Noodle Bowl Night

Noodle Bowl Night requires a little story detour. In April, we traveled to Charleston, SC. I cannot express my love of this place enough. It was my 6th time there, and every time I fall more in love with the area and, especially, the food. It’s a mecca for those of us who are passionate about Southern gastronomy. And I’m not talking about fried chicken or mac and cheese, although those are wonderful Southern food staples. I’m talking about a literal resurrection of heirloom grains and vegetables, liberal usage of Southern farms that care about their meat products and raise their animals humanely (a requirement in my book), a new way overall of seeing Southern food. Plenty of Charleston-based restaurants are garnering national (and international) attention. A prominent example is Husk, a restaurant founded by Southern culinary “it boy” and fellow Virginian, Sean Brock. And by “it boy,” I’m not implying a passing fad here. At least, I hope his style of cooking isn’t just a trend. No, by “it boy,” I literally mean the man has “it.” He can take any number of ingredients and elevate them to otherworldly goodness. He can take something as ubiquitous as a cheeseburger and leave you speechless. I plan to write a separate post in the future about Husk and Brock, hopefully after another adventure before year’s end to Charleston.

It’s in Charleston that this story begins. On a whim, we tried out a place that is, to my knowledge, relatively new to the area: Two Boroughs Larder. Luckily, my husband is just as much of a food geek as I am, so prior to our spring trip he did some restaurant research and stumbled across this gem while reading a magazine. It was already on our “to try” list (because that’s how we travel), so try it we did.

And let me just say, this restaurant/larder mirrors my dream restaurant if I ever have the chance to go that route. The food is locally sourced (or at least it comes from the South). It’s innovative in that style that Southerners are coming to embrace: ingredients and preparation restored from bygone times when no part of the animal or vegetable was wasted (we tried fried pigs’ ears, which are fantastic, so don’t grimace at me unless you’ve had them yourself), ingredients that are incredibly salt-of-the-earth (we also had no-nonsense roasted Brussels sprouts), and ingredients that alone sing in their simplicity but become this beautiful, joyful, almost overwhelming chorus when assembled together (see: an egg sandwich that could be unassuming but bowled me over because of the freshness and quality of the ingredients; also, the bacon). See? I could practically write a dissertation about Charleston food finds.

ANYWAY, this story has turned into “Gilligan’s Island.” You guys thought you were just going on a tour, but it’s turned out to be much longer. To the point, finally: my husband ordered a noodle bowl the evening we were at Two Boroughs. It was our lucky night, as, I believe, the restaurant only offers noodle bowls on the menu on Tuesdays. And let me just say, he was smitten. I’ve never heard him rave about a food so much as he did this noodle bowl. Days later I was still hearing about the noodle bowl. I admit I tried it, and it was incredible, but I was too enthralled with my egg sandwich and the fact that, holy crap y’all,  Sean Brock was sitting within my line of sight. But that’s another story for another time. I was distracted, to say the least.

When we got home, my husband still mentioned the noodle bowl. So I decided, what the hey. I’ll try to recreate this thing. Or at least keep him quiet for a while, because dammit, I was already homesick for Charleston and didn’t need a reminder of what we were missing.

So I set about to recreate, or at least do a spinoff version, of this food of which I had only had one bite.

In a noodle bowl, I think the broth is the most important element (note: I am not an expert when it comes to noodle bowls, so, you know: take it all with a grain of salt). Now, my broth for this meal was already made and thawing out as I had leftovers from the last go-round. But, if you’ve made stock and/or broth before, you know it’s easy. There’s no reason, really, to buy the kind in the grocery store. Although you could and use it here. To the best of my ability and memory, I’ve included below a recipe for my version of a (somewhat) spicy pork broth. The most work you’ll do is strain the broth a few times through cheesecloth, which really isn’t that much work at all. I promise in the end it’s worth the effort, and it beats the hell out of the store-bought kind.

Now, the noodle part. Two Boroughs Larder, I believe, makes its noodles in-house. I did not. I chose the pre-made stir-fry noodles, but I’ve promised myself I will learn to make homemade noodles the next time around. (If you have a noodle recipe that’s tried and true, toss it my way!)

