As I get back in the swing of things… and try to get back on my blog schedule… I offer the second ‘food’ blog I posted last year…

I had maybe 5 followers then. I’m sure you missed it. It’s okay.

In Regards to Free-writing Friday… the stories I was working on (past tense) have fallen on the wayside. Collateral damage of my current inability to organize or prioritize non-life-or-limb agenda items. If I do manage to post, it will likely be something already written, or a last-minute inspirational late-nighter… Apologies. 😦

Anyway, the following blog is a great example of some of the ‘meat’ dishes that we eat twice a week.

We are semi-vegetarians, after all… (not ‘almost vegan’) 

I have this crazy notion that some meat is okay and can be good for you now and again, I mean it is the ONLY source for Vitamin B12 that doesn’t require a laboratory to create. 

Meat and meat products (some cheeses, milk, yogurt, eggs) are merely a supplementary item though.

If it helps… we only eat happy fish and chicken/turkeys… not genetically altered, medicated, or abused ones.

We make sure to keep the portions small and heavily over-weighted by veggies, fruits, and whole grains and legumes.

*Oh… and yes, I re-edited the blog. lol.


HOW NOT TO COOK SALMON

As semi-vegetarians, we eat meat about 2-3 times per week. One of my family’s favorite treats is salmon. We only eat it twice a month, the rest of the time, our fish allowance is in tuna and tilapia with the occasional cod or other whitefish.

The expert cooks out there may cringe at my method, as it does not fit with cookbook ‘suggestions’. But, it works most of the time. (Yes, there was once that the fish dried out so bad, it was, um, chewy… it was a demoralizing experience. I learned from it though. No more than 20 minutes in the oven with this method.)

As with the MyPlate, and serving size suggestions per the USDA, the Salmon fillets I get from the meat department, and have them cut into 2 inch strips. (NOTE: The USDA also has a SuperTracker, FoodTracker… you can find out all the nutrients, calories, etc. FOR ANY FOOD… especially those healthy ones that come in their own packages.)

Depending on the size of the fish, sometimes we get extra… Salmon is not cheap, so this is one of our more expensive meals and partly why it is only twice a month.

I recently began figuring meals by cost. I don’t recall if I mention it in the book, as it is a fairly new practice. The bad news is that this meal cost $26:

  • Salmon = $16
  • Mixed bag of potatoes = $5
  • Bag of fresh Brussel sprouts = $3.50
  • 2 large carrots (1/3 of 1 lb bag) = $.50
  • Miscellaneous oil/herbs/condiments = $.50

The good news is; it was enough for 6 people. The final cost per person was $4.33 each. My husband and daughter used the extras for lunch the next day.

Here’s how it went…

IMG_0394

You know that you have crossed over to healthy-food-land when the sight of this makes your mouth water. Move over Pavlov… physiology is in charge now.

This is the first time I have used ‘colored’ potatoes. I am refraining from making any jokes regarding color bias, so I will painfully move on to say that color bias does exist.

I recently discovered multi-colored carrots too. And from a quick internet search, surmised there have always been such things, but sellers noticed that we (the people) have a tendency to gravitate towards certain colored fruits and vegetables… and started planting only the orange carrots and brownish potatoes.

Needless to say, the potatoes were delicious and we will be buying them again, in the hopes that eventually the price will go down and we can enjoy them more often.

IMG_0395

This is a trick I picked up from my Rachel Ray watching days… put some olive oil in the bottom of the bowl, add whatever seasoning you like, drop your cut up veggies in and use two spoons to toss them to coat.

I have this strange method I developed when I started cooking at age 14. I often add herbs and spices by smell. This particular day, cilantro and basil, with a sprinkle of garlic powder smelled appealing. (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each).

IMG_0396

I usually roast fresh Brussel sprouts, but this time, since the potatoes were roasted, opted for steaming. I don’t use any seasoning. Some of us add salt and pepper at the table, others think it tastes fine on its’ own… especially when it is fresh.

IMG_0398

This is proof that I don’t cook salmon right… what? she’s putting it on a flat pan! Argh! But, as I said, it works. Most of the time. And turned out delicious this time. 375 degrees, 18-20 minutes.

The strange caviar-looking concoction in the bowl is a tablespoon of mustard seed, 1/2 tablespoon of yellow mustard, and a tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise.

I had a nagging fear putting vegan mayonnaise on salmon would upset the balance of the universe, but whatever ripple effects must have been small. And besides… it tasted wonderful!

IMG_0401

The final product.

If it looks sparse to you, give it time, and remember; a big part of the diet that helps control cholesterol is controlling blood sugar. Small meals, with intermittent, sensible, snacks.