THE COLLIDING OF OMEGA AND BETA-CAROTENE #SALMON AND SWEET POTATO CAKES

I was a bit strapped for precious time. As such, I wasn’t in the mood to separate dishes. I knew I wanted something quick, tasty and nutritious. All roads led me to my pantry for the stash of canned goods. Couldn’t miss the bright red can of salmon; so I grabbed.

I reached for a couple sweet potatoes and gave a quick scrub. Thank God for microwave ovens. They come in quite handy when you really need them. With a few pricks on potatoes, I stuck them in oven for a five-minute cooking of same. My mind was on salmon and sweet potato cakes. I love combining both. Moreover, they are both heart-healthy and would keep me satiated for sometime.

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR SALMON(CANNED) AND SWEET POTATO CAKES
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR SALMON(CANNED) AND SWEET POTATO CAKES

Other ingredients were:

  • Egg (white)
  • Bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
  • Salt/black pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon (pinch)
  • Olive oil or any oil for frying
  • Lime juice (fresh)
  • Sour cream (dollop)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, egg was beaten with a squeeze of lime juice.
  2. Salmon was added to egg white after liquid was drained. Then finely chopped bell peppers and onions were added along with salt, black pepper and bread crumbs.
  3. After skin from sweet potatoes was removed, these were roughly crushed with a fork and a sprinkle of cinnamon added.

    PREPPING FOR SALMON/SWEET POTATO CAKES
    PREPPING FOR SALMON/SWEET POTATO CAKES
  4. Crushed sweet potatoes were added to mixture in bowl and gently folded together.
  5. Patties were formed.

    PATTIES READY FOR PAN-FRYING
    PATTIES READY FOR PAN-FRYING
  6. In a hot skillet olive oil was added along with a clove of garlic(optional) for extra flavoring.
  7. Patties were pan-fried on medium heat on both sides until they were crispy on the outside and cooked on the internal.

Salmon (canned) and sweet potato cakes were served with vine-ripe tomatoes and nature’s butter (avocado). A wedge of lime and a dollop of sour cream were added.

SALMON (CANNED) AND SWEET POTATO CAKES WITH SIDES OF AVOCADO AND TOMATOES
SALMON (CANNED) AND SWEET POTATO CAKES WITH SIDES OF AVOCADO AND TOMATOES

LIGHT BITES #CANNED WHITE TUNA/GRAPES

I confess; I’m not a huge lover of tuna fish. However, because of  to the hurricane season, I stored a few in my pantry. I’m so glad I did. Decided to pair same with some refreshing chopped green grapes. I also added diced onions, a splash of vinegar, a fresh squeeze of  lime, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

I couldn’t pass up on nature’s butter (avocado). With a few  pieces of cheddar cheese and some crispy whole-wheat crackers my light lunch was complete.

MY PALATE DID A LEAP! #SCRAMBLED EGGS AND AVOCADO

Breakfast was quite a satisfying one for yours truly. I wasn’t in the mood for hot or cold cereal in a bowl. Been sometime since my palate had been caressed by the creamy taste of some scrambled eggs. I didn’t need milk or cream or any other liquid. I allowed my nutritious eggs to do the talking.

Brought my beautiful eggs to room temperature.There was no need for a whisk. I allowed my fork to work its magic in my see-through bowl. I couldn’t go scrambled without a little green vegetation within. So I chopped me a few sprigs of parsley and tossed in. With a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste, my eggs were ready to be embedded in a waiting hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and pat of butter.

There was no rush. On low heat, I slowly folded my eggs, yolks and all. I watched them came together in a perfect union. It was time; it was time to add my muenster cheese. I removed my skillet from the burner and gently placed my cheese and observed it disintegrated in a few minutes.

I couldn’t wait to dig in; but first, I had to garnish with a little parsley. Love that contrasting appearance. And to top it off, I had to go there; I’m talking about nature’s butter (avocado). Oh, you’re talking about a smooth and creamy goodness. With a sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper, my breakfast was ready to please my waiting palate.

