Well, here we are at the end of October. It's Halloween....not my favourite day of the year, by far! To me, it represents dogs going crazy while kids mill around outside, knocking on the door for candy. I think tonight, I'll go out and just avoid it all. Seems easiest for everyone!
I've spent the last two weeks travelling, first to Washington, D.C. for a charity gala, and then to Windsor, ON for a skating competition. The gala trip was a whirlwind of restaurants & hotels, but we managed to avoid fast food altogether. We ate sit down meals, where I managed to find mostly healthy foods. When I got home from that one, I had a few days of respite. I made myself a batch of this lentil & sorrel soup to try and get my body back on track. It was different but oddly addictive, and I was happy to be able to use up more of my rampantly growing sorrel plant. :)
Before heading off to the second adventure in the arena, I loaded up a cooler with food: minestrone soup from the freezer, some little containers of homemade berry compote topped with vanilla fat-free greek yogurt, my homemade granola full of nuts, seeds & dried fruit, pumpernickel bread, bananas, apples, oatmeal cookies, soy milk, and chai tea bags. Every morning, I would load up my pockets with thermoses of tea latte & soup, plus healthy snacks. Each evening, we would go to a restaurant for a sit down meal. I think I did pretty well. I only resorted to arena snack bar food once, when we didn't have enough time for a restaurant break. I had a slice of deluxe pizza, but at least it was freshly made in pizza ovens right there in the rink! So all in all, I think I did OK for my October Unprocessed challenge.
Yesterday, I finally opened up my brown paper bag of sage, to see how it had dried. I was amazed at how perfect it was, for having hung for so long from the handle on my kitchen cupboard. Then I decided to make use of it in one of Jamie's new 15 Minute Meals recipes. I've been streaming this show from the UK using TunnelBear....what a great application! And a friend of mine brought me back a couple of laminated recipe cards from the Daily Mail in the UK, so I went with one of those recipes. Thanks, Bev!
302. Flashy Fish Stew (Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 154)
I went and bought some fresh mussels for this dish. They cost me $1.28. I really need to eat these more often! I also used some frozen, raw shrimp and cod (defrosted of course). I am sure it would have been nicer with a better variety of fish, but you work with what you have sometimes. In place of fresh basil, I used my dried sage leaves.
I was attracted to this recipe because it uses fennel, my favourite veggie. You can use a food processor to finely slice it, or a knife. To this you add a few green onions, some fresh red chile, minced garlic and a couple of anchovies. Saute in a hot pan, then add wine (if you have it), passata (I used a pureed can of tomatoes), and water. Simmer for a few minutes, add your herbs and season, then layer your fish & seafood over the top. Cover with a lid, and let cook for about 4 more minutes.
In the meantime, mix up plain yogurt, saffron, garlic, lemon juice & salt in a pestle & mortar to make your sauce. Get a loaf of ciabatta, criss cross it across the top with a knife, and sprinkle it with minced garlic, olive oil & fresh thyme. Pop this in an oven to toast.
I'm not sure why my sauce didn't turn the same bright yellow that Jamie's did, because I used a good pinch of saffron. But it had kick! The tastiest part, though, was the tomato sauce, with the garlic bread to dip! Seriously good. And I didn't time myself but I don't think it took more than 15 minutes. It was a really quick meal!
This post has been linked to the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty!