Iceland and Poached Cod in Tomato Broth…

I have just returned from a trip to Iceland. What a wonderful and isolated country!

 

Iceland

 

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

 

Poached Cod in Tomato Broth

(modified from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

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Mondays Lunch

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.

Mondays Lunch:

photo (12)

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

Strawberries

Celery, carrots and hummus

Shopping List

Deli Turkey

Laughing Cow chipotle cheese

lettuce

tomato

sprouted bread

(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)

Strawberries

dates

goat cheese (A shout out to our local goat cheese maker)

basil

carrots

celery

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!

Home-made Swedish Meatballs

I was perusing a blog that I look at occasionally and they had taken pictures of real frozen dinners, with the boxes.

This looks nothing like the picture on the box, and truly looks inedible.

The ingredients are as follows:

BLANCHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WATER, SEMOLINA, WHEAT GLUTEN), WATER, SKIM MILK, BEEF AND PORK, ONIONS, 2% OR LESS OF MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, DEHYDRATED SOUR CREAM (SOUR CREAM (CULTURED CREAM, NONFAT MILK)), SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, ROLLED OATS, SOYBEAN OIL, MUSHROOM BASE (SAUTEED MUSHROOMS, SUGAR, SALT, CANOLA OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, ONION POWDER, 2% OR LESS OF POTATO STARCH, HYDROLYZED WHEAT GLUTEN, MUSHROOM JUICE CONCENTRATE, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS, GARLIC JUICE CONCENTRATE, ONION JUICE CONCENTRATE, SOYBEAN OIL, XANTHAN GUM), SALT, BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, RICE STARCH, FLAVOR (MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, SOY SAUCE (SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% BEEF EXTRACT, BEEF FAT, FLAVOR, TAPIOCA DEXTRIN, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), DEHYDRATED ONIONS, CARAMEL COLOR, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (VINEGAR, MOLASSES, WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, ANCHOVIES, TAMARIND, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER), GARLIC PUREE, SPICES, SUGAR, YEAST EXTRACT, XANTHAN GUM, BEEF, DEHYDRATED SOY SAUCE (SOYBEANS, SALT, WHEAT), DEHYDRATED GARLIC, NATURAL FLAVORS, CULTURED WHEY, BEEF STOCK

Although most of those ingredients are recognizable, you generally wonder…. just what is Thiamin Hydrochloride?

(Thiamine hydrochloride (Betaxin) is a (when by itself) white, crystalline hygroscopic food-additive used to add a brothy/meaty flavor to gravies or soups. It is a natural intermediary resulting from a thiamine-HCl reaction, which precedes hydrolysis and phosphorylation, before it is finally employed (in the form of TPP) in a number of enzymatic amino, fatty acid, and carbohydrate reactions.)

In case you were wondering.

But why not know all the ingredients? Why not make it yourself? Why does our culture rely so much on convenience and cost over good for our bodies and peace of mind? We all work with people that pop these in the community microwave and mindlessly ingest them, maybe we are one of them. We all are short on time, or short on money. But what are we willing to sacrifice? Our health seems like a dangerous tradeoff.

I have the ability to  make a batch of 30 fantastic meatballs that I personally know what the ingredients are and where they came from, all for less than 10 dollars. Check it folks, that is 33 cents a meatball, in addition you get the added bonus of not having to make two extra meals because you would have left-overs. (Although be forewarned the recipe below is extremely addictive and doesn’t last long in our house)  In the picture above there are 5 meatballs…. that is $1.65 and it is mostly noodles, which automatically turns into body fat for those of us with PCOS. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

I encourage you to take more care, take joy in creating the food that will nourish you, know all of  your ingredients.

Swedish Meatballs with thimbleberry jam  (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Can be served with egg noodles or mashed potatoes, but who needs em?

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 16 ounces ground pork
  • 1 small onion , grated on large holes of box grater (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16 ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon packed brown sugar (can be omitted, especially if you are watching your gi index)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  For the Meatballs: Whisk egg and cream together in medium bowl. Stir in panko and set aside. Meanwhile, in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat pork, onion, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. Using fork, mash panko mixture until no large dry panko remains; add mixture to mixer bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute, scraping bowl as necessary. Add beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as necessary. Using moistened hands, form generous tablespoon of meat mixture into 1-inch round meatball; repeat with remaining mixture to form 25 to 30 meatballs.
  2.  Heat oil in 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until edge of meatball dipped in oil sizzles (oil should register 350 degrees on instant-read thermometer), 3 to 5 minutes. Add meatballs in single layer and fry, flipping once halfway through cooking, until lightly browned all over and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking.) Using slotted spoon, transfer browned meatballs to paper towel-lined plate.
  3.  For the Sauce: Pour off and discard oil in pan, leaving any fond (browned bits) behind. Return pan to medium-high heat and add butter. When foaming subsides, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is light brown, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Add brown sugar and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and return to simmer.
  4.  Add meatballs to sauce and simmer, turning occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve.