"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

tea sandwiches . . .

tea-sandwich-2Even though I’m supposed to cut down on eating bread for glycemic reasons, not gluten ones, I’ve discovered that it’s almost impossible to do without bread. Or English muffins for that matter. Anyhow, I’m writing about tea sandwiches as a way to cut down on bread consumption but still enjoy bountiful and delicious ways to have something flavorful to accompany homemade soups for lunch and/or dinner.

Last night, I had some almost stale thin white slices of bread that I put together with some leftover cream cheese, prosciutto ham and half a cucumber. I cut off the crusts and slathered on the cream cheese, added the ham and thinly sliced cucumber and then piled them on top of each other. I used a trick I learned years ago about keeping tea sandwiches fresh, wrapping them in slightly moistened clean paper towel and storing them in the fridge for an hour before eating. When they’re unwrapped, the bread is less dry and the sandwiches are refreshed.

Taking this idea a little further – like the macro-bowl concept of only preparing what you’re actually going to eat, I’m going to experiment with some ideas while making a split pea ham/onion/carrot soup during this zero degree weather. With tea sandwiches, one consumes about half the quantity of a regular sandwich but still enjoy the taste.

  1. tea-sandwich-1Shrimp salad tea sandwiches – buy a few cooked shrimp at the fish counter, chop them up and add to finely chopped celery heart leaves, finely chopped red onion, Hellmann’s mayonnaise with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Spread on the bread with crusts off (I also like lite-oatmeal bread that has a moist crumb and is more tender than the thin-sliced white bread. tea-sandwich-3
  2. Smoked salmon tea sandwiches – spread cream cheese, lay out thin sliced smoked salmon, very thinly sliced tomato, red onion, capers?
  3. Branston pickle spread (from the UK); slices of good cheddar cheese
  4. Tuna salad with mayo, pickle relish mixed together well
  5. Egg salad with mayo, truffle salt, cracked pepper
  6. Thinly sliced smoked gouda cheese with avocado and tomato, red onion

So basically, this is a way to enjoy flavor in small bites that are quick to prepare. Hallelujah!


macro-bowl supper redux . . .

macro-bowl-2-tempuraOur first macro-bowl dinner was such a hit the other night that I thought I’d make another one today. I defrosted 6 extra-large shrimp from the freezer, shelled them and placed them back in the fridge ready to go when it’s time to make shrimp tempura tonight.

Found some fresh small Chinese cabbages in the pantry too – will cut up the leafy parts and saute with garlic and a little lemon juice.

If the avocado ripening in the kitchen window isn’t ready yet, I’ll briefly heat up a few fresh edamame beans and season with a little soy.

So tonight’s macro(biotic) bowl will contain:

fresh-cooked brown and sweet rice (in a little dashi and soy sauce)

sauteed Chinese cabbage leaves with garlic and lemon

warmed edamame beans

tempura shrimp in panko crumbs

Tempura shrimp: The shrimp takes a few steps to prepare: a) defrost, shell and devein the shrimp; b) dry them off; c) cut tiny slits in the curved end of the shrimp and devein as well (the shrimp will now lie flat on the cutting board; d) insert a bamboo skewer or toothpick in the shrimp to keep it straight while frying. Make some tempura batter (boxed or with a little flour and ice water); Dip the dry prepared shrimp into the tempura batter, shake off excess and roll immediately in plain, dry panko crumbs. Deep-fry in a small skillet or small saucepan to conserve how much oil is used for the 6 shrimp. Cook and turn until golden brown – drain on paper towels and remove toothpicks.

Serve with a some hoisin sauce mixed with a drop of soy, sesame oil and a little sweetener (I use stevia.) I just put a small dish of this on the table.

The process change for making macro bowl dinners is that once I’ve settled on what will go into the macro bowls, I scale down the amount of vegetable and protein sides to the size of the servings that will go on top of the brown rice melange. This reduces the amount of food prepared and cooked. And there’s no leftovers either! YAY!

Some other macro bowl side dishes that might be appealing are:

  1. teriyaki broiled chicken thigh pieces (yakitori)
  2. pan grilled salmon in teriyaki
  3. cucumber and wakame salad
  4. instead of rice, cooked cellophane noodles with ground pork & green onions, e.g., “ants crawling up a tree” – a yummy Chinese classic
  5. soba noodles in soy-ginger sauce
  6. teriyaki flank steak slices
  7. beets, sliced and dressed with a little vinegar/lemon juice
  8. broccoli florets

etc. etc. etc. . . .