Warm Seafood Salad

Remember me?  Considering I haven’t posted in eons, I won’t be offended if you don’t remember me, but I’m trying to get back into blogging.  It’s been sort of a crazy bunch of months and I’m trying to turn crazy into organized busy.  Not exactly the easiest thing to do when you’re freezing cold and trying to stay warm while keeping your heating bills from bankrupting you.

While we’re on the subject of cold, let’s talk salads.  I like salads when someone else makes a tasty one for me, but beyond that, I’m not a huge salad fan.  Why?  Well, the whole process of washing greens is a chilly endeavor.  Even thinking about washing salad greens makes me cold.  Add in below freezing temperatures and you’ll find me starving and malnourished under a pile of blankets in my apartment.

Well, fear not, I’m not starving or malnourished currently because I found a solution to cold salads…warm salads!  Genius, right??

Okay, maybe not.  For the record I did not wash the greens myself.  I trusted Olivia’s Organics on the cleanliness of their washing.  My sister said they had the best washing practices, so I just went with it.  I didn’t do my neurotic look it up and then still not trust them and wash the greens again thing that I usually do.  Technically, I think you should always rewash greens because that whole triple washing stuff hasn’t always turned out so nicely for everyone (ahem, food poisoning).

Anyway, let’s get on with the show.  May I present to you, warm seafood salad.

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Now, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m more of a fly by the seat of your pants type of cook and well, measurements aren’t really in my vocabulary most of the time.  (This explains why it takes me months to actually get around to trying recipes…I hate the idea of measuring stuff out that much.)  In any case, I’ll try to give you the run down on this delicious salad that I ate for both my meals today.

Warm Seafood Salad

Salad greens of your choice – I used pre-washed baby romaine from Olivia’s Organics

Coconut oil – About a half a tablespoon, you can add more or less depending on your preference.

Frozen shrimp – As many or as few as you want.  I tend to make 4-6 of them.

Frozen sea scallops – Again, how ever many as you want.  I like to make between 3-5 scallops.

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Penzeys Fines Herbes – This is an herb blend of chervil, minced parsley, chopped chives and tarragon.  You can always make your own blend or just leave this out.  Up to you.

Directions:

  1. Wash your greens.  When I actually do wash my greens I like to wash them and then let them sit in a colander so the water can drain off.  I do not have a salad spinner.  (There is barely room enough for me in my current kitchen.)  If you do have a spinner, by all means, spin away.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the frozen shrimp and scallops to the pan, sprinkle your salt, pepper, and herbs on top.  Use your discretion about how much salt, pepper, and herbs to sprinkle.
  4. Cover the pan and let the shrimps and scallops cook.
  5. After about 5-7 minutes, turn the shrimp and scallops over and let cook another 5 minutes.  Please use your discretion with cooking time, as everyone’s stove is different and the cooking time will also vary depending on the size of your seafood.
  6. Once seafood is cooked to your liking, plate your greens and then place your shrimp and scallops on top.  Drizzle the liquid that has accumulated in the pan over the entire salad.

*Notes: You will see some avocados in my photo because I like avocados with everything.  Feel free to add whatever other salad items you like – tomatoes, cheese, peppers, mushrooms, etc.*

That’s all there is to it.  Simple, easy, tasty.  And best of all, warm.  I love this salad because I get a little bit of a dressing for the salad from the cooking.  No extra work needed.

I should warn you though, that if you don’t like seafood, this might not be the salad for you.  If you do, go for it, full steam ahead.

I hope that everyone is having a great start to 2013 and staying warm and healthy.  (Cool and healthy for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere and persistently warm climates.)

Till next time…


Relaxing the reins

As the days get shorter, I see less and less sunlight. As the days get colder, I see less of the outdoors. While today doesn’t have much in the way of sunlight, the weather warmed up 20 degrees to a nice respectable temperature in the 50s (Fahrenheit that is).

As I sit out here on the patio of the local coffee shop, I remember a trip to Berlin one chilly March. On this trip, I remember being amazed that people were sitting outside in the cold to drink their drinks and eat their food. When I remarked on this, one of the Berliners told me that the weather was quite mild for the season and the sunshine was reason enough to sit outside after a long dreary winter.

Well, I’m not exactly bundled up out here (no mittens or ear muffs for me), I think about how I am usually inside the coffee shop watching the people outside. The overcast skies are actually in favor of sitting outside since direct sunlight usually bothers me after a short while. Plus, it’s not so nice that all the smokers are hanging out front smoking.

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As you can see from my photo, I’ve relaxed the eating reins a bit, and ordered myself a New England clam chowder. I needed comfort more than I needed to avoid wheat. The rest of the meal is pretty spot on with the way I usually eat. After I enjoy some time out here and finish my coffee, I’m hoping there will be considerable earnest cooking when I get home.

My fridge is looking rather desolate and I need to get back to a regular regimen of eating and cooking. My next month will be a constant merry go round of one day on, one day off, one half day. Hopefully, I can stay relatively on track eating wise and not end up gaining weight or skeletally skinny. Those appear to be the only two op

tions from what I’ve heard of other people’s experiences.

In any case, I need to get to my coffee before it cools off to an unacceptable temperature. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekends.

 


Fast and easy fancy dinner

I know I’ve been such a terrible slacking off blogger and not only have I not been around, the piddly posts that I’ve put up the last few times really doesn’t cut it. Well, here is what I made for dinner tonight. Maybe this will help you all forgive me.

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I made this dinner for two and it was surprisingly fast and easy considering I was working with a one hour time frame to cook and clean. How’s that for efficient? (Okay, admittedly all the stuff I couldn’t properly clean up either got shoved in my room or into various drawers and cabinets, but still, the common areas were clean!)

So this is how I put dinner together:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash and cut an acorn squash in half.
3. Coat acorn squash generously with olive oil and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over both halves.
4. Place cut side down in a baking dish and place in oven. Allow that to roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and then flip over for another 5-10 minutes.
5. While squash is roasting, wash and slice a package of mushrooms.
6. Heat some butter (use a generous amount 1-2 tablespoons) in a frying pan and then dump the sliced mushrooms in. Make sure all the mushrooms get doused in the butter.
7. While those mushrooms are cooking (don’t forget to stir them around here and there), dice an onion.
8. Heat another skillet up with olive oil and dump the onion in. (Stir those mushrooms in the other pan!)
9. Add a package of sausage of your choice to the onions. I used a Cajun Turkey sausage from the co-op.
10. Break up the sausage into small pieces and cook until pieces are mostly cooked.
11. (Optional) add left over rice or chopped veggies of your choice to the onion and sausage mix. I used left over rice.
12. By now your mushrooms should have sucked up the buttery goodness and should have shrunken in size. Add a generous splash of port wine or any wine for that matter and keep cooking until the moisture is gone and the mushrooms get browned.
13. Your onion sausage mix should be done so turn off the heat.
14. Retrieve your acorn squash and plate. Put sausage onion mix into the cavity of the squash and the mushrooms go on the side.
14. Voila! Dinner.
15. PS I had some cauliflower hanging out in my fridge that had already been made up. I reheated that for some extra veggie power. So add on more sides as you can. 🙂

Happy eating!


Not hungry

Don’t I sound like a little kid?  After being AWOL for over a month, you would think I would have more fun things to report than my lack of appetite for the last few weeks.  Sadly, this is the truth.  I go through these phases where I’m not hungry and barely eat.  The problem is that with the way I eat, this means that I actually don’t eat unless I can find some motivation to cook.  Well, as you probably already guessed, I haven’t been much in the mood for cooking either.  If you know me at all, you know that I survived the last few weeks on eggs.  Yup, easy to make and easy to eat, that’s pretty much all I’ve been eating.

I sort of found my appetite over dinner on Friday with some friends, but then yesterday, I ended up making chocolate muffins (of the primal variety) because I didn’t feel like washing vegetables.  I think vegetable washing is my nemesis, especially when it gets cold.  Just the idea of water and cold vegetables from the fridge…shiver!

I did manage to cook myself a decent meal tonight using pork loin from my freezer to make Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage from Mark’s Daily Apple.  So maybe my inclination to cook and eat is slowly coming back.  My theory is that between the cold and the stress I’ve been under lately, I’m feeling the urge to hibernate rather than cook and feed myself.