I had leftover Chinese barbecue pork (or char siu), so that was the meat for this bowl. The veggies included sauteed carrots, mushrooms, and red cabbage. I also made a super fast kimchi.

The beautiful thing about a noodle bowl is that you can mix and match what goes into it; the sky is the limit. I’ve kept in form with what my husband ordered that fateful evening, but you could use chicken, beef, duck, seafood, tofu…endless possibilities. If you need inspiration, check out the Two Boroughs Larder menu, which lists their usual noodle bowl add-ins.

If this all looks like a lot of different ingredients and bits and pieces, it really comes together quickly. You could even make the broth ahead of time and freeze/thaw as needed. The meat could be made ahead of time depending on the ingredients you use (for instance, I wouldn’t suggest getting a head start on seafood). If you have a wok, the veggies can be sauteed in no time. It’s really up to you how easy or complicated you want to make this. Hell, you could just make the broth and noodles and have a food that easily rivals the touted comfort and health benefits of homemade chicken noodle soup.

Homemade Spicy Pork Broth

Olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 lb. pork (You preferably want a cut with bones; the bones really add great depth and flavor to the broth. You could sub in chicken, beef, duck, etc.)
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed (no need to peel)
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Water
Salt

In a large soup pot, heat over medium high the soy sauce and enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil and soy sauce are heated, add the pork, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. Add enough water to cover the meat and veggies (usually about 10-12 cups). Bring to boil, then reduce the heat until the broth is simmering. Cover and let simmer for a good 5-6 hours (basically until the meat is literally falling off the bone).

Once the broth is ready, pour it through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl. This will be the first strain of the broth. Set aside the sieve and its contents  because the meat can serve double duty in the noodle bowl or for a separate meal entirely.

In another sieve (or the same one used before; just remove the meat and veggies to a separate dish) place a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the sieve. Pour the strained broth through the cheesecloth back into your large soup pot (save the cheesecloth and sieve for the third and final strain). This second strain will catch any of the fat that simmered off the meat and leftover bits and pieces that may have sifted through during the first strain. It’s important to do these strains as you want the broth to be as “pure” as possible.

Place the broth back on medium-high heat and add salt to taste; let simmer for another 30-45 minutes. Then, strain the broth one last time through the cheesecloth.

The broth can be used immediately or individually portioned and frozen for later use. If you’ve retained the meat from the cooking process, just remove the meat from the bones and save for your noodle bowl or another meal (this will require picking through some of the veggies, but that’s not too difficult). Remember, the point is to get as much mileage out of your food as possible because you’ve (hopefully) invested in a good cut of meat.

Quick Kimchi

1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. honey
1/4 c. water

Place the veggies in a Mason jar. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, honey, and water (you could also add 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes during this step). Pour over the veggies (make sure they are covered by the liquid; if not, just add more vinegar and water). Place the lid on the jar and give it a shake for good measure. Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sauteed Carrots, Mushrooms, Red Cabbage

Olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 c. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 c. red cabbage, sliced
1 tsp. salt
Soy sauce

In a large wok or saute pan, heat over medium high enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the veggies, and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with the salt and soy sauce, reduce heat to low, and cover. Let steam for about 20 minutes (or less if you like your carrots more al dente).

Stir-fry Noodles

This is going to be your last step in the noodle bowl “process” if you just buy the noodles pre-made. Follow instructions on the box. (Skip the stir-fry step as you want these softer.)

Noodle Bowl Assembly
-Broth
-Noodles
-Pork (or your chosen meat)
-Sauteed veggies
-Quick kimchi
-Sesame oil
-Soy sauce

Place desired amount of broth in individual bowls. Add the noodles, the pork (or desired meat/seafood), and sauteed veggies. On the side serve the kimchi. Once the noodle bowl is ready, drizzle in sesame oil (don’t skip this condiment as it really makes all the flavors pop at the end) and soy sauce. Grab your favorite chopsticks and slurp away!

Advertisements

Inspiration: Vietnamese-style Catfish

I’ll be honest, I’m playing major catch-up after a line of storms moved through and caused everyone to lose their minds around here. I’m pretty sure we’ve determined no one, including myself, could survive a zombie apocalypse. Or a normal apocalypse.

