Category Archives: Healthful Eating

Fish Vera Cruz Style Ala Missus Dear Friend

I’ve mentioned my Dear Friend before several times here on my blog.  A few months back she and her husband decided, for better health, that they would go Gluten Free-Dairy Free-Pescetarian.  We started to talk about different Seafood, mainly Fish, recipes.  I suggested this one for them

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/vera-cruz-style-fish-our-way/

Might tasty!

So as we talked about this particular recipe, I suggested that I contribute to her pantry some of the ingredients to make up this dish and she could go from there if they enjoyed it.  There’s no sense in investing in a whole jar of capers and you discover that you don’t care for them, then what?  Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, make it your own.  If you don’t like a component, leave it out.

WOW! Missus DF you knocked it out of the park girl friend!!  She used Cod, which is a nice mild fish for sure, and her choice for a side dish was Cabbage Steaks.  If you’ve never tried them, do!!

So if you’ve been following my blog over the past 4 years and you’ve EVER tried any of the recipes or concepts that I’ve posted, please let me know…a photo of the dish would be awefully nice too 😀

A Different Twist On Salad Dressing

I really like to make my own Vinaigrette.  This way, I know what’s in it; I can control the amount of salt and vinegar, which we don’t care too much for.

My husband just loves Anchovies added to his salad, so I found some in a jar at one of those high end markets and he went absolutely wild for them.  Mind you, they’re not cheap (as compared to the stuff in a tin), so when he finished off one of his jars, I noticed there was all this oil left and it had that potent fish smell and taste to it.

Hmmm  💡

What if I used that oil in the dressing?  Let’s try it.

Homemade vinaigrette ingredients

Anchovy Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. Anchovy Oil

4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 tsp. Mustard

1 Garlic Clove, finely minced

1/2 tsp. dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Find some sort of covered glass container that you’d like to keep your dressing in, I use a half pint mason jar.

First into your jar is the vinegar, then the salt, I use just a pinch.  Shake well to dissolve the salt into the vinegar. Next in is the Mustard (this helps to emulsify the dressing), what ever type you have on hand, I have Spicy Brown Mustard in our `fridge; give it another good shake.  Everybody else, into the pool… Add the remaining ingredients and give it one more health shake.

Oops, don't forget the mustard in your homemade vinaigrette

Isn’t that beautiful? (oops, I forgot the Mustard in the other photo  😀 )

Give it a taste!  It does not taste like anchovies! Believe me, I can’t stand anchovies; I gross out ever time I come near them, ACK! :/  But this dressing has that umami flavor, that nice mouth-feel, ya know?  It truly is good.  And yes, you got it!  The basic recipe that I use for any Vinaigrette is 1:3, one part Vinegar to 3 parts Oil, easy-peasy.

Keep your dressing in the refrigerator and it’ll be okey-dokey for a super long time, but I think it’ll be gone pretty quickly.  ⭐

Missus Dear Friend was just saying the other day that she too will be making her own salad dressing, so I made an extra jar for her as well.

ENJOY!

(As always, remember that a recipe is just someone else’s idea.  Take it and make it your own, using different components, like maybe Rice Wine Vinegar or Canola Oil .. the skies the limit 😉 )

A Bit Of Home In Central Arizona

It has been a VERY stressful, well, seven months for my husband and I, what with listing our home, open houses, 3 offers to buy our home and finally selling it, MAN!  It’s rough, let me tell you.  So we both decided that we needed some comforts from home, Hawaii that is!

Cucumber Sushi

The first dish I made was Cucumber Sushi, super easy!

Limu Ahi Poke

Next up was some Limu Ahi Poke, MMM!  Now that just screams Hawaii, doesn’t it?

As I always do, I made WAY  too much food.  You know the drill, I gotta share it, so who better than our new landlords.  We’ll just say that Mister Landlord liked the sushi.

Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce

Every so often, I make an attempt to expand our culinary palates, I mean DH’s mostly, HA!  Some of my foodie-buddies pointed me towards Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce, hmmm, okay, this might work.

Trader Joe's Curry Simmer Sauce

Back home in Hawaii, Chicken Curry Stew is popular, so I thought, this could turn out to be pretty ONO (delicious) with an Indian-style sauce? Let’s see.

We’ve tried this twice now …

Chicken Curry and Rice

My first crack at Curried Chicken and Rice

I must tell you that this sauce has some zip-a-dee-doo-dah spicy kick to it, but a nice heat though; not the kind that you can’t take more than one bite of.  DH said, “WOW! This is HOT!” and yet he cleaned his plate.

This second attempt was as a Chicken Curry Stew with diced Potatoes, Carrots, Celery and Onions… MAN, was that GOOD!

