Deciding to cook at home instead of going out for dinner one night, my friend Nima had the most brilliant idea of cooking a Fish Chowder Sandwich he saw on Hulu.com on an episode of Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home starring Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. For those with good memories, Julia and Jacques did this public television cooking show back in 1999 for one 22-episode season. Fortunately, you can watch all the episodes for free on Hulu.
Talk about protein packed meals. Not only do you get lots of protein in this dish, you also get Omega-3s with the salmon, and nutrient-packed arugula. Quinoa is protein-rich and is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Here are the many health benefits of Quinoa.
At Costco, I found this Red Quinoa + Brown Rice blend by Village Harvest. This blend is great for those who are new to Quinoa yet familiar with brown rice. Cooking is simple. Just pop into microwave, heat, and eat.
For the salmon, I simply baked a 1-1/2 serving size piece (about 5.5 oz) with some Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Next time, I'd like to try Soy Vay's Wasabi Teriyaki. That would be a nice kick!
The arugula is from bagged organic arugula from Trader Joe's. I simply massaged the arugula with some of Brianna's Blush Vinaigrette.
There you go, a simple, fast protein and nutrient rich meal.
This is one of my favorite shrimp salad sandwiches because the shrimp salad is easy to make and the pea shoots add a nice texture of greens if you are bored with lettuce or mixed greens in your sandwich.
The shrimp salad is also dairy, egg, and soy free. Trader Joe's sells a tasty par-baked vegan ciabatta loaf. The sandwich is really awesome when the bread is still warm from the oven. I got the pea shoots from Trader Joe's as well.
Shrimp salad (about 3 servings):
In a small saucepan on medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil until the garlic is soft.
Toss in the shrimp, season with some sea salt and black pepper to taste, and saute the shrimp with the garlic for about a minute. Since the shrimp is pre-cooked, no need to cook long.
Put the shrimp in a bowl and set in the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool down.
When the shrimp is cooled, mix in the vegenaise, Poppy seed dressing, and chives. Mix all ingredients together until the shrimp is evenly coated.
Cut the ciabatta loaf into desired sandwich size. Place pea shoots onto bread and a scoop or two of the shrimp salad.
This is one of the best Crab Louie salads I have ever had in my life. This salad was made at the Beach Chalet in San Francisco and they call their version Louis instead of Louie.
What I loved about this salad is how it is a bit deconstructed on a plate versus a bowl, the portion size is on the smaller side for one person versus enoguh for two, and there is a nice hunk of crab meat. Also, Beach Chalet uses romaine over ice burg lettuce, and I think romaine is far more interesting.
This salad consists of dungeness crab, romaine lettuce, capers, tomatoes, avocado, and 1000 Island dressing. Where the salad can quickly get fattening is with the dressing. Two tablespoons of 1000 Island dressing can have 140 calories and 13g of fat.
Use dressing sparingly versus drowning the salad in 1000 Island. Instead of the 1000 Island you can also just squeeze some lemon juice on your salad with some salt and pepper.
Some of the health benefits of crab include:
Dig in and enjoy!
I'm on a tight budget like many people. But still, now and then I want to enjoy dishes that remind me of eating out at fine restaurants. I just need to find creative ways to achieve that desire...and indeed it can be done!
Yesterday, I was craving salmon really badly. Guess the bod wanted some fish goodness in a big way. But fresh fish can get pricey, and I'm picky about seafood because I've gotten sick a couple times in the past from eating bad seafood.
I really do believe that you can eat well and healthy on a tight budget...it just takes some work and creativity. Oh, and some open mindedness. I say that because there are those who'd shy away from eating food from a box, bag, or can. I'm not especially since you can find many organic and all natural foods in a box, bag, or can.
Like last week, I made this mostly organic pumpkin soup from organic pumpkin puree in a can. I'm a lazy cook, so I don't feel the need to do everything from scratch. Organic in a can works for me!
So, last night I made this pan seared Wild Alaskan salmon in miso butter coupled with risotto with petite peas, Porcini and Portobello mushrooms.
The Salmon was from a frozen bag of Whole Foods Whole Catch brand Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets which was $9.99. This may seem pricey to some, but this bag of salmon had two large fillets which actually can be cut into halves, and is good to serve four people.
The bag says it has three servings of 4oz. The fillets I got looked pretty big and if I cut the fish into fours, each serving would be about the size of the palm of my hand which is a good standard for portion control. And better yet, this salmon was raised according to Marine Council Stewardship standards which means it's certified sustainable seafood. This is a big deal to me because I care about the fish and the environment.
For the miso butter, I used Earth Balance Soy-Free natural spread which is vegan, and I have to say I'm really liking this buttery spread. To me, it's like margarine but better. Food fries up pretty nice with this spread, and it tastes good. I had some miso paste, so I just mixed a little of that in with some melted spread and oregano. I dipped the salmon fillet in the miso butter with a little garlic salt and then seared the fish in a pan.
The risotto was made from a box of $2.99 Lundberg Organic Wild Porcini Musroom Risotto. Instead of all water, I used 1-1/2 cups of rice milk and 1 cup of water. I also bought a large fresh portobello for less than $1 and cut it up and threw it in the risotto with yellow onions and organic petite peas from a frozen bag of Whole Foods 365 brand peas. I'm amazed how long that bag of peas under $3 lasts me.
