This is a post I wrote just over a year ago to date. The Daily Prompt for today asked us to write about an item in the kitchen we couldn’t possibly cook without. It reminded me of this post, and also reminded me that I haven’t written a cooking post in, well.. just over a year.
What do you think folks? Do you want some more cooking posts?
I just realized that it has been over a week since my last food blog. Shame on me. To my defense, there wasn’t a whole lot of cooking going on last week as I was suffering through the mother of all colds. In fact, there was so little cooking, that I actually lost 4 pounds. Tea and toast were on the menu, even after I cooked enough of my Nip It In The Bud Super Soup to last the entire week. Has anyone ever solved the mystery of feed a cold, starve a fever or starve a cold, feed a fever? Starve both seems to work for me.
This blog isn’t about being sick though and what I do and do not eat whilst going through what feels like death. No, this blog is about what I ate on the night that I went out, the weekend before I got the dreaded death cold and how to get ready for an evening out while cooking a healthy, sustainable meal.
That Saturday, I decided to redo my whole blog, and being a bit of a computer moron, and not remotely tech-savy, it took me the better part of Saturday morning, afternoon, and early evening. I knew I was going out that night. It was planned for weeks. One of the bands Mr.P plays in had a gig in town, and they were being presented with an award. All of Stockholm’s metal scene would be in attendance and I would have a reason to go out and be social after a month of burrowing myself away from the masses.
Time, as usual, escaped me and before I knew it, I was running late. I thought about skipping dinner, but also understood that I had full intentions of drinking heavily, and that in the past, skipping a meal when this is part of the plan, has never EVER worked to my advantage.
I’m going to now give you the staples you need to have on hand to make an amazing, quick, delicious meal out of almost anything, any time.
- Coconut Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Key, basic spices: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Ginger Powder, Oregano, Coriander
- Some sort of grain and/or starch… wholewheat pasta, couscous, bulgur, quinoa, whole grain rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes (yes, yes…sweet potatoes are technically a squash. Potato, potaaatoe, know what I’m saying?)
If these items are not gracing your kitchen, you need to remedy that immediately. With these ingredients on hand, you will always be able to whip up something spectacular.
I looked in the freezer to pick out the headlining ingredient in my dish. This is another place you should always have stocked with basic things like:
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen Fish
- Frozen Berries
- Frozen Bacon
- Frozen Sausages…. not breakfast sausages. I’m talking hot dogs, bratwursts, chorizo, etc. As always, try to get as close to 100% meat as possible, and low fat options are never a bad choice.
Do you have at least two of these key freezer items? If you do, bravo… you never have an excuse to NOT be able to whip up something healthy and delicious. If not… add it to your list.
Mr.P and I are overly keen on ALWAYS having fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs on hand. However, this particular evening, these items were quite skint. Again, knowing I was going to be using the majority of my calories partaking in the ancient tradition of getting drunk, I began gathering the ingredients for a healthy, low-calorie, fulfilling dinner to sustain me before getting plastered, WHILE getting ready to go out, in a hurry.
You Take the Lime and the Coconut Salmon and Vegetable Medley served with potatoes and lemon cream fraiche.
This served two of us. As usual, I don’t really measure stuff.
- 2 pieces of salmon. Assuming you grabbed these from the freezer, immediately place them in a bowl with hot water, still in the wrapping, to defrost
- 2 limes
- 2 lemons
- 2-3 TBSP Coconut Oil
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar (glaze also works, as pictured)
- 1 tsp of the following: garlic powder, ginger powder, paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bunch of fresh (ends trimmed) or frozen asparagus
- 6 or so button mushrooms, cut in half
- 8 or so cherry tomatoes
- 6-8 small potatoes
- half a container of low-fat cream fraiche
- optional: lemon rind from a whole lemon if you have that kind of extra time. I did not.
Get all of your ingredients out and ready. Put the frozen, or fresh, prepared asparagus in the pan already, but do not turn on the heat yet. Clean the potatoes, leave the peels on, and chuck them in a pot of water to boil, and crank up that heat. Make sure your salmon is defrosting or defrosted, as explained above. Get in the shower. There’s no time to wash your hair. If you needed to wash your hair, you should have taken care of this earlier. Remember, this is cooking AND getting ready in a hurry. Besides, you shouldn’t wash your hair every day anyway. It’s just not good for your hair health.
Once out of the shower, check on the potatoes… they should have just started boiling. Your salmon should also be defrosting quite nicely. Start thinking about your outfit.
Next, turn the heat on high under the pan and toss in 1 TBSP of coconut oil with the asparagus. Move it around so it doesn’t get too hot on any one side. Once it begins to get soft, add in 1 TBSP of soy sauce, and one TBSP of balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinegar glaze).
Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, and throw in the mushrooms and tomatoes. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the entire pan, stir it around, and go try on your first outfit.
Did this outfit work? No? Damnit… go back to the kitchen and rethink your options while you check on the veggies. Now, add in your ginger and garlic powder, and squeeze the second half of the lemon over the veggies. Salt and pepper to taste. Give everything a good mix and turn the eat down to low. Check the potatoes. Are they ready? Mine were not at this point. Just let them continue to boil if they are not ready. If they are, drain the water from the pot, place the potatoes back in the empty pot, and cover so they stay warm. Go try on your next outfit.
Did that outfit work? pfew! Great. Now put on an apron so you don’t mess yourself up. How are those potatoes doing? Keep an eye on them! They should absolutely be done by now. Be sure they are finished before completing the next step because you will be multi-tasking like no one’s business.
Put the veggies on a plate or in a bowl to the side. You can cover them with foil so they don’t get too cold, but we’re nearly there.
Turn the heat back up to medium. In the same pan, heat up the other TBSP of coconut oil. Once melted, put in your salmon pieces. Dust generously with paprika.
Take one of your limes, cut it in half, and squeeze one half over each piece of salmon. Allow the salmon to cook on the one side, absorbing the juices from the coconut oil and the lime. Run to the bathroom and apply your foundation. Run back to the kitchen, and flip the salmon. Get inspiration for your eye makeup pallet from the beautiful colors of the salmon. Maybe a nice frosted pink eyeshadow as a base mixed with a copper brown, with a rose liner for the top lid, and a dark brown liner on the bottom…. heavy on the mascara. After the first flip, sprinkle some paprika on the other side, put in an extra TBSP of coconut oil if needed, and squeeze the other lime over the fish. Then, quickly run to the bathroom and start applying your eye make up.
The total cooking time for the fish should not exceed 10 minutes maximum depending on how well done you like your salmon.
Flip once more, lower the heat and keep a close eye on the cooking progress.
Have you decided what to do with your hair yet? Now is the time to do so, while whipping up your super easy lemon cream fraiche for the potatoes. Decide on an up-do, or a down-do for the evening while you scoop out half of the container into a small bowl, squeeze in the juice of a full lemon (watch out for those pesky seeds), and a generous amount of pepper, and salt to taste. If you have the time to zest the lemon and throw it in there, it really does add just that extra bit of flavor. Mix it up with a spoon.
What was the verdict on the hair? I opted for half up and half down. I pulled just the sides back in a messy pony tail, and let the rest hang down. This was a last-minute decision though, just before I was going out the door after eating.
Guess what? You’re done! You have now cooked an amazing, healthy, delicious meal AND got ready for your night out in 40 minutes or less. Multi-tasking folks… that’s what it’s all about. You should never have to sacrifice one thing for the other as long as you learn how to multi-task. Now you look fabulous, and you’re fed so you can get drunk and make a fool out of yourself. Well done!
As always, questions and comments welcome! 😀