Anyway, so my last post when I mentioned a fondness for Asian-inspired meals? Yeah, still going strong with that theme. I ran across this recipe on one of my favorite foodie sites, Food52. Now, I did tweak the recipe a bit based solely on my laziness and general unwillingness to venture out and purchase listed ingredients. For example, I omitted the yogurt sauce entirely. But the end result was still pretty fantastic. It’s the perfect meal for those sweltering summer days: light, super flavorful, and easy to throw together.

I operate by planning out a week’s worth of meals, so I already had catfish in the fridge from my previous day’s outing to our local fishmongers. Everything else was sourced from the farmer’s market. Again, the goal here isn’t to harp on how great I think local foods are–it’s to get folks back in the kitchen for a bit using whole ingredients, even it it’s just for one or two meals out of the week. If it makes you feel better, I do cheat sometimes. The sesame seeds? Came from Kroger. The stir fry noodles? Boxed up and sold by the Thai Kitchen brand. However, because the ingredients are whole (literally two ingredients for the noodles: rice and water) and few in number, I justify cheating once in a while.

While this recipe yields plenty of food on its own, I added grilled peaches. And that is just the way it sounds: remove the peach skin and pit and grill over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Drizzle with a little honey when ready to serve.

Vietnamese-Inspired Catfish with Pickled Veggies (my take; feel free to go with the Food52 recipe instead)

3 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. soy sauce (I like a thinner marinade; if you want it thicker, use less soy sauce)

1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil (don’t omit this; it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s key to the overall flavor)

2 Tbsp. onion, minced (I ran out of scallions; minced onions worked just as well here)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (the original recipe calls for black, but I just used regular sesame seeds, untoasted, because I kinda forgot that step)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound catfish (you can always adjust the marinade amounts based on the amount of fish you have, which is the beautiful thing about marinades)

Whisk together all of the ingredients listed above (except, obviously, the fish). Place the catfish in a Ziploc bag, pour in the marinade, and place back in the fridge. Let sit up to 2 hours. In the meantime, make the quick-pickled vegetables (below).

Quick-pickled Veggies

Note: I used carrots, sliced red onions, and thinly sliced cucumbers for this. But you could easily use any veggies you have in the house (tomatoes, zucchini/squash, even corn). I would recommend using cucumbers with whatever you have available, though–they really add a great taste and texture to this dish. I didn’t include the amount of veggies I used, because when it comes to a pickled side like this, you can make as much or as little as you like (just make sure the pickling brine covers the veggies). I will say, the pickled veggies really made this for me, so the more the merrier in this case.

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey (again, if you want a sweeter pickled base, just add more honey)

5-6 dashes hot sauce

1 tsp. salt

Carrots, cut lengthwise into matchsticks

Red onion, sliced thin

Cucumber, sliced thin

Whisk together the vinegar, honey, hot sauce, and salt. Pour over the veggies (make sure it covers them) and let soak in the fridge for up to 2 hours. (I admit I did this during my lunch break, so the veggies sat in the brine for closer to 5 hours. However, the vegetables remained crisp, which is key to providing a textural balance to the soft, flaky catfish and noodles).

Stir-fry Noodles and Broiling the Catfish

When the veggies and catfish are done soaking/marinading, heat up the oven broiler (on high) and grab your box of stir-fry noodles. Really, just follow the instructions on the box at this point. While the noodles are soaking, pull out the catfish (just toss any extra marinade) and place on a foil-lined baking sheet brushed with a bit of olive oil. When the noodles are ready to hit the saute pan, pop the catfish in the oven and let broil for about 8-10 minutes (or until the fish flakes easily with a fork). In the meantime, stir-fry your noodles (I like to use a bit of sesame oil when doing this and add salt to taste at the end) and pull the pickling veggies out of the fridge, drain, and set aside. When the catfish is done, you’re ready to plate. Just pile on the noodles, place the catfish over the noodles, and top it all with a heaping serving of the pickled veggies.

LEFTOVERS

Had we not lost electricity and been forced to clean out the fridge, this would have been a good, cold leftover meal the next day. As it was, I had to say a bitter farewell, which was a shame because I was really looking forward to eating this again.

