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Let me tell you about what I had for dinner last night, since that seems to be something I like to talk about. Let’s start with the garlic.
Garlic has long been used as a medicinal plant, warding off heart disease and infections. It has antimicrobial qualities and is an all around good thing to eat. I decided I needed to boost my immune system with some garlic broth. I found the recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. It was super easy:
Simple Garlic Broth
8 c. vegetable stock, or 8 c. water with 2 cubes vegetable bouillon (I used 2 c. vegetable broth and the rest chicken – that’s all I had)
3 tbs. minced garlic (1 large or 2 sm. heads)
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 sprig fresh sage
1 sprig fresh thyme
several sprigs fresh parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a covered pot, bring the stock or water to a boil. In a soup pot on low heat, gently saute the garlic in the olive oil until golden, taking care not to let it brown. Add the boiling stock, or the boiling water and the bouillon cubes. Stir in the paprika. Tie the sage, thyme, and parsley into a little bundle with string, and add the “bouquet” to the pot. Bring the broth to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes for a more intense flavor. Remove the bouquet and season with salt and pepper.
I followed one of the variations listed in the book, adding pastina, lots of fresh or frozen (I used frozen) peas, and Parmesan cheese. I forgot to top with the cheese, but it was really good anyway. Now I have a whole jar of this broth left over. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do with it.
In an attempt to eat more oily fish and get those good omega-3s, I decided to buy a bunch of salmon. I marinated about 1 1/2lb. of it in soy sauce, juice from half an orange, a few squeezes of lemon, half a lime, fresh basil, one clove of garlic, two teaspoons (or so) of fresh ginger, and a tiny bit of olive oil (I don’t know if it really needed this since salmon is a relatively oily fish anyway). I put the fish skin-side down in a casserole, poured the marinade over and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
I decided to use the broiler, so I covered the broiler pan in aluminum foil and put the fish skin side down under the broiler on “high.” Six minutes later the fish was done. So fast, and so delicious. If you buy a huge piece of fish like I did you’ll need to watch out not to overdo the thin parts of the fillet. Those parts are done right when they turn opaque.
Red Swiss Chard
I left the garlic out of the chard, I didn’t want to overdose on garlic. I just sauteed them in olive oil with some red pepper flakes, then finished with Bragg’s aminos, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds.
This meal was packed with omega-3 fatty acids and immune-boosting garlic; a healthy kick in the pants!
I love food. I could write or talk about food for hours. I realized I should start a blog when I found myself routinely telling anyoone who would listen step-by-step what I had for dinner the night before. I’m not the world’s best cook, I’m not a trained professional, but I did work in restaurants for a while, and I do own a lot of cookbooks. Luckily my family puts up with my messes, failures, and successes in the kitchen while I learn how to bake, broil, grill and saute.
For various reasons I’ve lately decided to take Michael Pollan‘s advice and “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Eat food. Real food. Nothing processed, only whole foods natural and fresh from the earth. OK, I admit I steal one of my husband’s diet cokes every now and then. It’s not going to kill me. That’s the thing; I’m the kind of person who likes to find a balance. I buy organic when I possible, local when possible, and locally grown organic when possible. But, heck, sometimes I just want a Hershey’s bar, ok?