Pete and I had a nice time at the Bear Mountain Gold Course and Resort near Victoria. Here’s a photo showing some of the golf course:
I started this post off with a photo of the koi pond because today’s recipe will be a bit “fishy”: an aromatic, lemony shrimp salad. I obtained the recipe from our host, Gail Bishop, who in turn pulled it from her copy of “Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2005.” And I promise this truly is a winner; it’s delicious. I would suggest making a big batch on the weekend for appetizers or a light brunch entree. For a weekday brown bag lunch, pair some of the leftovers with vegetable sushi purchased at your local supermarket deli. Or perhaps some nice French sourdough bread spread with butter.
Gail cooked her own shrimp, but you can purchase pre-cooked shrimp at the meat counter, or use frozen thawed cooked shrimp.
MARINATED SHRIMP (14 small servings)
2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium red onion, cut into rings
2 medium lemons, cut into very thin slices
1 cup pitted ripe olives
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespooons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1.In a 3-quart glass serving bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, lemons and olives. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over shrimp mixture and stir gently to coat.
2.Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving.
Those who have followed this blog over the past few weeks know that my husband Pete and I have been driving north through the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday, we took the Port Angeles ferry to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
We proceeded to my husband’s uncle’s home, which is located in the verdant hills above Sookie. It’s a home-and-garden phenomenon, with lovely flowers everywhere and a koi pond.
Uncle Steve and Aunt Gail furnished us with wonderful breakfasts and dinners. Below is a simple recipe from Gail that would be great for a side dish in a brown bag meal. Yes, I know….dill and strawberries? A strange combo. But trust me. It tastes great. Delicious with a ham or turkey sandwich.
Baby spinach (can be found bagged in the produce section of most mainstream supermarkets)
4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Four fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice*
Place first three ingredients in a plastic container. Place last two ingredients in a separate container. Pour onto salad at lunchtime.
*A bottled vinaigrette will work in place of the oil and lemon juice mixture.
I was in the mood for salad today, but too lazy to make it myself. So, off to Trader Joe’s.
When I worked full-time, I depended on TJ’s premade, single-serving salads to get me through the week. My favorite has always been the TJ Tomato and Mozzarella, made with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, pine nuts, and a lovely spring mix consisting of spinach, chard, arugula, and various types of lettuce.
TJ’s salads come in containers that fit into most standard-size lunch bags. The dressing is packed separately in a plastic envelope.
I added an envelope of Starkist tuna for protein, and half an avocado for….well, substance. It was delicious!
If you’re into counting calories and nutrients, here’s the label for this item:
As you can see, using the entire envelope of their balsamic dressing adds a lot of calories. I chose to use half and found that satisfactory. Another option is to use your favorite low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. There are several brands in most supermarkets.
This menu may look a little complex, but the two dishes can be quickly and easily assembled with pre-cooked, pre-packaged ingredients. The rice and enchiladas freeze and re-heat well in a microwave or Hot Logic thermal bag (see my “Gadgets” section for more on the Hot Logic). A great brown bag lunch!
1.Pour one package of enchilada sauce into a saucepan. Add chicken. Heat on “Low” until simmering. Turn off the burner.
2.Place a tortilla in a 9”x9” casserole dish. Put 1/4 cup of the chicken-sauce mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Add 1/4 cup grated cheese and top with a couple of slices of onion. Roll up the tortilla around the mixture, leaving ends open. Repeat until you have six completed enchiladas.
3.Pour the second package of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese and sliced onions on top. This dish can be microwaved on High for one to one and a half minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.
*Each La Tortilleria tortilla contains 50 calories, 8 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 11 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, each tortilla has only two grams of unsaturated fat and 200mg of sodium.
CILANTRO-LIME BROWN RICE (2 medium servings)
I first tried this dish at Cheesecake Factory and fell in love at first bite. Their version calls for white rice. In the recipe below, I use brown.
One plastic envelope Trader Joe’s Frozen Brown Rice
2 tablespoons cilantro stir-in paste (I found a tube in the produce department at my local Albertson’s)
Juice of one large lime
1.Heat up the rice according to instructions.
2.Stir in the cilantro paste and lime juice. Delicious with the enchiladas!
I’m a little late with my blog post this week, as I just got back from visiting my brother Jack in Memphis, TN. Memphis is a great town for some great eats: Spare ribs, fried chicken, catfish, collards….yum! But in order to keep balanced nutritionally, Jack makes himself a smoothie for breakfast every morning. Above, you see bananas, pears, berries, spinach, pineapple, an entire lime, and a little bit of fresh ginger. Jack blended this mish-mash for a minute or two into a lovely, thick veggie malt. By the way, no added sugar….just the fructose in the ingredients. It was delicious!
For my low-carb people, here is a nice side dish that pairs well with roasted chicken, turkey, meatloaf or cooked hamburger. It heats up well in the microwave or in the Hot Logic mini oven/lunchpail. (see https://myhotlogic.com for more info on this device.) And it is so colorful!
SQUASH-TOMATO SAUTE (2-3 servings)
Two tablespoons of pure olive oil
One large yellow crookneck squash, sliced crosswise
One medium sweet yellow onion, peeled and chopped
Two small on-the-vine tomatoes, chopped
Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
One small package of fresh dill, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and add squash and onion. Saute for four minutes, constantly stirring.
Add tomatoes and saute for one minute more.
Add enough water to cover. Mix in minced dill plus salt and pepper to taste.
Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add additional water if needed.