We had a rare warm day today, but we’re heading back down the thermometer as I write this post.  I needed more of a transition from summer to fall, but we’re almost to Halloween and I don’t think there is any turning back.  Hopefully, the snow can hold off for a good long while.

All right, that’s all for now.  I’ll try and get some photos and other posts up here soon.  After all, I did get a new phone and should be able to make some magic happen…in theory.


This is about your food

I have some opinions about this, but I don’t really have time to get them out here in an organized format.  So, I urge you to go and read this blog post, The Monsanto Machine, over at Our Nourishing Roots.  Being in the know is important.  Whatever choice you make is your choice.  I just want you to know what kind of choices you’re making.  You might be surprised.  I definitely was.


Out of the Loop

I’ve been out of the loop for a while now.  Most of it is just stress and worry.  The biggest problem right now is getting the kitchen in my new apartment organized and clean enough to start seriously cooking.  I can’t tell you how many eggs I’ve eaten in the last four weeks.  An obscene amount.  I love eggs, but everyday for at least one, usually two, meals is just not okay.

I’m also coping with a much smaller fridge, a mini stove that has pilot lights, and no counter space.  Seriously, there is just enough counter space for a dish drying rack and a small cutting board.  Who lives like that?!  People who don’t cook, that’s who!  I’ve remedied this problem with a kitchen island-cart from Ikea, but now my problem is that the cheap, possibly defective, finish they used on the island is stinking up my kitchen.  I’m not sure how to get rid of the smell.  Suggestions, advice, anyone??

I might have had small kitchen before, but this takes the cake.  Don’t even get me started on the lack of cabinets and the state of disgustingness that I found this apartment in when I moved in.

In much happier news, I just tried a wild boar pork steak that my sister brought home for me, courtesy of some very generous people who heard that I was envious of my sister having some and sent some along for me.  They also sent me some excellent sweet sausage that is already all gone and some pork loins.  I said a while back I wasn’t eating pork again because of the potential to mess with my body biology, but lately, I’ve been eating a lot of pork.  That’s what’s been around at the farmer’s market and I’m not about to turn down gifts of wild boar.  Come on now.

Once the bounty is exhausted, I will in all likelihood scale back to eating bacon on occasion.  I’ve already started my plans to shift back to less pork by buying some ground goat at the farmer’s market today.  My freezer is also stocked with sockeye salmon and shrimp.

Now, if only I could find something inspiring to get me out of my food and cooking rut, I’ll be all set.

I apologize, dear readers, for the lack of photos and for my streak of ranting posts of late.  I promise to try and cook and have photos to show you in the near future.  Cross your fingers…and maybe your toes, too, for good measure.


Exhaustion Cheat Meal

If you’ve been following along, you know that a little over a year ago I changed my eating style to be more in line with paleo principles. Honestly, I’d like to think that I seek out and eat real foods and don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what I’m eating as long as it’s real food.

I realize I haven’t been around a lot since coming back from my hiatus and I apologize.  Life has been pretty crazy and while I’m taking photos and thinking about blog posts while going about my life, I haven’t had the time to sit and sort things out.

To be honest, I’ve been a bit bored food wise lately, so there is that, too.

I spent all day today packing boxes and moving.  After four trips back and forth, I am pretty much plastered onto my floor without much hope of getting up off the floor for a while.

As a reward to myself (I know, you aren’t supposed to reward yourself with food), I went out to NoNoo Ramen Bar and ordered myself a tonkatsu ramen for dinner.  I would have taken a picture for you, but I was starving.  I practically had drool coming out of my mouth as I drove my fragrant dinner home.  The dish is amazing.  Thick, milky colored pork broth with thick slices of fatty bacon, a soft boiled egg, seaweed, and ramen.  

I know that the ramen is wheat, but it was hand made and excellent.  Every once in a while, I need to make an exception and visit the non-paleo side of things.  Definitely a worthy meal.  Paleo or not, you should have some.

I hope to be back with more exciting news and photos after I’m all settled in at my new apartment.  I’ll be debuting a much, much smaller kitchen, but at least the mini range is a gas one.  1.5 years and I’m out of here.  I can’t wait.