Flame Charred Corn – a childhood favorite

I grew up in New Delhi, India till I was 16 and often think fondly of all the snacks that I loved.

One could buy corn on the cob from a street vendor who was set up with a clever contraption of coals over a wire mesh.  You would point to the juiciest corn and he would rub it with a lemon doused with a spice mix that was spicy, o so spicy.  To think that we would eat vegetables on the street as a snack  (we also bought carrots and daikon) that mom would frown upon because it would spoil my appetite for dinner and because the man was probably dirty.  Spoiling my appetite has never been a problem – eating only invokes the desire to eat more :).  And I won’t exactly say that the man was dirty – though he never wore gloves of course (gloves were not a concept when I was growing up, at least not on the streets of Delhi).

I make this at home often.  Since I am not lucky enough to have a grill, I char the corn on an open flame till it is browned evenly on all sides.

Cut a lemon in half and put salt and some spices on a plate.  The spice mix is your choice – I use cayenne mostly.  Dip the lemon into the spices and then rub on the corn, squeezing the lemon at the same time to get some of the juice on.

Serve hot and enjoy.

The reason I am posting this is one, because I love it of course but more importantly, to remember that vegetables can be delicious and eaten as snacks.  They can even be forbidden as this was when I was a young girl 🙂

Following is a link that tells you how good corn is for you:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/26/corn-health-myths-nutrition_n_5591977.html

Isn’t it good to know that Corn is nutritious, providing fiber, which aids in digestion, plus folate, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin C, and magnesium.

Hope you add corn and other vegetables into your diet.

Until I eat again!

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Mackerel with Cherry Tomatoes over Quinoa and Spinach 

Mackerel is an oily fish and unfortunately an underutilized fish. I enjoy it for many reasons. One, it has a meaty consistency and stands up to bold flavors. It’s doesn’t fall apart in cooking and also the oils are healthful oils.

Like many of my dishes, this is quick, delicious and the bonus is that is it healthy. In the time it takes for the quinoa to cook, the fish is ready.

​I seared the fish in a little olive oil.
The skin is too think to eat but I do like to sear it.

I added slivered garlic, a splash of white wine, olives and some Turkish red pepper relish I had laying around. You can omit that or can use roasted peppers if you like.

Also, the juice of a large orange and a lemon. This creates a flavorful sauce. I placed cherry tomatoes on top of the fish as I didn’t want them to cook too long.

When the quinoa was cooked, I added fresh baby spinach and closed the lid of the pot. This wilts the spinach enough.

Taste the sauce and check to see if the fish is done – about 15 minutes. The flesh should have turned snowy white and flake easily.

Plate the dish by putting the quinoa and spinach on the bottom of the plate. Next I fileted the fish to remove the bones in the center.

This fish has many small bones, so make sure to warn your guests.

Place the fish over the quinoa and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with scallions and dish or your favorite herbs.

Until I cook again!

Fish Filet over Asparagus, Tomatoes and Black Eyes Peas

Cooking delicious meals that are quick, look beautiful and are healthful is the key to weight loss as far as I am concerned.

While I have not conquered the weight loss battle, it is something that I strive to do and if nothing else – I like to share some tips and tricks.

I am on an asparagus bender if you read my posts regularly.

Here I sauteed some asparagus, threw in cherry tomatoes that are always in season and always sweet.

Next I added some black eyed peas that I soaked overnight and then boiled till soft.  You can use canned beans and any bean that you like – chickpeas, white beans, kidney beans, etc.

Beans are a great way to get protein – I really enjoy their flavor and they are very satisfying.

Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

In the same pan – since I hate washing dishes, heat a little oil and sear fish filet that are seasoned with a little salt and pepper.  You could do the same with chicken breast or even pork chops or medallions (any protein that will cook quickly).

This dish is also easy to do by poaching if you want to further save calories.

Poaching is a simple technique where you heat up about a quarter an inch of water and or stock or even wine and cook the meat in the liquid.

I will talk about poaching in more detail in another post.

After the fish is browned on one side, flip it over after a couple of minutes.  I added 1/4 cup white wine – you could use stock and the juice of one lemon along with a tbs of capers.

Plate the dish with the vegetables and black eyed peas on the bottom, the fish over it and some of the sauce with the capers.  Garnish with lemon slices and I cracked some pink peppercorns over the top for color and a subtle flavor.

I hope you try this dish and make it your own by switching over the vegetables, beans and the meat 🙂

Until I cook again!

An Ode to Asparagus

Today is the first day of spring and I have been trying to will spring into my life for days.  While I have no control over the weather, I can surely use spring vegetables to ease myself out of winter.

Asparagus is one of those vegetables.

It can be cooked in so many ways, tastes great and is so healthful.

The above is chicken medallions that I quickly sauteed and made an orange sauce.

It is quite simple really  – after the chicken is cooked through, add 1/2 cup of orange juice, a little stock if you have it or a splash of water.  Reduce the sauce and add a pat of butter if you like.

My favorite way to cook asparagus is with a little olive oil on high heat.  Season simply with salt and pepper, fresh herbs if you have them – thyme in this case.  The high heat will char them, giving them a deeper flavor.  Do not over cook the asparagus and a drizzle of lemon juice should do the trick.

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be the star of a dish or hold its own with many proteins – in this case the strong flavor of a seared salmon over pasta.

Here I made a one skillet meal of a New York strip steak, home fries and to add freshness – asparagus.

I hope you use asparagus every chance you get.  In salads, soups, omelets – roasted, sauteed or blanched. It is truly like spring on a plate.

Until I cook again!

Tandoori Spiced Turkey over Baby Zucchini and Asparagus 

I enjoy turkey very much and am sorry it only comes in favor around Thanksgiving.

I try to make it often year round.

I decided to make a Tandoori mix – I also like the one that Whole Foods sells
Tandoori Mix

2 tbs paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tbs cumin powder

2 tbs coriander powder

1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and clove powder

Stir well and sprinkle generously over the meat – in this case a turkey breast

I made a bed of potatoes and onions, sprinkled them with the tandoori mix too, salt and a tbs if olive oil.

Place the breast on the bed and roast in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of turkey is 160 degrees.

Remove from the pan and let it rest.

While the meat is resting, sauté the vegetables in olive oil and sliced garlic
In order to create a slight sauce and to remove the brown bits from the pan, I deglazed with 1/2 cup of wine and a squeeze of lemon.

Slice the turkey as thick or thin as you like.

Place the vegetables on the plate. Add the slices of turkey and drizzle the sauce.

Enjoy

Until

I cook again!

Shrimp scampi- a healthy, quick dish

I enjoy cooking very much and like dishes that are quick, delicious and healthy.

Shrimp scampi is one of those dishes that I make often and the payoff for the amount of time spent in the kitchen is so great.

Buy the largest shrimp you can find/afford

1lb shrimp

Remove the shell and the vein, I like to leave the tail on

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp or more red pepper flakes

4-5-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1-2 cups white wine

1 tbs cold butter (optional)

Chopped parsley / cilantro

Juice of 1 lemon


This dish goes quickly and so have everything prepped and ready to go

On low heat add the garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes – cook for a few minutes till you start to smell the aroma of the garlic and it is just slightly browned.

​add the shrimp and raise the heat to high.
Add some salt and sauté for about 2 minutes or till the shrimp just start to turn opaque.

Add the wine and lemon juice. Stir the ingredients and cook another couple minutes till the shrimp cook some more and the wine evaporates.

​Add a generous pat of cold butter and move the pan vigorously to emulsify the sauce.
If you are counting calories, feel free to skip the butter. It’ll still

Taste wonderful.

As soon as the shrimp are cooked through, ass chopped parsley or cilantro and you have dinner.

I served it with pasta last night. Add the cooked pasta to the scampi and mix well.

I have also made a meaL of this with a crusty baguette 🥖 or serve over rice if you like.

You can have dinner in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Until I cook again!

Being Mindful about eating Mindfully

Mindful Eating is not a new concept for me – which is not to say that I follow the concept religiously, but I sure know about it.

This is something new I read today – it makes so much sense.  But since it is such a new concept for me, I need time to digest and implement it.

This is what I read – the key words here: Eat food not stories – so damn deep, I’m tellin ya.

Eat food not stories

Eating foods that are emotionally comforting vs. eating foods that are nutritionally healthy

This is another tricky balance, and ideally we can find nourishing foods that are also satisfying and comforting. But think back to that first mindful raisin. Did that seem appealing before you tried it? There are many reasons that the raisin eating it is such a powerful exercise, but one is that when we slow down and eat healthy foods like raisins, we often enjoy them more than the story we tell ourselves about healthy foods. As we practice eating healthier and a greater variety foods, we are less inclined to binge on our comfort foods, and more inclined to enjoy healthy foods, ultimately finding many foods mentally and physically satisfying as opposed to just a few.

What this means to me is that we are all looking to relive good times, may they be from childhood, or other special moments.  It’s called nostalgia.  Proust wrote over a 1000 pages on it.

I am guilty of planning and creating meals around memories.  Fancy, labor intensive ones and just eating a bag of plain potato chips all by since I never got a chance to when I was little.

Well, apparently that is a problem and leads to overeating.

Like I said this is too new a concept for me to know how I shall incorporate it into my life, but it sure makes me think.

What about you?

Do you practice mindful eating?

Care to share ideas, techniques, problems?

Had you heard of eat food, not stories?

Would love love to hear.

Until I eat again