I used half of the jar of sauce with each go-around and maybe 2 cups of diced boneless/skinless Chicken Thigh meat, if that much.  For the stew, I added about a cup each of the veggies.  This made three servings, so you adjust for your table. Very tasty, I would recommend you try it.

`Member now, recipes are just someone else’s idea (and you don’t always need a recipe, just an idea), you take them and run with it, make it your own.

ENJOY!

 

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Source: Homemade Chunky Applesauce

MMM!  I made another batch of this wonderful Chunky Apple Sauce the other day. This goes so well with just about anything on your table, at any meal.  This makes a thoughtful gift as well.  Oh, how about taking the family to a local Orchard and picking your own apples.  How ever you get your fruit, do please try this recipe.

Vera Cruz-Style Fish Our Way

Source: Vera Cruz-Style Fish Our Way

Well, with folks making their New Year’s Resolutions to eat well, I thought of this dish.  I make this often; it’s chock-full of good stuff.  I used Mahi-Mahi, but Cod is good too.  The recipe that I found originally, called for Red Snapper, but here in the middle of the desert, that proved to be quite the challenge.  I’ve plugged my recipe into one of those handy-dandy software programs to see what all we had here as far as for calories and the such, and this is what it came up with… not bad.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 259
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 10 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 80 mg 27 %
Sodium 1084 mg 45 %
Potassium 660 mg 19 %
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 19 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 24 g 48 %
Vitamin A 105 %
Vitamin C 943 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 9 %

Do you see the fat content?  This recipe makes 2 good sized portions, and if you leave off the rice, *cough*, it’s less than 300 calories.  This could easily fit into almost any diet plan, I mean “different way of looking at food concept”.  You choose the fish that your household likes the best… ooohhhh, I just had a great idea!  A Seafood Vera Cruz, like maybe Shrimp or Mussels or how about a splurge using Lobster?  MMM!

ENJOY!

Homemade Marinara

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about making your own Red Sauce before.  As a young bride from Hawaii, I made Tomato Sauce the way that everyone did, except my husband’s family.  So I had to learn how to make American-Italian dishes by trial and error; it took a while, but I got it.

sauce

Auntie Doni’s Marinara

(2) 28 oz. cans Whole Italian Plum Tomatoes (I use San Marzano tomatoes)

1 C. Onion, minced

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Tomato paste

2 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Basil

¼ C. fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

½ Tbsp. Garlic, minced

¼ C. grated Parmesan Cheese

S & P to taste

Hand crush the tomatoes in a large bowl (or use a stick blender).  In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions until they are light golden; add the garlic for sauté until fragrant.  Add the tomato paste and stir vigorously for about 30 seconds; add the dried herbs and also stir vigorously for another 30 seconds.  Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.  The parsley and cheese go in the pot next, stir and cover partially to simmer slowly for about an hour.  Give it a taste, is there a slight sour note?  Stir in a pinch of sugar, that will fix that.

*Tip: if you have all of your ingredients measured out on to paper plates or any other dish that you prefer, things will move along much more smoothly.  The French call this Mise En Place, “putting in place”.

*Tip #2: Maybe you can see that I have my Tomato Paste in a small zip top bag.  Rather than spend alot of money on paste-in-a-tub, I buy those small cans and portion them out into baggies and freeze them.

sear some boneless country pork ribs

If you’d like to add any meats to your sauce to make what some folks call Sunday Gravy, after the parsley and cheese are mixed into the pot, add, oh I don’t know, how about these nicely seared Boneless Country Pork Ribs, MMM!  This will take your Marinara up a notch.

Homemade Meatballs in mass

Meatballs are an excellent choice too.  Maybe spice it up with some Red Pepper Flakes.  Anything that your household likes.  Marinara is a stepping stone to many, many other Italian dishes.  Recipes are someone else’s idea, take them and make them your own.

Enjoy!

Lomi Lomi Salmon, It’s Time For Another Luau

If you’ve read my bio, you’ll already know that I’m from Hawaii, but I bet you didn’t know that I am of Hawaiian decent.  Now with this said, let’s talk about a dish that you’ll find at most Luaus in Hawaii, Lomi Lomi Salmon, we just call it Lomi Salmon …  MMM!

Taro Brand Lomi Salmon sold at Costco in Hawaii

[Photo credit : Taro Brand Lomi Salmon at Costco]

Back home, I could buy this in a plastic tub in the cold case at any local supermarket.  I never NEEDED to know how to make this scrumptious party staple, but I do now.  So, I searched the internet and found Capt. Mike’s recipe on Fish Maui’s website.

Hmmm, Salt Salmon, the first ingredient.  Now where on Earth am I going to find that here in the middle of the desert I ask you?