SUPPER BECAME MY LUNCH ##LEFT-OVER CURRIED CHICKEN/PIGEON(GUNGO) PEAS/RICE

I wasn’t in the mood to prepare a meal from scratch. You see, when hunger strikes, I grab anything in sight. I guess it’s just human nature to feed the need. Moreover, I was super tired and wanted to hit the ‘sack’. There was an extra step in my gait as I made my way to my ‘gates’.

I felt great contentment knowing what I had within my fridge (well, more of my freezer). With a quick wash of my dirty hands (come to think about it, did I wash them? Yes, I did), I headed to the ‘gold mine’. Oh, I love my freezer. It didn’t take me long to retrieve the frozen delights that I would thaw to satisfy my hunger.

First I grabbed the pigeon (gungo) peas and rice and gave a rapid wet of the container under water so as to loosen it up. I placed same on a plate covered with damp paper towel. In less than four minutes, my rice and peas was piping hot and smelled quite fresh in a beautiful and fluffy bed.

Thank God for my super hot microwave. It was time for my curried chicken. I added same to a glass bowl and revisited my freezer to grab a scotch bonnet pepper. Yes, that’s where I keep my peppers so as to gain more shelf life from them. I finely chopped my pungent pepper and placed on top of frozen chicken. My microwave did not disappoint. It was on ‘fire’! The amazing aromas got to my senses.

While I allowed my chicken to cool down, I reached for a piece of nature’s butter (avocado). I just love to have that along with curried dishes. I roughly chopped in small portions and seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper along with a squeeze of lime for taste and to stop oxidation.

Before I consumed my supper for lunch, I warmed my palate with a cup of left-over pumpkin and carrot soup. So glad I had that in the refrigerator. I wasn’t in the mood to chop and make a veggie salad. It was time. But first, I can’t believe it, I actually went to grab a quick shower. Can you imagine that? Yes, I did. You see, after eating my curried chicken and rice and beans, I wanted to settle in a siesta type of thing.

So, on my bed of rice/pigeon peas, I added my succulent and spicy curried chicken with pieces of avocado (nature’s butter).

LEFT-OVER CURRIED CHICKEN/AVOCADO ON A BED OF PIGEON PEAS AND RICE WITH PUMPKIN/CARROT SOUP ON THE SIDE
LEFT-OVER CURRIED CHICKEN/AVOCADO ON A BED OF PIGEON PEAS AND RICE WITH PUMPKIN/CARROT SOUP ON THE SIDE

After the close-ups, (by the way,  those were done in rapid fashion), it was time. It was time to indulge; and I did. The flavors were bold, delicious and the whole dish tasted like it was freshly done.

Guys, I was over the moon. I perched in my favorite spot on the sofa and watched the trees do their perfect sways. ‘La la land made its way. Or, perhaps I should say I made my way to ‘la la’ land.  Now, supper will take care of itself.

THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING AWESOME FOR LUNCH #AVOCADO/TOMATO SALAD

Nature’s butter (well, that’s what I call avocado) has been staring me in the face for the last week. You see, just by chance I was gifted a couple of avocados a week ago by a nice woman. I was reminded that it was the beginning of avocado season. I was very excited. I thought they would have ripened during the week-end; but, they didn’t.

 I placed them on my counter in a brown bag so as to hasten the ripening process. What do you know? It took those ‘guys’ exactly one week to ripe. I’m not complaining though. I was super-happy because I was in the mood for a home-made lunch.  And when I made a check on them, they were ready for me.

I immediately rinsed and sliced my way into the beautiful yellow flesh of one of nature’s butter. From the looks of it, it was perfectly ripened to my liking, firm but possessed the silky smooth touch. I couldn’t wait to dig in.  I proceeded to thinly slice and season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lime.

In addition, I added another favorite of mine, vine-ripe tomatoes. Though they were matured and juicy, they also were firm and sweet. I seasoned in similar fashion as the avocado slices. And, I drizzled a little olive oil on same along with crumbled pepper jack cheese with jalapeno.

