30 September 2009

Week of Salads -- Tomato, Chickpea, Mint

The "Eating Down the Fridge" challenge begins this weekend. I'm not going to enter it this time, but basically I have been doing just that all week anyway -- making do with whatever vegetables and dressing ingredients I have in the fridge. Tonight I made Liz and Mairlyn's Summer Fiesta Chickpea Salad, but I changed some ingredients based on what I had on hand.

Instead of red wine vinegar, I used balsamic vinegar. I used the last of my green and red peppers and threw in some radishes and broccoli (it was started to wilt) and extra celery. I had no green onions, so I finely chopped some red cabbage. And since basil is a member of the mint family, I substituted the 2 Tbsp basil with 1 Tbsp of mint (if I'd used more than that, it probably would have been a bad idea).

29 September 2009

Week of Salads -- Beet, Red Cabbage, Pine Nuts

Tonight I roasted a beet. I coated it with yesterday's garlic oil, wrapped it in foil and put it in the oven at 375°F for about 45 minutes.

I chopped it up and mixed it with baby romaine, Swiss chard, red cabbage, red and green peppers, celery, radishes, toasted pine nuts and shredded asiago cheese. I made my own dressing with: 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp or so of honey, salt, pepper, and a pinch of toasted fennel seeds.

28 September 2009

Week of Salads -- Swiss Chard, Chickpeas, Garlic

A question was raised in the office last week: When is a salad not a salad, but a side dish? There are after all warm salads as well as cold salads . . . I suggested that it was perhaps a matter of ratio of vegetables to non-vegetables. But what about legumes? Are those considered vegetables or non-vegetables? And so many side dishes are potato-based. But there are potato salads too. Then I thought the answer could very well fall somewhere in the vague notion of how good for you it seems. (eg. raw, crunchy, bitter-ish things = 'good for you', hence salad; warm, carby comfort-foody things = 'not so good for you', hence side dish.) I guess in the end, the answer is, "Who cares? Let's eat!"

So I thought I'd use the Swiss Chard to try out this Epicurious recipe for Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Chard again, which I originally found on Julie's blog, and made with spinach back in March.

The chard tastes better -- a bit more complex -- than the spinach. The recipe says to roast the chickpeas for about 45 minutes at 400°F. I did it for about 35 minutes, which was still just a bit too long. So . . . next time half an hour-ish? 25 minutes? I reserved the garlic oil from roasting, because I know I can do something good with it, but I don't know what . . .

27 September 2009

Week of Salads -- Grapefruit, Avocado, Radicchio

This will, I hope, be my week of salads. Today I purchased the following:

• grape tomatoes
• radicchio
• pine nuts
• sunflower seeds
• shredded asiago cheese
• avocado
• lemon
• beet
• grapefruit
• flax seeds
• broccoli
• swiss chard
• celery
• red cabbage
• mint
• baby romaine
• radishes

Overkill? Perhaps. How much of it will go bad before I eat it? Let us wait and see . . . in the meantime, for lunch I revisited the grapefruit, avocado and mint salad . . . first made back here.

For dinner I started experimenting: I roasted the radicchio and sunflower seeds, and mixed them with red and green peppers, celery, radishes, baby romaine and shredded asiago. The dressing: olive oil, acacia blossom honey, a touch of balsamic vinegar, Hawaiian red sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Ok, this went pretty well. I'm feeling good about salad week so far.

Happy birthday to Claudia

Following an afternoon of birthday sports and bouncy castles, we retired to The Clubhouse where I ate an Oh! Avocado, a baked avocado smothered in seafood and cheese.

Also some edamame, and the best sushi roll in the universe, the Holy Beef Roll. I'm still not quite sure what the silly string they put on top of it is, but it is wonderful for soaking up the remaining Holy Beef broth. Photos courtesy of Sonya's camera

26 September 2009

Happy birthday to me

Happy birthday, Michelle-Meals. Yesterday was my one-year anniversary. To celebrate, instead of wowing you with a photo of last night's President's Choice frozen pizza (sorry -- I'd intended to make a bit more progress than that in a year) I will post photos that some of my readers have sent me this year.

R's attempt at making this.

