it takes time.  But I think the bigger question is how much time does being sick take?  Our country loses countless hours of business productivity a year because of an unhealthy work force.  We sink thousands of dollars over our lifetime into the "health" care industry (or is it really sickcare?).  In the grand scheme of things if you spend a few extra dollars a month and take 15 minutes a day to make a fresh juice and it keeps you healthy isn't that worth it?  I think it is and that's why I juice, or blend, nearly every day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just for giggles

I hosted a 1960's theme fundraising dinner for my son's school last weekend.  It was a blast!

It was complete with vintage dresses, martinis, candy cigarettes and.....

Lime green jello mold, baby!  I must confess, in all my 37 years I have never actually made a jello mold before.  Oh I'm sure I've consumed some jello mold but I've never made one before.  I must also confess this will be my last jello mold.  Alas, I have lost my taste for sugar and this bad boy was really sweet!

Still I thought it would be fun to share the recipe, and the sugar rush.  And yes, my jello does match my dress and no I didn't mean to do that!  I bought the jello with little to no thought to my dress that I'd snagged at an awesome little antique store in Multnomah Village only days before my party. 

So, if you're ever consumed by a burning desire to twist, shout and dance the night away 60's style and need some sugar to keep the party rolling, find yourself a bundt pan (I had to borrow one!) and whip this bad boy up:

Jello and Fruit Salad Ring
2 cups boiling water
1 large box lime Jell-O
1 (8 ounce) package softened cream cheese
1 (15 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (4½ ounce) container Cool Whip
Put Jell-O and soft cream cheese in large bowl. Add ½ cup boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add remaining water and mix well with mixer on low speed. Refrigerate until firm around the edge of the bowl (about 1 hour). Remove from refrigerator and beat with mixer on low speed until lightly mixed. Fold in Cool Whip and drained fruit cocktail. Pour into a non-stick bundt cake pan and let set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight (a non-stick square pan works well, too). Turn out onto a festive plate, slice and serve.

Recipe courtesty of AMC's Mad Men Party Guide

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hello strangers!

My oh my has this been a lengthy hiatus!  I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth and I haven't resorted to dining out nightly or ripping open boxes of noodles and cheese. I just haven't felt like blogging.  We've been eating, oh yes...we've been eating, but I was content to stay quiet in my little corner of the world and read what other people were eating.

It's Spring now and like the flowers outside and the leaves on the trees I'm coming out of hibernation.  It's been a long, dark, and wet winter!  We've been eating a lot of comfort food, rice and beans, lentils, roasted veggies and rich pastas and I am looking forward to the lighter palate of Spring and Summer-and hoping and praying we get a Summer this year, last year was far too chilly for my liking!

It's been a year of dietary flux in our household too.  I've been dipping my toe into the Vegetarian water for quite some time, I will admit I have not been able to commit 100% to it.  Sushi is my kryptonite, not that I get a chance to eat it often, but I really love it and I like to keep my options open!  I have hardly eaten any meat since the New Year, I still buy and prepare it for the carnivorous husband but it's dramatically reduced-you'd think that would dramatically reduce my grocery bill too but nope, not really-but that's a whole other vent in itself.  This week has been my first attempt at a vegan week, I haven't consumed animal products-even honey-since Saturday night.  On Saturday I did eat dairy and egg.  I actually feel really good.  My son, who turns 8 soon, has been dancing around it too, he's had stretches as long as a month where he will not eat meat, then all of a sudden he'll ask for some meat.  I try not to make a big deal out of it one way or another-but between you and me I think it bugs the heck out his Dad!  I suppose though since neither of us can commit we'd be considered "flexitarian" huh?  Kind of a silly way to define someone who just wants to eat what they want to eat to make themselves feel as healthy as possible.  I think if someone told me tomorrow, Krista you have to choose; meat eater or vegetarian?  I would choose vegetarian, but since that scenario is about as likely to happen as me winning the megamillions (and oh yes I did buy tickets for that!) I don't really have to worry now do I?

Some of my new favorite things though that I have discovered since I cut out meat are marinated and baked tofu-recipe to be posted later-and lentils and navy bean soup with smoked salt.  Actually I think the smoked salt is my favorite new kitchen discovery....well, ever!  Paulo gobbles up the soup, asks for more and then asks me to put it in his lunch the next day!  We've also been experimenting with juices, I started my week this week on a juice fast, after the initial caffeine withdrawal headache subsided I felt great!  I will post some new juicing recipes this weekend.  Finally I do have some new gluten free bread recipes to share.  So stay tuned for more recipes that I hope you will enjoy as much as we do.