My avocado and tomato salad needed more accompaniments. So, I reached for a couple of eggs and poached them to a soft finish for approximately 5 minutes with slightly runny yolks. I made sure to drizzle a little house vinegar in order to readily set the white of the eggs. Eggs were drained on paper towel and then drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper to my taste.

Guys, my avocado and tomato salad was not complete without a pairing of Heineken beer to quench my thirst. Moreover, on the side, I served toasted whole-grain English muffin (not in pic) with butter. I was ecstatic.

AVOCADO/TOMATO SALAD WITH CRUMBLED PEPPER JACK CHEESE WITH JALAPENO
AVOCADO/TOMATO SALAD WITH CRUMBLED PEPPER JACK CHEESE WITH JALAPENO ALONG WITH POACHED EGGS. HEINEKEN BEER ON THE SIDE

PERFECT CULINARY BEDFELLOWS #GRILLED SALMON AND SWEET POTATO PATTIES

I’ve experienced both  repeatedly. I love them because they keep me satiated for hours. Moreover, when I’m in a state of rush, they take minutes to prepare and cook delicious dishes. I guess that’s why after a hectic day on the grind, I chose to make yours truly a salmon and sweet potato meal. In addition, based on studies, salmon is an oily fish that has loads of omega fatty acids that are excellent for heart health. And sweet potatoes are perfect to keep the glucose level within the body at an even keel.

With those health factors in mind, I decided to prepare a dish that would reintroduce and surprise these foods to my palate. I just didn’t wish to have baked potatoes and broiled salmon as I would sometime enjoy. I wanted something different that would whet my taste buds and soothe my stomach.

So, I decided on sweet potato patties and grilled salmon with a tantalizing and refreshing glaze of citrus and honey. I gave a quick scrub to my potatoes, dried and pricked them. I would I’ve preferred to bake them in a conventional oven to garner more sweetness; however, your truly didn’t have the time. Thus, they were baked in the micro-wave.

MICRO-WAVE BAKED POTATOES AND SEASONED SALMON
MICRO-WAVE BAKED POTATOES AND SEASONED SALMON

I did a quick seasoning of salmon with salt, black pepper and crushed garlic. Grill pan was heated under low to medium heat. The garlic was removed from salmon. Fish was dried and brushed with a little olive oil; then placed on the grill for approximately three to four minutes on each side.

GRILLED SALMON READY FOR GLAZE AND BROILER
GRILLED SALMON READY FOR GLAZE AND BROILER

Salmon slices were brushed with citrus and honey glaze with a few capers and allowed to rest for a few minutes for glaze to soak in. This was placed on a baking sheet with thin pieces of lemon.  Salmon was then placed under broiler for another seven minutes for completion which developed a beautiful crust.

The skin was removed from sweet potatoes. Then, these were smashed with a fork. To that, I added a pinch of salt, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, Japanese bread crumbs and a teaspoon of honey. Patties were formed then lightly dredged in whole wheat flour.

SWEET POTATO PATTIES READY FOR HOT SKILLET
SWEET POTATO PATTIES READY FOR HOT SKILLET

Under a low to medium heat, a combination of canola and olive oil was placed in skillet. Patties were placed in skillet and browned on both sides. They emitted warm and inviting aromas. It smelled like Thanksgiving in May.

