A SEAFOOD TREAT #PAN-FRIED SNAPPER

I love seafood. As such,  I try to include a couple of dishes  in my weekly meal plan. More importantly, since the Lenten season started, I’ve added a few extras. Over the Easter week-end, I allowed my snapper fish to be part of my plan.

I opted for a pan-fried whole snapper with a spicy scotch bonnet pepper and tomato sauce. I served this on a fluffy bed of jasmine rice surrounded by garlic-flavored kale sautéed in a drizzle of olive oil. A few dried cranberries were tossed in to give a contrasting sweet balance.

 

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WENT TURKEY FOR EASTER! #TURKEY LOAF WITH SWEET/SOUR SAUCE

On this Easter day, I decided to be in company of the other feathery one. My protein of choice was  turkey. Transformed my lean protein into a succulent loaf. And, because turkey is somewhat bland, I decided to incorporate diced vegetables, spices, herbs and other ingredients so as to boost the taste in a huge way.

Before I added veggies, I sautéed in a drizzle of olive oil and  seasoned along with a pinch of salt, black pepper, etc.

SAUTEED VEGGIES FOR TURKEY LOAF
SAUTEED VEGGIES FOR TURKEY LOAF

After vegetables cooled these were added to seasoned turkey along with other ingredients.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TURKEY LOAF
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TURKEY LOAF

All ingredients were added to turkey and combined without overworking. A loaf was made and a home-made sweet and sour sauce brushed on.

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
TURKEY LOAF READY FOR OVEN
TURKEY LOAF READY FOR OVEN

Turkey loaf was baked for 50 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees fahrenheit. Then, additional sauce was brushed and loaf was placed under broiler for a another 2 minutes for sauce to set.

Turkey loaf was served with garlic-flavored mashed potatoes along with spring green beans and broccoli.

 

 

A POTASSIUM STACK FOR EASTER MORN #BANANA PANCAKES

Easter Sunday morning found me in a perfect place. Started the day with fresh pineapple with blueberries.  Had a few over-ripened bananas and decided to make a stack of pancakes.

To the batter, I also incorporated:-

  • old-fashioned oats, whole-wheat flour,baking powder, olive oil, ground cinnamon and ginger, egg, and a pinch of salt.

All ingredients were combined and cooked in skillet until cooked. These were served with a drizzle of pancake syrup and topped with fresh grapes. I could not resist, I a few strips of crispy bacon on the side.

Delicious ripe banana pancakes were paired with freshly squeezed Florida (red) grapefruit juice.

BEET/CARROT BROWNIE #PULP GOODNESS

I admit; sometimes I have a ‘sweet-tooth’. Wanted to find somewhat of a healthy way to enjoy the sweet side of things without feeling guilty. Made my staple beet/carrot drink to last me throughout the week. Hence, I reserved the pulp of this refreshing combination drink. I reckon carrot/beet cake was on my mind as I whipped up this healthy and sweet goodness.

BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP
BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP

Decided to make a batch of brownie from same. With additional ingredients of:

  • Mashed ripe bananas (for natural sweetness)
  • Sugar (2 teaspoon)
  • Eggs (2 med)
  • Oats (1 cup)
  • Olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • Whole-wheat flour (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • Powdered ginger (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/4 teaspoon)
BATTER READY FOR OVEN
BATTER READY FOR OVEN

Baking pan was lined with parchment paper for easy retrieval and clean-up. After spraying with a little Pam oil, brownie batter was baked in pre-heated 375 degrees fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. After cooling, brownie was sliced in small portions.

Each bite was a sweet delight.

 

A REJUVENATION OF MY HOUSE SPECIAL LO MEIN

I wasn’t in the mood to stir up a major pot from scratch. Had to find a way to feed the need within. So glad that I don’t toss left-overs. As a result, I doubled-back on some ‘House-special Lo Mein’. Bought same approximately a week ago and placed left-overs in the freezer.

Wish I could tell you that it had enough chicken, beef, shrimp and pork. I do think they stood all the way from Shanghai, China and tossed in those bits of protein. Anyway, it was tasty enough and didn’t consist of too much sodium.

Got creative and restored my lo mein to a healthy and youthful appearance. With the drizzle of olive oil in a skillet, I sautéed a few spears of asparagus, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and crushed garlic. I made sure to season along with a pinch of salt, black pepper and a dash of low sodium soy sauce. I even tossed in a few pieces of fresh pineapple I had on hand. After all, it’s a ‘House-special’.

Under low heat, I added left-over lo mein(well, noodles) and combined all ingredients. The assorted vegetables and pineapple absorbed all the oriental flavors from the dish.

I was a happy camper.

I GREEKED UP MY POTATO SALAD

With spring in the air, we can’t help but to go a bit lighter on our choices of foods. I did that over the week-end. Instead of the typical potato salad containing mayonnaise, I decided to opt for one that contained fresh vegetables and a few items that a Greek salad would have.

SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD
SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

I made the dish my own by adding one of spring’s foods, green beans along with blanched green bell peppers, roasted red bell peppers, vine-ripe tomatoes, scallion, parsley, Spanish and Kalamata olives.

So instead of the heavy mayonnaise, I used:

  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • Dried basil/oregano

and made an emulsifying type of dressing.

This dressing was then added to cooked red-skin potatoes and vegetables so as to soak up all the aromatic flavors and spices. I finished off my potato salad with crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley I had on hand.

 

 

PERFECT JAMAICAN COMPANIONS #ACKEE/CODFISH, ETC.

If it’s the week-end, at some point,  I’ve got to go Jamaican. And, that ‘s what I did for Sunday’s brunch. I allowed a few items of left-overs (boiled banana and whole-wheat dumplings) to be a part of my delicious dish.

I warmed my soft/creamy banana and slit in halves. These I placed beside my fiber-filled Jamaican spinach (callaloo).  I could consume these wholesome greens virtually everyday.  I pan-fried the combination whole-wheat dumplings after I sliced them in halves and did a quick dry. They were crispy and quite brown and provided a hearty texture to my plate.

Now, I couldn’t leave out my country’s national dish (ackee/codfish). I have eaten same repeatedly over the years. Combined with that salty codfish which by the way had just about the right proportion of sodium within. I made sure to  rinse, boil, and soak beforehand in order to eradicate extra salt.

When the yellow and smooth tasting ackee and codfish were  intertwined, along with Jamaica’s spices like pimento (all spice), fresh thyme, and other ingredients,  culinary magic was released on my taste-buds.

Of course, no Jamaica brunch like this is quite complete without the addition of a sweet treat. Thus, I added a few pieces of fried plantain to the mix. That move certainly provided a mouth-watering balance. With nature’s butter (avocado), my brunch was ready for consumption.

ONE OF SPRING’S APHRODISIAC FOODS #ASPARAGUS

The flirty days of spring are once again in our midst. Gone are the cold and dreary days of winter (well, except for some territories). Spring is the time when we store the bulky clothes and adore ourselves with  light and easy clothes.

And, when we go light on our garments, we can’t help but to simultaneously do so with our diets. The marketplaces remind that it’s spring as well. Some of the signature produces for the season are: green peas/beans, okra, and of course asparagus.

One of the great advantages of buying seasonal is that the prices are relatively competitive. Thus, I got somewhat of a ‘steal’ with one of my favorites (asparagus).  It is said that these spears help the body to produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone which in turn circulate to the bloodstream.

I made a quick blanche with some of my spears. To blanche is to cook quickly in liquid (water, oil, broth, etc) and then cease the cooking process in an icy bath. In addition, blanching brings out the natural hues in produces.

After drying my long and slender asparagus, I dried on a dish clothe and placed same in  garlic-flavored olive oil. As you can observe, they retained their brilliant green that says ‘spring’.  Moreover, they were crispy and delicious.

 

 

SHOTS OF GREENS FOR ST.PATTY’S DAY

Whether it’s St. Patrick Day or not, I like to go green sometimes with my morning beverage. And, it was no different this morn. I allowed my standing blender to do the task in pureeing kale, kiwi, lime juice and chops of star apple.(Caribbean).

With a splash of cold water, all I needed was to let my faithful blender do the talking. And talk it did  and produced this virtuous and refreshing shots. Shots that any Irish bloke or lass would like.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

 

ROASTED CITRUS DRUMSTICKS ON A BED OF COUSCOUS

When you have a beautiful canvas to work with, it makes things so much easier. And, that’s what happened with my North African inspired dish. I borrowed one of their popular staples (couscous) and allowed same to be a nest or bed for my citrus chicken drumsticks.

Couscous is uncooked semolina balls (likened to fine pasta). It has virtually no saturated fat and is loaded with potassium, protein, fiber, etc. A little goes a far way. Moreover, it is a a quick and easy dish to prepare.

In a stockpot, I added water, oil, bouillon, a pinch of salt and fresh thyme. Allowed same to come to a boil. Then, stirred raw couscous. Lid was added and this remained for five minutes, then couscous was fluffed with fork. To enhanced and flavored couscous  roasted veggies and dried cranberries were added.

ROASTED VEGETABLES
ROASTED VEGETABLES
COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED VEGGIES AND DRIED CRANBERRIERS
COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED VEGGIES AND DRIED CRANBERRIES

I served couscous with roasted citrus drumsticks along with garlic-flavored asparagus and broccoli.

ROASTED CITRUS DRUMSTICKS
ROASTED CITRUS DRUMSTICKS

My palate and I were in a beautiful place.