This salmon and risotto meal which had some organic foods in it was enough to feed four people and it came to under $20...at Whole Foods. At other supermarkets and using natural but not organic ingredients, I bet I could get the price down even lower.
I'd pay almost that $20 or more for just one salmon dish at a fancy restaurant. I only cooked one fillet, and ate half. I'll have the other half of the salmon for lunch tomorrow over a bed of mixed greens which comes from a $1.99 bag of salad.
See, there are ways to eat like you're in a fancy restaurant at home...but for cheap!
To kick off my showcase of Arizona Restaurant Week 2010 or @azrestaurantwk on Twitter, say hello to Andrew Nam aka @tweetthekorean who is the Executive Chef at Stingray Sushi which has two locations Biltmore and Old Town and a third coming to Scottsdale Quarter.
I picked Stingray because I like their swanky and zestful style.
Seafood, in general, quite frankly has not been that great of an experience for me here in Phoenix, at least in my 11 months here so far, but again, I am from the Bay Area in California and I have been spoiled rotten, not just by freshness, and flavor, but choices like people don't eat giant clam here, salmon is the standard fish, and rolls seem to be the common fare for sushi.
Andrew let me try some of their Chilean Sea Bass with Yuzu sauce topped with petite greens and wow! I now have my first positive fish experience in Phoenix. This dish is not on their special AZRW 2010 menu, but Andrew said, "try this" after I went on about how I've been underwhelmed with fish since moving here. I've been eating more fish in general to get the health benefits from Omega-3.
I loved this Sea Bass dish because it was light, tender, and the petite greens was a nice touch to the health nut in me.
Next, I tried their Cabo Blanco Roll which has spicy crab, salmon, halibut, cucumber, and avocado topped with ponzu sauce and pico de gallo....which was a first for me, but a cool way to inject some southwestern flair into sushi. I ate half the roll at the restaurant, and took the other half home and ate it for breakfast believe it or not....it was better than eating a bagel or McSomething.
Again, this roll is not on their AZRW 2010 menu and I will say upfront that I didn't try any of the dishes showcased for AZRW, but don't let that stop you from trying out the place this week because $39 for a 3 course meal here is an amazing deal and great way to try something new. Here is Stingray's AZRW2010 Menu.
I rather enjoyed that Andrew got my to try some new things to help me see that seafood can be a good experience in Phoenix, and that we are not deprived out here in the desert. Stingray gets their fish delivered fresh every single day, and one thing to point out about their tuna, Andrew uses Big Eye for its richer red color and flavor.
Healthy flair for those gluten-free and who are pregnant (but not necessarily one in the same)
On the health front, one very BIG thing to point out is that Stingray offers a gluten-free soy sauce. Yes! Try finding that in your standard sushi place - it's so uncommon which is why I bolded it in 24pt font. The great thing about a sushi place is that there will be more options for those who are gluten-free because we're basically talking rice, seaweed, and fish on a simple level. When you get to the rolls which can be filled with multiple things, you'll have to ask the server.
Another nice health thing, Stingray offers a selection of dishes for women who are pregnant and are worried about what seafood they can and cannot eat. I was impressed with that detail to attention.
If you happen to see Andrew at one of their locations, do say hello to him because he really is a cool guy with a great sense of humor. I feel very lucky to have gotten to spend some time with him and indeed he did help shift my perception of seafood in Phoenix.
Besides Stingray, Andrew has a new Chinese restaurant called Jimmy Woo's opening in less than a month so guess where I will be very soon!...and not just because I think Andrew is cool but being Asian there is like hardly any Asian food in Scottsdale other than chains PF Changs and Panda Express. I'm looking forward to trying another option!
Visit Stingray Sushi on Facebook.
The other day I tweeted a recipe for Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Kale and Quinoa which @drwinnie had created. The dish looked so delicious that I wanted to make a version that was dairy free. Also, instead of using tomato because I've been plenty of tomato sauces this week, I went with a lemony twist.
Kale and Quinoa are two of my favorite power foods because they both have lots of flavor packed with nutritional benefits. Quinoa has plenty of protein and is a good alternative when you're cutting down on meats or want more protein in food you can chew versus adding protein through protein powders for shakes and drinks.
Plus, this recipe is pretty easy to make. The only real time consuming thing is cooking the Quinoa.
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):
Let's get cooking:
Place the cooked Quinoa on a plate, and then top it with the garlic shrimp and lemony kale with shallots
all pics taken with an iPhone 3GS
Salmon by far is one of my favorite fishes because you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like bagels & lox to this dish pictured above of salmon on a bed of arugula on top of a rainbow of colored beets from Cafe Pro Bono in Palo Alto.
Noshing on salmon is also one of my favorite ways to get a dose of the Omega 3s. Here's a nice synopsis of the health benefits of salmon along with how to store and select salmon, and the differences between farm raised and wild salmon.
Let's take a jaunt around the noshosphere and see 7 other salmon dishes to whet your appetite. All links have pictures of the dishes because hello we love food gawking!
Are the wheels spinning now? I've definitely got salmon the brain. What other salmon dishes are your favorite?