GOLDEN BROWN SWEET POTATO PATTIES
GOLDEN BROWN SWEET POTATO PATTIES

Patties were drained on paper towel so as to remove residual grease. These golden wonders were served with their ideal bedfellow of grilled citrus/honey salmon. On the side,sliced tomatoes from the vine along with nature’s butter (avocado) were sprinkled with salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

FINISHED DISH: GRILLED CITRUS/HONEY SALMON WITH A TOPPING OF CAPERS/LEMON, SWEET POTATO PATTIES AND SIDES OF AVOCADO AND TOMATO SLICES
FINISHED DISH: GRILLED CITRUS/HONEY SALMON WITH A TOPPING OF CAPERS/LEMON, SWEET POTATO PATTIES AND SIDES OF AVOCADO AND TOMATO SLICES

SUPPER WAS A JAMAICAN KIND OF THING…..#SAUTEED PICKLED MACKEREL

It was back to basics for yours truly. Yes guys, it has been sometime since I’ve gone this route. Got a bit tired of my dear poultry. It seems like I’m always consuming the feathery one. Fish is also another popular item on my menu. Today,  I did so with the help of a little pickled friend. So, instead of the fresh omega fatty fish, I paid a visit to a popular dish, pickled  mackerel.

It’s very seldom that I consume pickled mackerel. Though it’s super tasty and chock full of flavors, I’ve to admit that it’s loaded with much sodium. However, once in a while I love to enjoy same. This dish is a favorite in Jamaican kitchens. Anyway, my palate called for this old friend and I went shopping for the ingredients. And these are the main items I brought home and got a cooking.

RAW PICKLED MACKEREL WITH GROUND PROVISIONS AND OTHER INGREDIENTS FOR DISH
RAW PICKLED MACKEREL WITH GROUND PROVISIONS AND OTHER INGREDIENTS FOR A COMPLETE DISH

I first extracted excess sodium from mackerel. I did this by rinsing same repeatedly with cold tap water. I cut mackerel in small sizes and placed in stock pot with cold tap water. Under low to medium heat, pickled mackerel was boiled for approximately ten minutes. I then drained and rinsed a few more times so as to extract sodium to my preference.

Fresh tap water was added and mackerel was boiled a second time for about ten minutes. After draining, it was rinsed with cold tap water and set aside. Bear in mind, this could be done overnight by soaking same in tap water.

In a skillet over low to medium heat, a combination of coconut and canola oil was added. To this, chopped onions, bell peppers, garlic (optional), scotch bonnet pepper, fresh tomatoes were sautéed. These were seasoned along with a pinch of black pepper and salt along with crushed pimento (all spice) and sprig of thyme.

Under low heat, pickled mackerel was added to mix. A pinch of sugar, drizzle of vinegar (distilled/red wine) and a squeeze of lime were added. Mackerel was garnished with finely chopped scallion and additional cracked black pepper. And like a true Jamaican, this was served with boiled bananas, dumplings, pumpkin, and yam. And, on the side, fried plantains and avocado were added.

SAUTEED PICKLED MACKEREL ALONG WITH BOILED BANANAS, DUMPLINGS, YAM, PUMPKIN, FRIED PLANTAIN, STEAMED CALLALOO (SPINACH) AND AVOCADO
SAUTEED PICKLED MACKEREL ALONG WITH BOILED BANANAS, DUMPLINGS, YAM, PUMPKIN, FRIED PLANTAIN, STEAMED CALLALOO (SPINACH) AND AVOCADO

And guys, I couldn’t help myself, I had to sip a little Heineken beer on the side. My meal was complete. My palate and I were  happy.

LIGHT AND EASY CAME TO MIND ##CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES

I had a rather challenging and super-busy day. Lunch was a jerk chicken dish with spinach rice, steamed cabbage and of course, plantain. I grabbed this bite at a popular Jamaican restaurant called Golden Crust. It’s like a fast food eatery with home-cooked Jamaican meals. I made sure to get extra jerk sauce on the side. As expected, the food was very tasty.  I was quite satisfied.

Later on, returning to my nest, to tell you the truth, I was in no mood to sweat over a range. However, my palate nudged me and requested something else. Being the pleaser that I am, I granted its wish. You see, I had a few pieces of chicken tenderloin already defrosted at the bottom shelf of the fridge. Pan-seared tenderloin strips were on my mind along with  salad. So, I went to work.