Thursday Salmon

So, I feel like I’ve hit the reset button here. I created a food blog a few years ago, and then life happened. And then life settled again. And then life started screaming out that it needed a creative outlet, and because my life screams out what it wants like a two-year-old in BOLD CAPS and flails around the room, slinging itself against the walls and generally having a breakdown of epic proportions, here I am again. So, what I want to say about this “new and improved” blog is all on the creatively titled, “Yep, this is me” section of the site. Yeah, see that clickable little link right up above this? Start there, come back here.

Back? Okay. Here’s a little story to explain why this first post is called, “Thursday Salmon.” I grew up making yearly trips to Florida for summer vacation. If that sounds fancy, I’ll burst your bubble, because we would bring supplies from home to clean our designated room in the hotel. Now, that’s not to say it was a dirty establishment. Actually, I don’t know what to say about it. I don’t know how else you could interpret “we had to clean our own room.” But it wasn’t rat-infested, it wasn’t a dump; it’s just the way it was. The hotel owner had a deal with us–cheap rooms, just had to clean them up a little. Besides, it’s not like we were ever in the room for very long. Those trips were packed with swimming and oodles of seafood. If we weren’t on the dock trying to catch fish with my grandfather and his buddies, we were in a seafood restaurant. (And then there was that one experiment gone horribly awry when my mom tried to steam conchs out of their shells. That required a total evacuation from the hotel room for several hours.)

During the holidays, after the craziness of wrapping paper and toys and way too many sausage balls, my grandfather and grandmother would host a fish fry for friends and family. Probably more than Christmas, I looked forward to this tradition. It meant shrimp cocktail, this crazy punch concoction my sister and I were in charge of making and forcing upon anyone who would make eye contact with us, and my grandfather’s fried oysters. Now, to be fair, my grandmother breaded those slimy little suckers, gagging and squinching up her nose the entire time (she’s not a seafood fan). But my grandfather made them special during the frying process. I’ve never had any as good as he could make them, and I wish to god I had bothered to pay attention to how he did it before his passing. What I do have, though, is the memory of the look on his face when he brought a huge tray of just-out-of-the-oil oysters from the garage (where they did all of the frying) to the house and his smile when we’d take one (or in my case, three or four) and do that weird, “Crap this is hot but I really want to eat it now so I’m totally burning the inside of my mouth for this” thing. No matter the pain, they were incredible. No one ever had to tell him that, though–he knew. And he loved it.

So, aside from my ever-lasting affinity for ketchup, seafood has always been one of the food loves of my life. But, there’s kind of no ocean nearby, and I’m not a skilled fisherwoman (but hey, I can hook trees with the best of them). Instead, our town is lucky enough to have two women who making a living off of fishing and bringing their haul to sell out of the back of a truck a few hours each week. Yeah, I know. Sounds totally disgusting and unsanitary. There’s no way I could say, “Hey, let’s go buy some fish out of a truck” without sounding totally skeezy. But it’s not skeezy. Every Thursday I swing by to get half a pound of salmon and whatever else looks good that week (sea bass, flounder, shrimp, mussels, oysters–it’s a great selection). My husband was not a big fan of salmon at the time, and he generally has meetings Thursday evenings. So, it became my designated day for salmon (or, rather, days because half a pound gets me two meals). I did this enough times that instead of calling me “half a pound of salmon,” the fish ladies, as I like to call them because that’s a super creative nickname, learned my actual name. Now I feel like I’m one of the “in” crowd. Before I’m even at the truck, it’s, “What will it be today, Mindy, aside from the salmon?” It’s a good feeling, to support a local business, to be a regular customer, to know I’m getting quality food. It’s one of the small pleasures in life: to get out of the office for a bit, to stand in line with locals who realize as I do that this is quality food and these are hardworking women, and to rekindle those memories of trips to Florida because damned if that fish truck doesn’t smell just like the ocean (although yeah, it would kind of have to, wouldn’t it?).

And that’s it–that’s why there’s Thursday Salmon. Nowadays, my husband will actually eat salmon if he’s around on a Thursday night. And so it was last night. Now to me, salmon is one of the easiest meals in the world to make (assuming you like seafood). I can bake it with just salt and pepper and be good to go. And, to be honest, that’s the way I make it most weeks for several reasons: 1) My husband is not a big fan of when I grill fish on the stove–as much as I can ignore the smell, he can’t. 2) There are some days when my training workouts are extensive, so I don’t have much time or patience when I get home to make an elaborate meal. At that point, I just need something I can toss in the oven while I stretch and decompress from the day.

