Well Dined

31Mar/160

Try The World – Japan; Okonomiyaki

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

It's time for another Try The World Post!  Finishing up my Japan box, I used the okonomiyaki mix to make... okonomiyaki, of course!  It's a savory pancake made with flour, yam, eggs, scallions, and cabbage; and topped with all kinds of things, but most commonly pork belly, bonito flakes, seaweed, okonomi sauce, and mayonnaise.

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

The kit came with batter mix, powdered yam, shrimp tempura crisps, and dried seaweed.  Plus instructions in Japanese and English (thank goodness).

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

First step, chop cabbage.  It really should have been finer than this, like shredded, but I was lazy.  Add scallions.  In a separate bowl, make the batter according to package directions.  Then combine it with the veggies, tempura, and eggs.

16Mar/160

St Patrick’s Day Recipes

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, hooray!  This is not just an excuse to drink green beer, in fact - don't do that, it's gross.  It's actually a religious holiday that celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, so show some respect!  And definitely don't call it "St Patty's Day": Patty is short for Patricia.  If you want to abbreviate, use "Paddy", which is actually short for Patrick (Pádraig).

Moving on!  St Paddy's is a great day to celebrate Irish culture and food, so let's take a look at some Irish recipes!

Well Dined | Corned Beef with Potatoes and Cabbage

First up - Corned Beef with Potatoes and Cabbage, which can be made in either a slow cooker or a Dutch oven.

Well Dined | Colcannon

In the same post, there is a recipe for Colcannon made from the potatoes and cabbage.

30May/140

Week of Meals

A friend of mine asked if I could put together a week of meals that are healthy, easy, and cost effective for a single working mother.  I thought that sounded like a great idea!  But I definitely underestimated how much work it would be.  It's hard to make food for just two people without having a ton of leftovers - so to get a different meal in each night, I had to figure out how to use ingredients in multiple dishes.  And I wanted to make sure that they were healthy, had a bit of variety, and took 30 minutes or less to put together.  It's a tall order, but I think I managed.  Each recipe is sized for two adults, and there is a shopping list included at the bottom of the post.

Well Dined | Broiled Salmon with Mustard Butter and Boiled Potatoes and Green Beans

First up - Broiled Salmon with Mustard Butter and Boiled Potatoes and Green Beans.  This meal is healthy, easy, and comes together in under 30 minutes.  I am so in love with this mustard butter (that I discovered making this recipe), I make it all the time now.  There are no grains in this dinner, and as far as starchy potatoes go, baby red-skinned are relatively low on the glycemic index.  Plus - by cooking more salmon and vegetables than you need, you will already have the ingredients you need for dinner the next night.  This meal comes first because fish needs to be cooked the same night that it is purchased for best quality.

The salmon is going to be one of the more expensive proteins for the week, but it is worth it because it is so good for you (not to mention delicious).  Gotta get those Omega-3's!  However, I do not recommend buying farm-raised Atlantic salmon as it is full of chemicals and pollutants.  Instead, I recommend buying wild Alaskan or farmed Norwegian.  The Norwegian salmon is pretty great and I can get it here in NoVA for around $15/lb, and coho goes for $13/lb (versus $29/lb for king salmon, yikes!).  If you absolutely cannot swing Alaskan or Norwegian salmon, buy another type of fish instead (cod, halibut, or tilapia would be good).

Well Dined | Salmon Nicoise Salad

For our second dinner, we use the extra ingredients from the previous night, plus a few more, to make Salmon Nicoise Salad.  The only thing you have to cook for this dinner is hard boiled eggs, and you can do those in advance if you like.  Boil more than you need, because we will use some in another dish.  Like the previous night, this meal is grain-free and loaded with healthy fats.  You can see how big one serving is in this photo - I ate the whole thing, Jasper only ate half of his.  So if this is too much food for you, plan to set aside half of it for lunch the next day.  It should travel well, just keep the dressing separate.

This is actually the most expensive meal of the week (if it is making 2 servings, and not 4), so the kind of greens you use will matter.  I used mache or lamb's lettuce, which I think is really delicious.  But there are definitely cheaper lettuces/greens out there.  A note on olives - nicoise olives are traditional, but expensive, so feel free to sub kalamatas, which taste very similar.  You could even buy jarred kalamatas to save even more.

19Mar/131

Saint Patrick’s Day

My junior year of college I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland.  Well - not so much studied as occasionally stopped by classes.  It was an amazing semester and really cemented my love of everything Irish - culture, music, food, beer.  So even though St Paddy's isn't as big a deal in Ireland as it is here, I wanted to celebrate it in honor of the time I spent there.  And how do I celebrate holidays?  Dinner party!  So I loaded up a playlist with Flogging Molly, Young Dubliners, and The Corrs, and prepared to have some good craic.

SAM_3148

For the main course - Corned Beef with Colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage).  The great thing about this is that you can throw all the veg into the pot with the beef and let it all cook together - easy!  So I started by putting carrots, celery, potatoes, and an onion into the bottom of the pot.

SAM_3151

Mmm - veggies.  They can be rough chopped in big pieces because they will be discarded (except for the potatoes).  Since I was having people over I ended up doing two briskets - one in the slow cooker and one in a cast iron Dutch oven.  Same process, different cooking times.

SAM_3149

I laid the corned beef on top of the veggies, pickling spices included.  You should be able to find corned beef vacuum packed with pickling spices in your grocery store, especially around St Paddy's.  I cut the cabbage into wedges and put them on top/to the side of the beef.  That is half of a head in the picture, the other half went into the Dutch oven with the other brisket.

24Aug/120

Summer Seafood

I don't normally cook a lot of seafood other than my usual seared salmon, but in the summer I do get cravings for it.  The reason is unknown - maybe because it is light and refreshing, maybe because I wish I was at the beach.  Either way, I have a couple of light and healthy Summer seafood recipes to share with you.

These shrimp tacos are filled out with a slaw of cabbage, corn, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, and a dab of sour cream.  A great balance between warm tortillas, hot shrimp fresh out of the pan, and cool, crunchy slaw - they are healthy, filling, and super tasty.

This next recipe combines two superfoods into one awesome meal for Salmon Burgers with Tangy Avocado Sauce.