mulberryshoots

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

Tag: yellow squash

“macro” bowl for dinner. . .

macro bowl of brown rice, avocado, yellow squash and salmon poke

macro bowl of brown rice, avocado, yellow squash and salmon poke

Now that the holidays are over with all that rich food (I’m guilty!) I’m feeling like simplifying our food intake and making them appetizing at the same time. I studied macrobiotic cooking a long time ago when I had a viral condition for which Western medicine wasn’t helpful (they said you can’t treat viruses.) However, in Chinese traditional medicine, there’s a concept that parasites (viruses and bacteria) grow and thrive in “damp” conditions in the body. And so, if your diet is prepared to “dry out” the damp, then, there’s no place for them to hide. At least, that’s what I like about Eastern approaches to health and the body. That’s not to say that when I fractured my ankle a few years ago, that the orthopedic care I received in the Emergency Room was of the highest degree possible – the two orthopedic residents were so professional!)

Anyhow, I digress. The real reason for this post is that I’ve come across a way to prepare meals that might simplify the preparation time, but also offer us a nice way to eat healthy prepared meals without feeling deprived in any way. In fact, I think the presentation of macrobiotic foods (grains, vegetables and a little fish) in one-bowl will be fun. It also serves to customize the amount of food prepared so that there’s less chance for leftovers left in the fridge.

So tonight’s menu includes making salmon poke (pronounced “po-keh”) a Hawaiian version of sliced raw fish with soy sauce, a little wasabi and sesame seeds. The one-bowl presentation will include warm brown rice, cooked yellow squash with onions, sliced avocado and the salmon poke. The fish needs to be “sashimi-grade” for which I rely on my fishmonger’s advice. She cut a center piece and skinned it for me.

One unexpected benefit of the freshly cooked warm brown rice is that it gently heats the raw salmon without cooking it, making it even more tender and tasty.

pasta plus . . .

pasta plus closeupTonight, I prepared a new dish for supper which I thought would be easy to make. I had bought some summer yellow squash and some gorgeous tomatoes plus fresh egg pasta at Idylwylde Farm that I thought might be nice to make a meal together.

It took a lot longer than I had thought to prepare:

a. peel and cut the squash lengthwise, then diagonally in bite size pieces
b. rinse rectangular grill pan and heat on a rack about six inches from the broiler
c. mix with my hands the chopped squash with three cloves chopped garlic, grapeseed oil, a little Lawry’s garlic salt, sea salt and coarse pepper
d. spray heated grill pan with vegetable oil; spread squash out on the grill pan and broil until golden brown (about 15 minutes)
e. cut up a large fresh tomato in small wedges
f. after removing the squash, spray again and spread out the cut tomato pieces; sprinkle tomatoes lightly with a little sugar to caramelize and brown under the broiler (about 10 minutes.)
g. In a nice serving bowl, spoon the squash on the bottom and add the broiled tomatoes on top. Cut up some fresh basil leaves and scatter on top.

ALFREDO PASTA:
a. Boil salted water and add fresh pasta after pulling it apart before dropping it into the pot; cook for about 3-4 minutes tasting at intervals until it is soft enough and also slightly al dente
b. In a separate saucepan, melt three quarters of a stick of unsalted butter; saute 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic; when golden, add a small container of cream and heat gently. Add fresh or freeze-dried parsley
c. Vitamix a chunk of parmesan reggiano cheese; add a half cup of the grated cheese to the cream, stir gently to mix and take off the burner.
d. Drain cooked pasta well, do not rinse in cold water, just shake it a few times in a colander to extract the water. Run a knife through the cooked pasta to make the strands more manageable. In a clean large bowl, pour the parmesan cream mixture. Add the hot drained pasta and mix well with the parmesan alfredo cream.

On dinner plates, serve some of the alfredo pasta in a circle; add grilled vegetables on top, sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves on top.

The dish was surprisingly tender and full of flavor. It made a big difference to dry roast the vegetables rather than cooking them in a skillet.

I have to warn you that I got a little cranky with all the broiling (once for the squash, another for the tomato); making the alfredo sauce while testing the pasta for doneness. While I was cooking in the warm kitchen, it reminded me how much simpler my cooking has become (at least most of the time!)

But it was a nice change of pace and I have to tell you, it tasted really good! Yum!
pasta 3