Last night, because I had an off day from training and my husband was stuck in traffic in North Carolina, I had some extra time. Baking salmon was the easier, less messy way to go, but I wanted to dress it up with a glaze. Lately I’ve leaned towards Asian-inspired foods and tastes (well, probably what Americans think of as Asian cuisine to be more accurate), so I grabbed some balsamic vinegar, honey, hot sauce, and dried ginger (after which I kicked myself because I had just bought fresh ginger yesterday–sometimes my brain can’t catch up with my hunger).  I’m a big fan of sauteed greens, so I grabbed some kale and cabbage as a side. See, simple enough so far, right?

And this, you’ll learn, is my process. I pull inspiration from cookbooks, recipes floating around on Pinterest or the Twitterverse, food blogs, etc. There are times when I follow a cookbook precisely, but lately, I rely more on what I’m craving/taste than instructions.  That’s the thing about whole foods–you really can’t go wrong. Even in its totally natural state, it’s still amazing. So, to me, cooking is just a way to enhance what’s already there. It’s like the opposite of boob jobs.  Maybe. I don’t know. I shouldn’t do analogies.

Anyway: the meal (and don’t worry–I provide amounts and instructions below). I whisked together the balsamic vinegar, honey, hot sauce, and some salt/pepper over low heat to reduce and thicken up (the combo of honey/vinegar will produce a glaze that you can make as thick or as thin as you like; mine ended up on the thinner side because, um, I wasn’t paying attention; see, already making mistakes). I sprinkled the salmon with salt, pepper, and ginger; poured over the glaze when it was ready (or, in this case, probably not quite ready); scattered in some scallions I needed to use up before they wilted in the fridge; and popped it all in the oven. And the great thing about baking salmon on a lower heat? You can just let it go, and rarely will it dry out.

On to the greens. First, I sautéed garlic in a little olive oil (and hoo boy, how I could go on and on about fresh garlic, but I’ll refrain this one time….but it’s SO good, you guys). While sautéing the garlic on low (and really, keep an eye on it, because speaking from experience, even slightly browned garlic is disgusting and can ruin what was intended to be a great meal), I removed the ribs from the leafy kale (see image below; you can leave the ribs intact and chop the kale whole, but trust me, it’s better you don’t as that rib is really tough). Alternately, you can use spinach, chard, mustard greens–whatever you like. I just happened to have kale in the fridge, so I went with that.

Tough rib removed on left. Basically just cut out a V from the bottom.

We’re big fans of cabbage in our house, and I’ve found it goes naturally when sautéed with greens. Again, I had some that needed to be used up, so in went the cabbage. I like red pepper flakes in my greens–some do, some don’t. Omit to your liking.

Now, here’s where I show my Donna Reed side (yeah, I’m in my 30s and watched Donna Reed–I’m just all sorts of crazy like that with my Nick at Nite all up in here). When I make homemade chicken stock (“Good evening honey, would you like a cocktail to go with the roast I made while you were at work and I was here popping out babies and eating a box of Bugles?”; that was my Donna Reed impression via “Mad Men,” apparently), I like to fill up an ice cube tray with leftover stock. Then I have little, individual cubes I can toss into dishes like the greens.

If you have the canned stuff, go for it (maybe 2-3 Tbsp.). Hell, toss in water if you want. You just need some sort of liquid in the greens so they can essentially steam and not dry out when cooking. Depending on whether your stock is salted or not, season the greens and cabbage with salt and pepper to taste, stir occasionally for about 10 minutes over medium heat until the kale starts to wilt, then knock the heat back to low and let sauté for 30 to 40 minutes (again, stirring occasionally and keeping an eye on whether the greens are sticking; if they do, just add some more liquid). This is another great dish that can sit for a while without drying out (as long as you pay attention to the liquid levels).

In about 40 minutes, you have a healthy, low-fuss meal.

Um, not the best image quality.

