I love trying new recipes, but half of them don’t make it into my binder of standbys. They must pass three tests: 1) Be outrageously good; 2) Be very to fairly easy; 3) Not result in me having to clean every dish I own.
This was the second year that I have done Bon Appetit Magazine’s Foodie Cleanse. It’s fun, it resets me after the holidays and it pushes me to try dishes that I wouldn’t otherwise make. Last year, just seven recipes made the cut. Many others were unduly complicated and had ingredients that I struggled to find, even here in Los Angeles!!! Crossroads of the world!
This year, they kept it simpler and I certainly appreciated that. Here are all the recipes and foods that I’ll definitely continue munching on through 2013:
This was the pair of recipes that really knocked my socks off – and they’re vegetarian!
- Tunisian-Style Poached Eggs in Red Pepper Sauce – Harira has such a unique flavor…I need to experiment more with it. It does have a bit of a kick, so go light if you don’t like spice. This would be great served in small portions to complement a meat or fish dish.
- Chickpeas with Leeks, Spinach, and Smoked Paprika – WOW.
Cod + Greens: It seems that you can season cod any old way and pair it with bok choy or chard or collard greens and you simply can’t go wrong. Plus cod makes the very short list of recommended/approved seafoods on the Seafood Watch list! Download their free app or order the pocket guide.
Smoked paprika: A spice that packs a wallop. I got it for one recipe, then started sprinkling it on my deviled eggs.
Black rice – It is exactly what it says it is. It’s easy and a good trick to have up your sleeve for a dinner party. I easily found a bag at Ranch 99.
Clams – Clams are really easy!
Sake steamed clams – Totally different flavors that my typical cooking. Served w/ Bok Choy w/Chili-Black Bean paste – Wow, does that stuff pack a wallop! If you don’t like spicy, don’t use this sauce. Very tasty.
Salmon + Lentils – A classic combo for a reason
Confetti lentils – I did all the veggies in the food processor and made this using Trader Joe’s cooked lentils and it was a snap.
Squash – The tomato and squash soup was pretty good, but ultimately I like both separately so you can fully enjoy the tomato or fully enjoy the squash. However, I did like the cooking method used – putting a few cloves of garlic under the squash half, then baking it. Smelled and tasted delicious!
Salad + Fruit + Nuts + Goat Cheese – You can’t go wrong. So delicious, so fancy looking.
Radicchio and Persimmon Salad with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese – Looks super fancy!
Toss 4 cups radicchio and 1 Fuyu persimmon (the flat variety), peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks, with 1½ Tbsp. Sherry Vinaigrette. Top with ½ oz. crumbled goat cheese and 2 Tbsp. toasted hazelnuts. You can substitute arugula, spinach, or a good dark salad mix for the radicchio, and use walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds in place of the hazelnuts.
Curry – This was already a standby for me, as it should be for every working mom in America. A can of coconut milk, a dollop of curry paste and any mix of veggies or meats. You can’t go wrong!! I often put in potatoes, but had never tried sweet potatoes…not bad.
To take to the office
Smoked salmon on rye crisps with avocado – The avocado actually tastes better than cream cheese…go figure.
Winter Citrus Salad – I eviscerated a grapefruit and mixed the chunks with halves of orange slices. A great mid-morning snack.
And a bonus recipe: Ahi or cod or halibut with Bok Choy (Serves 2)
The back story: I accidentally bought ahi tuna instead of cod. I love seared ahi, but my boyfriend does not, so I had to devise a way to prepare this. I found this recipe, which happened to have a very simple, but very delicious sauce that I plan to use for years to come. I also had a recipe that I had been meaning to try for a while – Miso-glazed halibut. I did the two different meals and this is the best of both:
- Enough fish for two people – fillets, medium thickness
- 1 lb. of baby bok choy – the smallest you can find (then you don’t have to cut it up)
- 1 bunch of green onions (scallions)
- Fresh ginger – piece the size of your hand
- 1 lime
- White miso (you can get this anywhere, even Safeway, just ask – it’s usually near the refrigerator with the tofu)
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
Miso Glaze – Whisk together.
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons white miso
- 2 tablespoon bottled or fresh minced ginger
Spread the glaze over the fish, both sides. Then put the fish on tin foil and broil in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Keep an eye on it and flip it when you think you should – when its just turning brown around the edges.
- 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or 2 teaspoons of wheat-free tamari for gluten-free option)
- 1 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
Cut up 5 green onions, split the white part and the green part. Use a pot with a lid. Bring 1/4 c. of water to a boil, toss in the bok choy, turn down the heat to medium, cover and steam for 3 minutes. After that, take the lid off, toss in the white part of the green onions and keep cooking for a few more minutes, until all the water boils off. Add the sauce and serve immediately with the fish on top and rice on the side. Garnish with sesame seeds and the green part of the green onions.
And if you are interested in food and nutrition, I’ll just put in a plug here for all Michael Pollan books, starting with “Food Rules.”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Both elegant and useful in its simplicity. I’ve read reams of books and articles on nutrition over the years and it sometimes feels like the more you know, the more confused you get. This small guide takes us directly to the heart of eating well: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I would absolutely put this in my friend’s X-mas stockings.