Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Here's to a healthy 2013!

Sheesh, it's been a long time since I last posted here. Sorry about that.

 Anyway, my wife and I have decided to live and eat healthier this year than we have in the past. One of the ways we are doing this is by modifying the food we eat. Mostly, this has been accomplished by reducing portion sizes to more reasonable levels - I've been known to eat 16 to 24 ounce steaks, and we had 4 ounce sirloins Sunday night. We've also started eating a large mixed green salad before every meal - start to fill up with healthy stuff before chowing down on the stuff we should eat in moderation.

Most of the meals of the last three days have been like the Sunday night steak dinner - slight modifications to food we normally eat. I made my ranch dip for taco night with low fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, bought frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, had lentils as the "starch" for a Spanish-seasoned meal, had 12 grain light bread with breakfast, things like that.

Tonight was the first night I've tried something completely new and different. One of the local grocery stores has a health market section, and they have a bulk foods aisle - bins of nuts, dried fruit, grains, and things for sale by weight. They're having a 10% off sale right now, so we picked up some milled flax seed, whole flax seed, and organic quinoa. A quick stop in the frozen seafood section netted us a bag of swai fillets. (Swai is the culinary name for the mild-flavored flesh of a Southeast Asian catfish known as the "iridescent shark".)

After doing some online research into how to cook quinoa, I settled on a Mediterranean-inspired meal of broiled swai with quinoa pilaf and a side salad.

I started out by rinsing the quinoa, then putting it in a pot with some water (2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa). I brought it to a boil, then covered it, reduced the heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Quinoa trying desperately to come to a boil

Meanwhile, I diced some veggies - red and yellow bell pepper, onion, celery and carrot - to saute for the pilaf.
The chosen victims awaiting their fate.

I heated a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan, then added the veggies. I also added a good dose of minced garlic. I sauted them until they were soft but still had a little crunch, then added Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, dried oregano and dried parsley.
Such beautiful veggie cookery, don't you agree?

While that was going on, I toasted some slivered almonds in a dry cast iron skillet, rough cut some black olives, and got the broiler preheated. Once everything was ready, I turned the pilaf over to my wife and turned my attention to the fish. She mixed the veggies, olives, some of the olive brine, toasted almonds, and some additional seasoning into the quinoa.

Here's a shot of the finished pilaf - don't mind the Hercules plate, they're the only ones that weren't way too big.
Just had to make this one bigger - the detail is pretty awesome.

I had already cut the fish into four portions, so I drizzled them with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, then seasoned them with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried parsley. I cooked them under the broiler until they were nice and flaky, then served them on the plates with the pilaf, and a salad to start.

The salad - mixed lettuces, kale, dry roasted sunflower seeds, a pinch of mozzarella, milled flax seed, light raspberry vinaigrette, all in one of the kids' plastic bowls. Yum.

My daughter's plate.

 I have probably consumed fewer calories in the last three days than I would have in a single day two weeks ago, and I feel great. According to our home scale, I'm five pounds lighter than I was when I was weighed at the doctor's office December 28th. The meals are still satisfying, and still taste great. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up with the healthier lifestyle, and keep up with this blog. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful (and healthy!) 2013.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE quinoa. Want your Hercules plate. If you look closely on some of my posts you'll see my Batman one in the background. :)