Sunday, April 15, 2012

No-recipe home cooking in photos

Breakfast salad: Organic spring mix with beefsteak tomato, za'atar thyme mixture, and reduced fat cheese; cabbage kimchi, olives and canned-fish salad (yellowfin tuna, pink salmon and sardines).

Small mustard greens with a bottle of Mexican green salsa.

Mustard greens plated with half of a mahi-mahi fillet cooked in spicy green salsa or salsa verde and a sweet potato made in 6 minutes in a microwave (speed-cook setting).

An egg-white omelet with reduced-fat cheese, white anchovies and coarsely ground Aleppo pepper plated with leftover sugar pea shoots.

Fresh greens

I cook greens, fresh broccoli and French green beans the same way, and they are ready in under 5 minutes.

First, cut and wash your greens, then blanch in a covered pot with boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Using the cover, drain the pot and put it back on the stove with no flame under it.

You can drizzle the greens with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle on a little salt and add seasonings such as powdered garlic and black pepper.

Or, you can add a little soy sauce and sesame oil, and no-salt organic seasoning. You're done.

Fish in green sauce

Pour half of a bottle of spicy Mexican salsa verde into a large, non-stick pot and warm it up. Add any kind of wild-caught fish fillets, including frozen mahi-mahi or Alaskan salmon.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the fish and squeeze the juice of one or two limes into the pot. Cover and cook for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on whether the fish is fresh of frozen.

You also can cook a whole fish this way. Slash each side in three places with a sharp knife to help you judge when the fish is done.

You can serve fish in green sauce with a sweet potato, organic brown rice with lentils, made in an electric rice cooker; or whole-wheat pasta with bottled sauce.

I reserve the green sauce for use with omelets or eggs fried sunny side up.

Canned fish salad

Empty canned fish and oil or water into a plastic container, add chopped celery or sweet pepper and then flavor with Dijon mustard, fresh lime or lemon juice and powdered cumin to taste.

Cover and refrigerate.


H Mart or other Asian supermarkets are great sources for a wide variety of fresh greens, including spinach, collard, mustard, bok choy and Chinese broccoli.

Costco Wholesale usually has fresh wild-caught haddock, flounder and Pacific cod, but when it doesn't, I buy frozen mahi-mahi or salmon in the freezer section.

Costco also sells Kirkland Signature Organic No Salt Seasoning, a blend of 21 spices and other ingredients.

ShopRite and Hackensack Market carry Mexican green salsa from Goya and La Costena. A 16-ounce bottle is enough to prepare as much as 2 pounds of fish.

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