Now, my final plates make me look like I eat like a bird, but I don’t. I have a healthy appetite, but I’m also training for a marathon, and I’ve perfected a nutrition guideline for myself for each day. What you don’t see is the huge bowl of oatmeal, the 3-4 fruits, lunch, veggies, peanut butter, and bagel I eat each day before dinner. I’m constantly eating, but by all means, add more to your plate. In fact, I added corn on the cob and leftover potatoes to my husband’s plate last night. These recipes are intended to be starting points and inspiration–go where you like with them.

Now, below are the recipes and a few suggestions for substitutions. Where feasible, I’ll also include a note about how to use leftovers. Enjoy!

Balsamic Glaze

Note: This was for one pound of salmon. If you want more, or less, just divide or multiply as needed.

2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. honey

3-4 dashes hot sauce (I use a habenero sauce because I’m a fan of heat, but that’s all totally subjective–it’s your call, or you could even omit)

Salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the point of boiling. As soon as bubbles start to form, immediately set the heat to low and stir occasionally. If you want a thinner glaze, this will take no time at all. If you want it a little thicker, let sit on low for 7-8 minutes or until the glaze coats the back of a spoon without sliding right back off into the pan. Remove from heat and pour over the salmon (below).

Ginger Salmon

Note: A grating or two of fresh ginger could be used in the balsamic glaze instead of the dry ginger used here. Or you could omit the ginger entirely–again, different strokes for different folks.

1 lb. salmon

1/4 tsp. dried ginger

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil and coat with a little bit of olive oil. Place the salmon in the dish; season liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the ginger. Once the balsamic glaze is ready, pour over the salmon. At this point, you could scatter in any veggies you want (I used whole scallions, trimmed of any wilted stems, but you could use regular onions, carrots, jalapenos, etc.). Bake for about 40 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve with sautéed greens (below).

Sautéed Kale with Cabbage

Note: Again, I used kale here, but you could easily sub in spinach, chard, mustard greens, etc., or a combination. Conversely, you could omit the cabbage entirely.

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Olive oil

4 c. chopped kale (ribs removed; this may look like a lot, but like all greens, it will wilt during the sauté process, so better to start with too much)

1-2 c. chopped cabbage (conversely, you could add more cabbage than kale; just depends on which ratio you like best, but remember: cabbage does not wilt down, so what you see is pretty much what you get in the final product)

Red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 c. stock (chicken, vegetable, beef–whatever you have) or water

Malt vinegar

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat; drizzle in about 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Once the oil has heated, add the minced garlic and stir for about a minute, making sure the garlic does not brown (if it does, seriously just start this step over; there’s no way to salvage burned garlic). Add the kale and cabbage and sprinkle in the red pepper flakes (if desired and depending on your preferred heat level). Stir, then add about 2-3 Tbsp. of your liquid (stock or water). Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes (or until the kale starts to wilt), then reduce heat to low. Cover and let steam for 30-40 minutes, making sure you uncover and stir occasionally to check the liquid level. If the greens/cabbage are starting to brown or become crispy, add in more liquid, 2-3 Tbsp. at a time. Once the greens are done, plate up and serve with malt vinegar.

LEFTOVERS

I’ve seen one of my grandmothers eat tablespoons of plain sour cream just to finish it off and not risk someone throwing away the last bites, so you could say I was raised to get the most mileage out of leftovers. Because there’s usually salmon leftover from this meal, and because I’m always iffy to reheat fish, I normally flake off the leftovers into a cold salad for lunch the next day and top with carrots, squash, grated raw beets, tomatoes–whatever veggies are in the crisper.  Today’s lunch was no different.

Here’s a breakdown of what went into the salad:

Salad mix

Leftover salmon (3-4 oz.)

2 carrots, chopped

Diced roasted red peppers (about 2 Tbsp.)

Squash (a slice or two, julienned)

Corn (cut from last night’s cob I made specifically for today’s lunch)

Grated raw beet (pretty much the only way I can consume beets)

Homemade vinaigrette (for quick salad lunches, I just drizzle on a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but any homemade dressing does just as well here)

Salt and pepper to taste

And voila–you have a fancy, healthy salad. Add a slice of whole wheat bread if you want, and you’re good to go.