I have just returned from a trip to Iceland. What a wonderful and isolated country!
This year I had no set destination. So I simply chose the cheapest international ticket, which turned out to be a direct non-stop to Iceland. So our adventures took us into the wild expanses. Highlights include, coffee, licorice, and hotdogs, geysers, standing under and behind waterfalls, road trips, glaciers and ice, secret and not-so-secret-hot springs, boat rides, sweaters, sheep, falling in the mud, half-breakfast, and day light 24 hours a day!
Because Iceland is an island, fish is abundant, and I was spoiled. When I returned home to my land locked state of Colorado, I went to the grocery store and reluctantly bought a pound of cod from the seafood counter. I made this simple soup with a few modifications and I must say it was delicious! I highly recommend you try this! Of course if you are watching your carbohydrate intake please omit the potatoes.
Poached Cod in Tomato Broth
(modified from Martha Stewart)
- 3 cups Hon Dashi Benito broth (Japanese fish broth)
- 1/2 medium onion, very thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 8 ounces potatoes, diced
- 3 sprigs basil, plus fresh basil leaves for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 skinless cod fillets (4 ounces each)
- 4 ounces sugar snap peas
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Bring broth, onion, 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, potatoes, basil sprigs, red-pepper flakes to a boil in a large, deep, straight-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Season cod with salt and pepper, add to broth mixture, and cover. Simmer until fish is opaque throughout and just cooked through, about 7 minutes.
- Remove and discard basil sprigs. Add sugar snaps, remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes, and lime juice to skillet, gently stirring to combine; cook just until warmed through. Divide fish, vegetables, and broth among 4 bowls. Garnish with basil leaves, drizzle with oil, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.
I have not been able to find a reliable source for farm raised chicken in the area, so this chicken was store bought. It was on sale for less than $6.00 for 8 chicken thighs. This was a good deal as I was able to make this stretch into 6 meals. That is less than a $1.00 per meal. So although ethically I feel bad for these poor chickens I did get a good deal.
- Curried Chicken Salad over baby spinach
- Carrots and tomatoes with cheese wedges
- Pears with a sprinkle of coriander
- Dried apricots stuffed with goat cheese and slivered almonds
- curry powder
- salt and pepper
- grape tomatoes
- dried apricots
- goat cheese
- slivered almonds
- ground corriander
The shopping list is a little long, but hopefully you have some of this in your pantry…and if you don’t, lets stock up your pantry!
My little bean is 6 months old this week. So we are starting real food. It is going alright, she likes peaches ok, she really likes avocados but she dislikes sweet potatoes. Which is a shame because I cooked a whole sweet potato. So I incorporated it into todays lunch…but if you are trying to make this lunch you could skip it in favor of cream cheese stuffed celery and salsa, or plantain chips with roasted peppers and goat cheese, or oven roasted bell-peppers, onions and tomatoes.
(sorry about the crappy picture, I made this at 9pm after a long day, shaky hands and bad lighting…too tired to do it right)
- Oven Roasted Chicken
- Black bean mango salsa
- Sweet potato pancake with goat cheese and cilantro
- Strawberries with honey and cinnamon
- Plantain Chips (use sparingly)
Chicken ( you can pick yours up from the store if you don’t have time)
Black beans (I used canned)
mango (they are on sale)
plantain chips (salty not sweet)
Maybe you have seen the Bento sites; elaborate, beautiful, cute and artistic lunches. And while I appreciate them tremendously, I have no time at the moment to make them…maybe when Miss E. is older. My goal is create a healthy, nutritious and filling lunch. Something I can look forward to eating, something that I feel good about eating.
- Caprese Salad
- Olive stuffed Ham
- Roasted Beets and Carrots with goat cheese and pine nuts
- Strawberries with basil and balsamic vinegar
Fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese
As you hopefully can see, I am using some of the same ingredients from yesterdays lunch but with a new twist.
Strawberries, goat cheese, basil, tomato and deli meat.
For the roasted vegetables: Start them before preparing the rest of the lunch. Cut vegetables into nice bite size pieces (but not too small or it will burn). Toss with small amount of olive oil and season with salt. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes until roasted and the sugars caramelize.
The hardest part so far about preparing these lunches is the planning and coming up with combos for the foods I have available. Buy what is on sale and what is in season to save money and take advantage of the freshest ingredients.
If you are anything like me, lunch time is my down fall. It didn’t used to be so bad as I would generally just skip lunch. No problem. But lately I find myself starving, wandering the grocery aisle looking for something to eat for lunch. If only I had prepared my lunch at home! I would lament. When you are hungry the simple thing to reach for is processed food with a ton of carbs. And that just won’t do.
So this week in my attempt to try something new I am making low gi and interesting lunches. There are a plethora of blogs that cover this topic, so feel free to look here, here and here.
My rules are: it must fit in my bento box, it must take no longer than 15 minutes to make, and include low carb whole foods.
Turkey sandwich with chipotle/tomato cheese spread, lettuce, and tomato (I am still breast feeding so a little bit of carbs is good for me)
Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in basil
Celery, carrots and hummus
Laughing Cow chipotle cheese
(from Marks Daily Apple: One study found that eating sprouted grain breads (not Ezekiel, but similar to it) reduced the blood sugar response and increases the glucagon response when compared to eating unsprouted breads, 11-grain, 12-grain, white, or sourdough. That’s pretty good… for a bread. But it’s still bread. I’d like to see it matched up against a lack of bread)
goat cheese (A shout out to our local goat cheese maker)
hummus (can be made at home easily….but I bought mine)
Hopefully this helps you out and gives you a great start to the week too!
Well maybe it all it takes is a bit of complaining. Two fabulous farm fresh eggs from my backyard. If you wake up early enough they are still warm when you collect them. It seems so sad that we are so detached from our food source that an egg seems like a foreign occurrence. We should be collecting an egg once a day from here on out, and as soon as the other chickens are old enough we will be collecting up to 4 a day.
2-4 Fresh Eggs (the fresher the better, but does not necessarily need to be from your backyard)
1-2 tsp of vinegar
Over medium heat bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a boil/simmer in a skillet. Pour in vinegar, 1 tsp per cup of water.
crack single egg into liquid measuring cup, be careful not to break the yolk. Pour egg carefully into water. Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
Turn off heat and cover. Wait patiently until the yolk has set to your desired hardness.
J. likes the yolk to be mostly set, but still a bit runny. 7 minutes or so.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over top
Sometimes it seems like I just can’t satiate my sweet tooth. When I am hooked on carbs I am a sugar junkie. Metformin makes me less inclined to eat sweet treats, but my brain still wants to end a perfect meal with something sweet. The other night as we were craving our sweets J. say to me….. Almond Joy! I gave him a look as he proceeded to explain…….
Low GI Almond Joy
1-3 small portions of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar (if you can find it with almonds already in it. More power to ya)
1 tsp of Coconut Butter for each portion
Warm coconut butter in microwave for a couple of seconds until warm. Scoop out and onto chocolate, top with almond.
Brilliant I say! You don’t want to eat a lot of coconut butter because it has a lot of fat, but coconut butter is kinda like peanut butter. As in, the flesh of the coconut has been pureed until it becomes thick and spreadable. It is nutritional, melts in your mouth and has no sugar. You can buy coconut butter at natural food stores, look over by the other nut spreads. It is a bit expensive so be prepared.
Chocolate has been shown to have some good health attributes, and it seem to me that if you are pairing your chocolate with enough fat and the sugar content is kept low enough, that a few pieces now and then might actually be beneficial.
Hope you enjoy your “almond joy”