M's NY strip loin pan-fried medium rare with button mushrooms and green apple horseradish; brown rice with sunflower and pumpkin seeds; steamed broccoli with black pepper and braggs all purpose soy seasoning; Naked Grape Merlot.

V's Moroccan Chicken Tagine made in the crockpot with Cilantro, Roasted Almond, and Wild Rice -- and TUXEDO CAT!

Thanks everyone! It's been a fun year of sharing random intimate details of what goes into our bellies.

24 September 2009

Trader Joe's Turkey Chili

"What's that, bud? No, sorry, no fish tonight . . . I'm just going to crack open this here can of Trader Joe's Turkey Chili and eat it with some sour cream and bread. Hmmmm? Sure you can lounge on the bamboo cutting board. I'm not using it for anything."

23 September 2009

Gyoza + red pepper

Lots of carbs lately. Not enough veggies. Everyone around me is getting sick. I am doomed. Ok . . . to balance it out I am sitting here eating an entire red pepper.

22 September 2009

Kalamata Olive Bread

Over the course of lunch and dinner, I ate the better part of a loaf of Kalamata Olive Bread I bought on sale at Safeway last night, with various toppings including:
• herb liver sausage (meat paste)
• red pepper
• Camembert
• grape tomatoes
• Safeway shrimp & crab salad (with added salt, paprika, lemon juice and red and black pepper)

Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad III

Wanting something easy but also something that is not frozen pizza, I made a Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad last night for dinner. Thanks to this blog I know this is my third time making this salad this year. Here are my past Smoked Salmon Caesar successes and failures. This time, I cut the pieces of fish too small and it flaked too much. It's better in larger chunks.

TOFINO Day #3 -- Wildside Grill

Following an afternoon of frolicking in the waves at Chesterman Beach, we refueled at Wildside Grill with salmon fish & chips.

21 September 2009

TOFINO Day #2 -- Spotted Bear Bistro

Saturday -- It was a toss-up between Sobo and Spotted Bear Bistro for dinner. We liked the looks of Sobo from the liquor store across the street, but drove over to Spotted Bear to check out the menu. It looked tasty but was pretty steep, so we returned to Sobo, where we were seated and given water and menus. The food looked ok, but was only minimally less expensive, and none of us could stop thinking about the halibut with tomato fennel fondue at Spotted Bear, so we excused ourselves and drove back to the bistro, where I had one of the best meals of my life: Locally caught halibut topped with ribbons of fennel, served on a bed of olive oil crushed potatoes with tomato fennel fondue and olive tapenade.

TOFINO Day #1 -- Boston Pizza

Friday -- We stopped in Port Alberni in the midst of a yacht rock radio marathon for what else -- pizza -- at Boston Pizza.

We ate in the car as we made our way across the dark and stormy winding roads of Vancouver Island.

A little unoaked Chardonnay and Chèvréponge (Setareh's homemade goat's milk sponge cake) for a nightcap at the Whalers on the Point Guesthouse in Tofino.

18 September 2009

Foundation Nachos (again)

A second round of nachos at The Foundation rounded off a pretty busy week of pretty unhealthy eating. At least the bad eating was in the company of good friends. I'm off to Tofino for the weekend, so I won't be updating again until at least Monday. Bye!

17 September 2009

Chicken lasagne with beet & carrot salad

Chicken lasagne with beet and (one piece of) carrot salad, from Capers.

16 September 2009

Yogurt +

So, I ate this yogurt. Then a slice of pizza. Later, a cinnamon danish. Sorry.

14 September 2009

Pizza and Nachos!

Easing back into making food at home with one of last year's favourites -- a frozen Presidents Choice chicken & red pepper stone-baked pizza. Except then I ended up eating out later anyway, sharing burnt nachos with some ladies at The Foundation.

Les Faux Bourgeois

The Fillet d'Agneau Poelé -- lamb cheeks with apricot served with mint cous cous -- at Les Faux Bourgeois was a rich and lovely dish, but the velvety, complex, foie-gras-y Pâté de Campagne was without a doubt the best pâté I've ever had. French food: so rich and intense! So much going on in it.

13 September 2009

Pizza; Jameson's; Brownie

O Pizzo Pizza: the meal that I love to hate. Or vice versa. Followed by some Kitsilano Beach night photography mixed with Jameson's. And a Blenz Gold Medal brownie devoured on the walk home.

