Friday, May 10, 2013

Spice up your life

Most of this week has been kind of boring in the food department. I had plenty of good food on hand, but lacked time and motivation to do anything much with it. So my lunches alternated between grilled chicken with baked kumera and some steamed veggies or a frittata that I'd whipped up last Sunday.

Breakfast was my standard oats, whey and (home-made cashew) milk. Snacks were just as repetitive: apples, bananas and a home made protein bar - which was delicious, but by Thursday I was kind of over it. All of those things are foods that I love and meals I'm happy to eat, but not on high rotation. Aargh!

So today at lunch time, I finally got around to trying out the Heart Foundation recipe I mentioned a few days ago. (Yes, it was going to be Tuesday's dinner, but Bike Boy was away and I was late home and just could not be arsed.)

Oh, the flavours! Party in my mouth!
There are heaps of recipes over on the Heart Foundation's website, but the one that caught my eye was green curry risotto with salmon, because: CURRY. And SALMON. Two of my favourite things.

I'd grabbed some salmon fillets, a green chilli and a can of coconut flavoured evaporated milk at the supermarket this morning; we already had everything else on hand. Or SO I THOUGHT... until I started grabbing the ingredients and made the irritating discovery that we only had about two tablespoons of arborio rice left. Drat. I could have run around to the milk bar to see if they stocked it; they have a pretty good range of groceries. But I was hungry already and wanted to get started, so I did what I've done before: substituted basmati rice. I can hear the gourmet foodies among you gasping in horror - but hey, I've done it before and whilst it isn't the same texture, nor quite as creamy, it gives a good enough result. Just keep adding liquid and keep tasting for tenderness until it's right.

Anyway, I halved the recipe, as I only wanted  lunch for myself - one leftover portion is fine, but I didn't need three. It all worked beautifully. I quickly made the marinade, threw the fish in and stuck it back in the fridge while I set about making the risotto. I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, only because it was on sale at Coles. Either works just fine. I also took a shortcut with a bought curry paste - we often have home-made pastes in the fridge, but not today.

The risotto worked out well - it probably took about 40 minutes all up. It needed an extra cup or two of water after I'd used all the stock, which may be because I was using the wrong rice. I grabbed basil, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint from our garden and some coriander from the fridge (cannot grow that sucker!) for my chopped fresh herbs. I seared the salmon to give it a crispy, slightly blackened finish, but then turned the heat down to make sure it cooked through.

One addition I made to the recipe was to chop - and then steam till almost cooked - a bunch of asparagus and one of baby bok choy, then add them to the rice after I added the evaporated milk. Every meal needs veggies plus I thought the risotto looked a bit kind of beige and boring on its own. The bits of green really gave it some visual pizazz to match the flavour.

The taste was sublime. Extra lime squeezed over it is a must. Never mind the fact that this is jammed full of Omega-3s and quality protein, with nothing nasty added; it is truly a delicious meal you could proudly serve to anyone.

If you'd like the recipe, just pop over to the Heart Foundation's website (or to browse some of the other yummy ideas there).

Just what we all need: Killer flavour that's not going to contribute to an early demise. :)



Debbish said...

Yummmm.... I love the idea of that risotto. I'm most definitely going to try that and I guess, you could serve it with anything!

Kek said...

It would work with chicken, Deb. you could marinate the chicken in the sameix too.

Kek said...

*same mix. Aargh! iPad hates Blogger!

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