No matter how you prepare and plan, sometimes thing out of your control brings stress into our lives, and time is running out of our hands.
On those occasions, I do my best effort to take care of myself, and get some time to pamper myself, often with good food.
I took some mushrooms, onions, garlic, and beef tips, quickly seared them on the pan, and added them all into a dutch oven, with peeled and cut spring onions, leeks, celery, and carrots. For liquid I used some leftover Pinot Noir (I know, what is leftover wine...), and vegetable stock.
I set the dutch oven into the oven, and let it do its magic over several hours. Of course, if you have a slow cooker, that can be used as well.
As the food was cooking in the oven, the aroma was heavenly. I left in the oven for about three to four hours, so that all the vegetables were cooked, and the stew had a lovely consistency. I checked the flavor of salt and pepper, before serving.
It turned out nice, really tasty and lovely for a cold, snowy, winter day.
I hope you all are staying warm, enjoying whatever season you have in your home. I just came home from the market with a file of cod, I'll let you know next week, what I came up with it. Till then,
Last week I gave out some healthy choices to make during your meal times. I just want to emphasise, I am by no mean talking about a weight loss diet here. I have just experienced that when I eat well balanced meals, I have more energy to get through the day.
After last week someone pointed out to me a recipe in a local paper, that has a 'chocolate cake' made out of vegetables, with a headline something like "You can eat the whole cake". Right. When I talk about choices, that is exactly what I mean. You can choose to eat a one piece of chocolate cake, and enjoy it and savour the lovely taste. Or you can make a fake one, convince yourself that it does taste great, while eating the whole cake. Everything in moderation gives you the perfect balance, no need to eat the whole cake, in any case.
So here are some of the choices I made last week.
There's a slice of a turkey breast, with a cayenne pepper marinade. I prefer turkey over chicken, just a matter of taste.
I steam my broccoli. I have a little steam basket I set into my kettle, that is perfect for small, or little bigger, household.
Just remember to season the veggies, as well.
I have fallen in love with the parsnip and carrot purè. I peeled and cubed them, cooked in a vegetable stock, and roughly purèd them with a potato masher. I liked the consistency to be a little rough, but of course, each for their own. I had two large parsnips and two medium carrots, to make the purè. Worked out perfectly with the balance of tastes. The parsnip has such a fresh taste, I think it makes a perfect side dish, as long the strong flavour is shared with something else, like carrots.
I also use the purè with the pepper steak. Even with a heavy meal, like a steak, the lightness of the taste of parsnip and carrots on the side, didn't leave an uncomfortable fullness at the end of the meal. I also did some mushrooms with little onions in the same pan as the steak, and had little parsley on the top foe serving.
Lots of fresh, crisp tastes this week, with fennel, parsnip, broccoli, cucumbers alike. Some of the dishes brought spring to my mind already, but with the freeze and snow outside, I think it will take a little bit still, until we reach that far. So stay warm, stay healthy, and eat well!
A friend of mine posted on the social media a meme that said 'I wish everything in life was as easy as getting fat'. At first I laughed about it, true that, but then I thought about a bit more, and the truth that everything comes down to choices we make. There are few things that can help us, not to go down the easy road to being fat. I am not talking about diets or nothing like that, just some healthy eating choices, that can make our everyday life easier, lighter.
For example, I like to snack, I often go the fridge to get a glass of water, and want to get a little something to eat. So, instead of hiding my fruit in the fruit and veggie box in my fridge, I placed them on the eye level shelf. I always try to have either fresh berries, cut veggies, and other fruits ready to eat, right there, in front of me. Not only do I easily get the five a day, but I also don't fumble into other temptations while at it.
Being healthy and eating lighter is in the front and center this time of the year. I, myself, have tried to stay away from carbohydrates, not completely eliminating them, but learning to eat less of pasta, rice, and bread.
There's been some great salads I have indulged in this week, with my favourite, smoked salmon. With salads, the dressing is dangerous, be careful with it. The fat and sugar content can be high, and eliminate the 'healthy' part of the meal.
I also caramelised some onions and peppers, wrapped them in a whole grain tortilla, and served with low fat Aioli.
The sweet, sweet taste of the veggies was just delicious!
But with a limited amount of carbohydrates on the plate all week, I started to crave some. And instead of getting a fresh artisan bread, and smothering it with butter, yes, the thought crossed my mind, I opted for a veggie soup, that made a wholesome meal while the frost outside kept accumulating, and also satisfied my carb cravings.
There is always more than one way to choose from, to getting to the goal.
With just a couple of smart choices, we can make the everyday life a little bit lighter, healthier.
So choose smart, be happy, and have a great weekend :)
January is for many, the time to reflect, start anew, and try new things. Many New Year's promises and declarations have been made, and we struggle to hold on to them, whatever they may be.
Many of us promise to take better care of ourselves, exercise and eat healthier, maybe even lose weight. At the same time, in many places on the planet, it is cold if not freezing, maybe even snow, and you want to just cuddle up, drink hot beverages, and eat comfort food.
I would say for this dish, just about any fish would do, and work well with the vegetables. I like the ease of the dish, even with the clean up time. It's also easy to take into consideration all the possible allergies, and other individual wishes, but making one pouch for each person. I prepared two servings in the one pouch, just lots of vegetables, and spices, with the fish.
When cutting the vegetables, it is a good thing to remember the different cooking times for different density veggies. For that reason, I cut the carrots into a thin stripes, left the broccoli a little bigger, onion and bell peppers larger. Since I pack the fish into the pouch with the veggies, everything should be ready at the time the fish is done.
For spices I used a good freshly ground black pepper, salt, and on the fish some cayenne pepper, to give it a kick, and little after-heat in the taste. Loved the results.
For vegetables I used bell peppers, carrot, red onion, broccoli. I also added a little lime juice on the fish before seasoning, and bay leaf on the pouch for aroma. Remember, more the color, the more vitamins, and nutrients the vegetables will have.
With lots of vegetables per person, this can be a tasty meal in itself, or you can serve pasta, rice, or noodles, potatoes on the side. The juice from the pouch can be used as a lovely sauce if you so desire.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I wish your New Year's resolutions are still holding and going on strong