12 September 2009

Delaney's Smoothie; The Calling Salad

A peach-pear-apricot smoothie at Delaney's with homemade beet purée and triscuits. Followed by a nap.

Followed by Pinot Noir and a tomato and bocconcini salad with pickled shallots (Why would you pickle a shallot? I am hereby against the pickling of shallots) at The Calling.

10 September 2009

Roasted Beet & Yogurt Purée

Tonight I ate the leftover pork chops and apples, and then I roasted a beet and made this ridiculously garlicky dip that I found via TasteSpotting -- made of beets, garlic, yogurt, salt and pepper.

Then I remembered that I had nothing to dip in it, so I ate a couple spoonfuls, and then went to practice and drank Cypress Honey Lagers. The end.

09 September 2009

End-of-Season; Qoola

Dinner was in the form of an office party in the British Properties, celebrating the (almost) end of the season. Onward to Spring 2010! Inspirational dessert later provided by Sonya at Qoola: chocolate frozen yogurt with coconut mochi, which aesthetically seemed like a good idea, but was in fact not. It was probably one of the last times this year though that I'll be able to wander through Stanley Park eating something frozen at nighttime without freezing myself.

Darchin Restaurant II

We ate at Darchin again tonight, my new favourite Persian restaurant on Davie Street. The service is friendly, the prices fair, and the dishes all exciting and new, since I don't really know anything about Persian food. I ordered Zereshk-polo ba morgh -- a chicken leg that jumps right off the bone and tomato purée served with berberis basmati rice -- and Meigoo Kebab (BBQ garlic tiger prawns), and we shared Mast-o-Moo-seer, a dip made of yogurt and shallots. This place makes me happy. There is something so plain and warm and unassuming about the atmosphere. And I continue to be a great fan of the faux-brick wallpaper that lines the walls . . . I could stare at it for hours.

07 September 2009

Pork Chops and Apples with Asparagus

I adapted this simple recipe from Recipe Zaar for my Gelderman Farms pork chops.

Pork Chops and Apples

3 pork chops
2 apples, cored and quartered
salt and pepper
caraway seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Brown on skillet and then place in a casserole dish. Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 cup water. Arrange apples over chops, skin side down. Sprinkle with brown sugar, caraway seeds and more salt and pepper. Pour juices from skillet over top, then cover and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

06 September 2009

Salmone al Miele con Asparagi

I cooked the last of my frozen salmon fillets with yet more of last week's Quattro honey- dijon- dill- orange juice reduction glaze. And threw the rest of the glaze in the freezer. As good as it is, I probably won't need to eat Salmone al Miele three more times next week. On the side: asparagus, blanched in salted water then pan-seared and finished with butter and a squeeze of lemon.

05 September 2009

Stuffed Sole; Popcorn

I baked a frozen fillet of sole stuffed with scallops and crabmeat in last week's leftover orange juice reduction glaze. There were no vegetables in the house, so I made some "Corn on the Cob" popcorn to go with it.

Spices; Duncan's Pizza

A serendipitous choice for dinner, Spices was the only place on Cambie with a table for 7 and so we pounced on it. I had iced Vietnamese coffee, and "Combo H" which included a pork brochette, spring roll, Imperial Prawn, and some kind of delicious crêpes with vermicelli. It was both incredibly good and incredibly greasy.

My esteemed dining companions.

We made it in time to Duncan's party for the last piece of homemade pizza. Even though I was so full from dinner, once I took a bite I had to eat the whole thing, it was so good.

Fine Mist knocking it back in time for the Midnight Run.

03 September 2009

Dinner Fail

A piece of Pizzo pizza on the way to the bus stop. Nacho corn nuts at practice.

02 September 2009

Pork Cutlets & Heirloom Tomatoes

A stop after work at the Main Street Farmer's Market meant that I finally got to eat Gelderman Farms pork this evening. I pan-fried some salted, peppered and hoisin-sauced cutlets and ate them with one of those ridiculously wonderful 90-second Trader Joe's instant rice packets -- this time Lentil Rice Biryani -- and a bowl of heirloom tomatoes.
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