WELL!  Capt. Mike includes the recipe or I suppose it’s more of a technique to make Salt Salmon.  One of the things about that plastic tub of ‘Lomi’ in the market was, there wasn’t enough fish in it for our liking.  By figuring out how to make my own, it’s got LOADS of Salmon!

So I had some frozen Salmon from Costco; I defrosted an eight ounce fillet, covered it in Hawaiian Sea Salt in a glass bowl, covered that with plastic wrap and stashed it in the cold box for 3 days.  What a huge difference in the texture of the fish’s flesh, very firm.  Follow the rest of the instructions from Capt. Mike, but here’s where I make my own twist.

Bowl-full-of-tomatoes on my kitchen counter

Isn’t that gorgeous?

I had a bowl full of Heirloom, San Marzano and Roma tomatoes sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter.  Why not.  Most Lomi Salmon dishes that you see are made with just red tomatoes, I kind of liked the different colors of the Heirlooms.

diced Heirloom Tomatoes

I diced up a mix of the tomatoes…

small dice Salt Salmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diced the Salt Salmon pretty small …

all of the ingredients for Lomi Salmon

Thinly sliced some Green Onions and finely diced a bit of Sweet White Onion, like a Maui or Vidalia.

I really couldn’t say how much of the tomatoes or onions that I used, I just added what looked about right in the bowl, remembering that we wanted a good amount of fish.  This isn’t  a tomato and onion salad after all.

Give it all a stir, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or even overnight to let all the flavors meld together.

Plated Lomi Salmon with Kalua Pig and Cabbage with steamed White Rice

Serve icy cold (add ice cubes if needed) with a big scoop of Kalua Pig and Cabbage, along with steamed white rice.(see the link on how to make the Kalua Pig). 

You don’t have to add the cabbage, but I try to sneak in as many veggies as I can get away with.

This was just enough Lomi Salmon for the two of us, but we REALLY like it, so I piled it on!  For regular diners, I’d say that this would serve 4 easily.

Now that’s a Luau, BABY!

ALOHA!

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Growing up, I spent a lot of my summers with my maternal Great Grandmother in a tiny town in Central California.  ‘Ma’ was the local school’s Head Cook or Lunch Lady if you will, and she made the best stuff.  The thing that I liked was her Chunky Applesauce, MMM.  I carry on her recipe and make it for my Mother, who likes to mix it with the Stewed Rhubarb that I also can for her.

this is all you need to make chunky apple sauce

Here’s what you need.

Use the varietal of Apple that your family likes best, we like Fuji Apples.  Wash them well; peel and core them, then slice them up chunky.  Have a big bowl of acidulated water to land those apples into so that they don’t turn brown on you.  Figure on about three pounds of fruit for each quart of Chunky Apple Sauce.

WOW! That's alot of Apple peels

… and the remains

 

Now, drain the fruit and place them into a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft, but not mushy, we do want chunky after all.  If the apples aren’t releasing much water, add just about a cup or so of water to help things along. With an immersion blender, break up just some of the apples. Taste.  Does it need any sweetener?  Probably not, but how about some ground Cinnamon.

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce

Spoon immediately into canning jars and process using your favorite method.

Now, why should you buy pureed apples, full of who knows what, when you can make your own yumminess.

These jars will keep a dark cupboard for up to a year once canned.  It’s wonderful spooned in to plain yogurt, or in Oatmeal and even as a side dish to Chicken, Turkey or Pork.

ENJOY!

You Know It’s Spring Time When There’s Rhubarb!

Myself, I’ve never tried rhubarb, but my Mother loves it anyway she can get it.  So I’ve been keeping an eye peeled for fresh rhubarb to come to my favorite Green Grocer.  I’ve seen it growing in front of some homes in California and it looks sort of like a deep red celery.  I also know that it’s not cheap to buy; $2.99 per pound, which I understand is the standard price anywhere.

I got just shy of two pounds of rhubarb, washed, trimmed it and thought that I’d better peel it too.

it's easier to just put all of the ingredients in the pot

There are many recipes available on the Internet for “stewed rhubarb”, and it can’t be any easier.

Dice up the stalks to about ½ inch piece; add ½ cup of granulated sugar per quart of fruit.  Give it all a good stir and let it sit for about a half hour to macerate, you’ll see loads of juice in the pot.

gently bring to a boil

Bring to a boil over low heat, you don’t want to boil the heck out of the fruit or it’ll turn to mush, gently.

these are for Mom

Immediately spoon the fruit along with those juices into canning jars and process in your favorite manner.

Pretty, huh?  These three are for my Mom.

I asked Mom if she wanted me to make these into pie, “Oh no honey, I like to mix the stewed rhubarb with your homemade chunky applesauce.”

Oh wait, I didn’t tell you about that did I?  Tune in next time and I’ll share that will you.

 ENJOY!