Ginger, Herb, Lime & Sweet Onion Rub

Ginger, Cilantro, Lime and Sweet Onion RubThis rub/marinade is full of light, crisp flavours and would work really well on fish, chicken or tofu. If using on fish, beware that the acid in the limes actually starts to “cook” the fish, so do not let the fish marinate over night, but rather for just a few hours. FYI, for those of you that hate cilantro (like I do), I find that when combined with other herbs, like here with mint, the cilantro flavour is not that strong. Alternatively, you can substitute with an equal amount of parsley. This recipe will make about 2 cups of rub/marinade.

Ingredients:

1 ounce fresh ginger, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup cilantro, chopped (about ¼ of a bunch)*
¼ cup mint, chopped (about ¼ of a bunch)*
4 limes, juiced and zested**
¼ sweet onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

* Click here to learn how to properly clean these herbs.
** Click here for tips on zesting.

Directions:

If you want to save time and not have to dice everything by hand, you can use a food processor, but just make sure to use the pulse control feature, as this is supposed to be chunky and not a puree.

Combine all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and mix to incorporate. If using as a rub, coat the fish/chicken/tofu (or other protein) about one hour before grilling, using only enough to coat the protein. If using as a marinade, on chicken or tofu, marinate for 4 hours or more, even up to overnight. If using on fish, marinate for 1-3 hours. This recipe should be enough for about 4 large pieces of protein.

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Give Bessie a Break!

Bessie the CowPoor Bessie! The life of a cow isn’t all that exciting, despite what those commercials for California cheese say (check them out on YouTube for a bit of a laugh). For August and September, we’re going to try and focus on going meatless once in awhile, and trying to eat more fish. If you take a look through my archives, you’ll see I actually did a Vegetarian Week (September 8-11) with some information on the “Meatless Monday” movement on September 11th (click here to see it).

Changing up your meal variety is important though, and taking a break from red meats is definitely a healthy choice. Try instead going for fish instead, with it’s lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. In a 3oz. serving of fish, you get 22 grams of protein from Tuna, Salmon, Halibut or Snapper.  Eggs will give you 6 grams of protein in one large sized egg.

On the vegetable/grain side of things, a 3oz. slice of Tofu will give you 6 grams of protein, while a cup of Edamame will give you a whopping 29 grams! A cup of Kidney or White Beans will give you 17 grams each. Nuts and Seeds will give you on average 9 grams per ounce for Pumpkin/Squash Seeds, and 6-7 grams per ounce for Peanuts, Almonds and Pistachios.

Today’s recipe calls for grilling some Salmon, a good heart-healthy choice, both in the the protein and cooking method. For those of you who have concerns regarding the mercury level in fish, studies have shown that the positive health benefits of eating this protein out-weigh the potential harmful ones. You should always eat smart though, in addition to healthy. Check with your local fish monger which fish is freshest, where it was sourced, and make sure that it is sustainable. It doesn’t do us any good to eat healthy now, if there is no healthy world for our children to grow up in.

AugustGo Meatless!
Try and go meatless one day a week for all three meals, or at least try doing one breakfast, lunch and dinner at some point through the week that is meat-free!

SeptemberEat More Fish!
Make seafood the centerpiece of two meals a week. There are so many wonderful choices out there! Get to know your local fish monger!

Tune back in tomorrow, to see how the healthy habits wrap up for the year!

Psarosoupa Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon Fish Soup)

Lemon-Egg Fish Soup

Ingredients:

10 cups water
3 lbs. firm fish, cut into big chunks
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
8 New potatoes or 2 regular, coarsely chopped
½ cup white rice or orzo
3 large eggs
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and Pepper
Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Carefully, add the fish, bay leaf, thyme, oregano and olive oil. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is tender. Remove the fish from the broth and set aside. Raise the heat slightly to medium-high, and add the vegetables to the stock. Simmer for 15-20, or until tender. Discard the bay leaf, and then remove about a third of the vegetables from the broth, and puree the vegetables, along with a little broth, in a blender or food processor. This pureeing step is optional, as you can just leave all of the vegetables whole. If you pureed the vegetables, add them back into the pot, and then bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice/pasta, and cook, partly covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and lemon juice until foamy and slowly add about 1 cup of the warm broth, a bit at a time, to heat the eggs. Pour the egg-lemon mixture into the pot, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens slightly and turns yellow. Return the fish pieces to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with lemon wedges. This soup will serve about 8 people and is great with crusty bread and butter.

It’s All Greek To Me

It's All Greek to MeWell, I thought I’d round off soup week with a trip to Greece. I figured with all the different regions and cultures I covered, I couldn’t leave the Greeks out! My family used to have a tradition, back before we became Orthodox, of spending New Year’s Eve having Greek food and going to see whatever new Disney movie had come out that year. We would go with another family who all had children the same ages as my family, and we would sit in the theatre, the kids separate from the adults, acting like we were there on our own. One of my favourite parts of the evening though would be the fish soup that I would always have. It’s tart lemon flavour always appealed to me, and I loved the big chunks of vegetables and firm fish. Times have changed, and we no longer have this New Year’s tradition, but my mother still makes this soup, usually during the summer or on Shavous, along with a big salad and lots of crusty bread. It really is a meal in itself and fills both my stomach and my memories. Opa!

New England Fish Chowder

Fish Chowder

This is a rendition of Leah Adler’s delicious fish chowder served at The Milky Way. The key is use lots and lots of white pepper.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups onions, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 cup corn, canned or frozen
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups potatoes, diced
Salt and white pepper, to taste
4 cups boiling water or vegetable stock
2 pounds fresh halibut, or other firm fish, cut into large chunks
4 cups whole milk
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Sauté onions and celery in butter until soft, but not brown. Add potatoes, corn, seasonings and water/broth, simmering until the potatoes are tender. Add the fish to the soup. Cook another 5 – 10 minutes. Do not stir (you’ll break up the fish). Add the milk and bring back up to temperature. Do not boil. If the consistency of the soup is too thin for your liking, you can add the cornstarch, to thicken it. First temper the starch in a small bowl with some of the hot liquid from the soup. Stir until the starch has dissolved and then add this to the main soup pot. This will thicken the broth. Serve this with some crusty buttered bread and it’s a meal in itself. Makes 8 to 12 servings.