I made sure to further slice my tenderloin a little thinner. With a dash of salt and black pepper along with crushed garlic, my tenderloins were seasoned. Instead of all-purpose flour, I lightly dusted my chicken in a little whole wheat flour. Then, they were placed in beaten egg solution in order to have the panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) adhere to chicken.

PREPPING FOR PAN-SEARING OF CHICKEN TENDERLOINS
PREPPING FOR PAN-SEARING OF CHICKEN TENDERLOINS (EGG WASH, PANKO BREAD CRUMBS AND FLOURED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

Chicken tenderloins were browned for approximately four to five minutes in a combination of olive and canola oil. Excess oil from chicken was drained on paper towel. I still have a portion of cilantro. A few sprigs were finely chopped and added to a store-bought ranch dressing along with a squeeze of lemon to freshen dressing.

I served my chicken tenderloins with a garnish of cilantro and placed same on a refreshing bed of garden salad. This was made up of avocado, iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, scallion, and shredded carrot.

 CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES
CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES

Guys, my palate and I were super-happy and well satiated.

BREAKFAST WAS A MIXED/COLORFUL BAG #SARDINES,SPINACH/EGGS/AVOCADO/FRUITS/ETC.

I’m proud of yours truly. Just came back from a powerful workout on the outskirts. Managed to eradicate unwanted calories from the Easter week-end (well, I hope, I sweated like a ‘pig’). Anyway guys, arriving at my humble abode, one main thing was on my mind…..BREAKFAST. I wanted to keep the healthy and balance in check.

I had quite a few left-overs in the fridge. So, being the thrifty gal that I am, I retrieved:

  • Calaloo (Jamaican spinach)
  • Nature’s butter (Avocado)
  • Tomato slices

In addition to my left-overs, I boiled me a couple eggs and sliced one and a half for my plate. Omega fatty foods were on my mind; so, I headed to pantry and pulled out a canned of sardines in olive oil. Okay, I know I’m a tad out of whack when it comes to sardines; but, sometimes I like to warm my sardines. Yes, I said it! Hence, I grabbed my skillet and warmed a drizzle of olive oil. To that I added few slices of onions.

After sauteing my onions, I added sardines with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of black pepper. Needed a little sweet tooth for a  balance to my dish. Thus, I fried a few pieces of plantain and draped them with a few slices of cool cucumber after I sprinkled them with a pinch of salt and black pepper. A few small slices of left-over avocado were on hand; so, I also included.

It was time. I quickly cleansed my palate with segments of orange slices. I was ready to dig in my mixed-bag of breakfast plate. But first, my kettle was calling; I couldn’t ignore. I poured boiling water on my lemon green tea and allowed it to seep. Then, I went for the ‘kill’. I was fulfilled.

CUP OF LEMON GREEN TEA ALONG WITH MIXED BREAKFAST PLATE
CUP OF LEMON GREEN TEA ALONG WITH MIXED BREAKFAST PLATE

LUNCH WAS QUITE A CHEESY ONE #CHEESY SCRAMBLED EGGS/BREAD

I  was in quite a cheesy mood today and I didn’t mind. You see, I’ve never indulged in a cheese bread before. So, it was out sheer curiosity that I bought a loaf of this bread. It looked very appealing, a tad shiny and soft to the eyes from a few feet away. Just as I thought, on feeling same, it was soft and looked even more delicious.

Took home the specimen and couldn’t wait to partake. As a matter a fact, I started nibbling from one of the ends and it was super tasty and loaded with cheddar cheese. I had to pull myself away.  I grabbed me a couple of eggs and did a quick scramble in a hot skillet. I made sure to add a little chopped parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

I slowly folded my eggs under low heat. That scramble egg needed no liquid in the form of water or milk. I like to have my eggs stand on their own. After my eggs were cooked with a soft finish,( hate rubbery eggs) I pulled skillet from the burner and added a little shredded cheddar cheese.

My cheesy plate was served with sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper along with nature’s butter (avocado). A cool cantaloupe drink completed my  cheesy and simple meal.