Monday, September 17, 2012

At Long Last - A New Post!

Whew! Ok, Good Lifers – I am BACK! Please accept my most sincere apologies for the hiatus. My excuses are futile.
In an effort to win you all over and get myself back into your good graces, today’s post is a new installment for the “What’s on Your RD’s Plate?” series.    For more on this topic, feel free to check out these similar posts from the past.
I’ve been cooking at home a lot more these days. Please try to conceal your gasps of astonishment but yes, it’s true – even dietitians eat out from time to time! J
Back to the topic at-hand – I have numerous reasons for the spike in home-cooked meals these days: 1) my little family (the Boyfriend + puppy) have moved into a new home with a nice, newly updated kitchen that I love using; 2) cooking at home is SO much more economical; and, 3) I’ve discovered in my recent dining out experiences that I can prepare the same entrée that's just as tasty (and probably healthier!), than the one I’m paying top dollars for in a restaurant. Sure, it takes a little planning but with practice, it gets easier. I promise!  

Today’s meal was inspired by a craving for Thai cuisine and inspired by the following recipes that I found online:
          Epicurious Thai Cabbage Salad
          CD Kitchen Asian Cabbage Salad

My recipe result = macadamia + almond-encrusted chicken breasts with Thai cabbage salad and wilted spinach over barley. Eater’s final consensus = delicious! J
Take a peek at the plate:

eating the rainbow

So for my preparation of the chicken, I followed the instructions according to the Clean Eating Magazine’s recipe except that I substituted macadamia nuts and almonds instead of peanuts. I also used fresh garlic and ginger, along with a bit of lime zest for a bolder taste. The rest was made according to the original recipe instructions.
For the cabbage salad, I used a combination of several recipes (one and two) to create a basic guideline of ingredients/instructions instead of something that’s completely set-in-stone.

Side tangent: This is how I normally prepare my meals. It works well for me because I usually maintain a set of basic cooking ingredients (healthy cooking oils, lemons/limes, a variety of vinegars and spices/herbs) that form the foundation of a great variety of recipes. From there, I search online for recipes that are similar to the ingredients that I have available. If one or two ingredients are missing, then so what?! I find comparable substitutes to replace them and most often end up with a dish worthy of blogging about. My primary message to you all here is to have fun experimenting with your food and your cooking methods. Find out what flavors work well together and use that knowledge by applying them to recipes that may contain fancy ingredients that you do not always have on-hand at home. Often times, there are substitutions that you can make that still produce a tasty final meal!

For my Thai-style cabbage salad, I shredded some purple cabbage, sliced some cucumbers, orange and red bell peppers with a few green onions and lots of cilantro. For a dressing, I mixed some olive oil with soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice vinegar), and a dash of sriracha*.      

*For anyone who loves spicy foods and haven’t gotten their hands on sriracha, GO GET SOME! It’s amazing and I put it on everything (seriously, everything)! J
Here are a few more pictures of the final recipe result. I’ll try to get better at taking more pictures of the entire cooking process soon. For now, I invite you to revel in all the beautiful colors flooding this plate.

I promise not to wait so long between posts next time!!

Happy eating,
Chloe RD & the GLC

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