Hey! Remember me? I know, it's been longer than the customary length of time between posts. There was vacation. And then I've been working on my upcoming classes for next year. And then it was 100 degrees for a week...in Seattle. I kid you not. And no one has air conditioning here. My sweatbox of a house was killer. No cooking, I can assure you. I thought about being funny and posting an ice cream ad, but even sitting at the computer was pure torture.
And then there's also my husband's new dietary restrictions. You know you're getting old when you start getting bad news at the doctor's office.
Remember when you were a teen and could eat a bunch of nachos, drink a thousand ounces of Mountain Dew, and finish it off with a large blizzard? What about you boys who could consume an entire pizza accompanied with fries and chicken wings? Even in your twenties, things don't seem to count.
So maybe you don't eat like a 16 year old boy anymore, but now there is beer or wine available to you. And your refined adult taste likes cream sauces, rich meats, bread puddings, and such. You might put on a few pounds, but certainly it is just a phase because you've indulged a little too much this year or had your third baby or something. It couldn't possibly be that those extra inches are actually yours for good! You could melt them off whenever you really decided to, right? No serious harm in going up a size or two...
But, if there is a line of diabetics in your family, or a history of high cholesterol or high blood pressure...you might just get a wake up call during your first physical in 10 years.
Such was the case for my husband recently. As he sat in the doctor's office, funeral dirge playing ominously in his head, he knew major changes were in the works. Of course, a good lump of guilt formed in my throat as I mentally reviewed Julie Jams for the last year.
Yeah, we've been living it up. I've become a self-proclaimed mighty fine cook this last year. However, this year's challenge will be to take those skills and direct my focus in a more healthful direction. First to go are the copious amounts of sweets, butter, and creamy desserts followed closely by mountains of bread, tortilla chips (a lunch staple here), and rice. My husband's never been a super sweet tooth, but rice will be hardest for him to part with.
Do you have any idea how much protein you are supposed to consume in one day? Chances are, it's way more than you're actually eating. Since your body doesn't store protein like it stores fat, you have to eat it regularly to keep everything in balance. And of course, fish is every health nut's crown jewel. Good thing we love fish!
I put a bunch of it on the menu for the next two weeks. First up was this Gingered Salmon. And it was great! I got it from the Moosewood Collective's "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics"...a mostly vegetarian book of recipes.
Gingered Salmon (in-a-packet)
4 - six ounce salmon fillets
1/4 c olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c grated fresh ginger root
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 c peeled and sliced carrots
1 c sliced water chestnuts
2 c red bell pepper slices
1/4 c chopped scallions
Preheat the oven to 450. For each fillet, fold a 12x24 inch sheet of foil in half to make a double-thick 12 inch square; set aside.
Rinse the fish, pat dry, and set aside. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger and saute on low heat for about 1 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar or lemon juice, and sesame oil and set the sauce aside.
Place one fourth of the carrots and water chestnuts in the center of each foil square. Drizzle on a bit of the sauce and place a fish fillet on top. Arrange the red peppers on top of each and pour the remaining sauce evenly over all. Fold each square into an airtight packet, crimp the edges shut, and place on an unoiled baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes (or slightly less, in my opinion), until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Avoid the steam when opening the packets. Serve topped with the scallions. Great with long-grain brown rice and a bok choy stir fry!