Friday, January 9, 2009

Weeknight Food

I've been cooking up a storm this week. It's the best way for me to get back into my healthy routine. I have a few good recipes that are definitely worth sharing. Wednesday night was fish cakes with a citrus, fennel and bitter greens salad. I tried using flax meal instead of breadcrumbs in the fish cakes, but that was an epic fail. The fish cakes fell apart and turned into a fish scramble, but it was still very tasty. The salad is one of my favorites. I used the zest of two oranges in the fish cakes and the juice of one of the oranges (whisked with a bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil) for the salad dressing and the segments from the other orange in the salad. I shaved a fennel bulb and tossed it with sliced green onions, diced red pepper, the orange segments and a bunch of watercress. This salad is both bitter and sweet, crunchy, refreshing and satisfying.

Last night I made Greek Wedding Soup from the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. My husband and I are not huge fans of lamb but in the interest of trying new recipes, I followed along. This recipe is a keeper save for the fact that I will use ground turkey for the meatballs next time. The combination of the lemon and mint in the broth was unbelievable delicious and the recipe was truly fast and easy. It made four hearty servings so I have my supper for work tomorrow night all ready to go.

Tonight is Thai Lettuce Cups which is slightly adapted from a recipe I saw them make on The Biggest Loser awhile back. The original recipe can be found here on Epicurious. The total prep, cooking and clean up time was about 45 minutes, so not too bad considering all the chopping. I love that this recipe can be made in advance. You could do the prep on a Saturday morning and have a fast, healthy and delectable Asian take-away style supper on the table in minutes on Saturday night. You could also add some steamed jasmine or basmati rice to round out the meal. I've already washed the lettuce and made the turkey mixture which came out so awesomely delicious that I can't wait for supper! All I have to do at meal time is steam some snap peas as a side dish, fill up the lettuce cups and serve.

Thai Lettuce Cups

8 Boston lettuce leaves, washed and dried well

1 package of ground turkey meat (mine was 1.3 pounds)
Fish sauce to taste
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium high heat. Add turkey and start to break it up. Add the crushed garlic, black pepper, a few dashes of fish sauce and vinegar. Cook until the turkey is crumbled up and no longer pink. Drain and set in the fridge to chill.

In a separate bowl combine
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
two tablespoons freshly grated root ginger
4 green onions, thinly sliced (I use both the white and green bits)
1 red pepper, diced
a big handful of coarsely chopped cilantro (Thai basil would work well, too)
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons chili sauce with garlic

Mix well then add to the cooked turkey mixture. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fill lettuce cups with mixture and sprinkle with chopped, roasted cashews and enjoy.

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