A Big Salad for Supper Goes to Southeast Asia

Welcome! I’m currently working on my second book, so my blog posts come less frequently than I’d like. For more regular updates on Cooking and Eating the P.K. Way with daily food porn, links to recipes, and insights on current nutrition news, please like my page on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

Thai Salad

An inadvertent salad theme has emerged on my blog these past few weeks. Of course, it’s not unusual. I am a salad fiend, as my regular readers well know, and am always anxious to share the love. And when you eat salad as often as I, getting creative with global flavors keeps things interesting.

Sexy, even.

Peanut Dressing

Click on pic for the recipe for this amazing peanut dressing, perfect as a salad dressing or satay sauce.

There are a number of things needed for salad to take the starring role at your dinner table, however. Ingredients like beans, nuts, and so forth all help and are discussed in my “Spring into Salad!” post here. Today’s salad puts some of these ideas to work in a supper-sized version of a simple Thai salad that gets additional protein and yum from pan-seared tofu, avocado, and a hard-cooked egg. Red pepper and scallions add flavor and color and all lie atop a bed of glorious salad greens like spinach and kale. The traditional peanut dressing is key, and the recipe can be found here.

Not only is this salad super tasty, but it’s a real boon to your health in all of its plant-based goodness. It also has a lower impact on the environment than carnivorous choices. It’s perfect for Meatless Monday—or any day—so grab your dinner plate, fill it with greens, and pile on ingredients that make you happy. Don’t forget to toss on a few peanuts for garnish and crunch, too.

And by all means do not forgo the dressing. It’s what makes the salad so sensational (and will help you feel full). This zesty salad sauce has just enough body to hang on to the lettuces but isn’t at all gloppy. It’s spicy-sweet flavor can go as hot as you like, or not at all. Sure, this creamy vinaigrette adds calories, but this is dinner, after all, and the fat comes from heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids like those found in peanut butter and peanut oil. (For more on my love of peanut butter and its health impacts, click here).

Beautiful to look at, too, eh? Perhaps like a lovely bloom growing in the tropical climate of Thailand?

Thai Salad

Well, who knows. I don’t recall seeing any flower that looked like that in Koh Samui or Phuket, but, regardless, enjoy!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

 

Irish Soda Bread, the P.K. Way

Prefer Irish Brown Bread? Click here for my recipe.

I’ve learned a lot in my recent research on Irish soda bread thanks to the interwebs. For example, traditional Irish soda bread contains little more than flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. In contrast, the sweeter Irish American versions often include butter, eggs, sugar, raisins, and caraway seeds. And of course there are all kinds of unique variations that people create to suit their own palate, which is exactly what I did over the weekend.

Before you grab your mixing bowl, let me tell you what to expect from soda bread the P.K. Way. In essence, this recipe builds on my beloved Irish Brown Bread, found here. While I actually prefer brown bread to Irish soda bread, I do enjoy both and wanted to come up with my own version that combined some of the texture of my Irish brown bread with a bit of the lightness of raisin-studded soda bread. To do this, I substituted white whole wheat flour for a (relatively) finer texture than all coarse whole wheat and I also added raisins. The resulting bread retains its whole grain character and crumb and the raisins and sugar add a hint of sweetness. Do be clear, though, that it it is by no means a sweet bread. It has a hard, tasty crust—the heels are almost crunchy—and a moist, dense interior. It is fabulous when just baked but also keeps in the fridge for many days. It’s perfect with a cup of tea and also makes great toast with a mug of coffee. And in case it isn’t obvious, this bread is wonderful with a slather of rich Irish butter, which is creamier and sweeter than many American butters. I wouldn’t say the butter is necessary.

But I would say it’s awesome.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

* * * * *

Whole Wheat Irish Soda bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup regular whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Irish butter, cold, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix it in with your fingers quickly until the mixture resembles sand. Stir in the raisins. Make a well in the flour bowl and pour the buttermilk into the center and stir together with a fork until fully incorporated (but with as little mixing as possible). The dough will be somewhat sticky. Turn it out onto a board and knead approximately 5-8 times, until the dough comes together. (Don’t overknead or the bread will be tough.) Shape the dough into a mound, flatten slightly, and use a sharp knife to cut a cross in the center about one-half inch deep. (The cuts need to be deep to allow the center of the bread to bake properly.) Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, rotate the pan, then turn the oven down to 375 and bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes. The bread should be nicely browned and crusty and will sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

* * * * *

For more information on all things Irish soda bread, read this interview on Epicurious here.

While enjoying a slice of this warm-from-the-oven bread, that is.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease through diet and the relationships between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to hep people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. She is currently working on her second book.       

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

A Big Salad for Dinner is Officially a Thing: A Few Favorites to Inspire

Welcome to The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen! I’m currently working on my second book, so my blog posts come less frequently than I’d like. For more regular updates on Cooking and Eating the P.K. Way with daily food porn, links to recipes, and insights on current nutrition news, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for reading!

It feels like a long time since I’ve written a “big salad for supper” post. Yes, it’s a thing. I started talking about the concept in 2011 and then again in 2012 with my “Spring into Salad” post. I’ve recently seen it featured on hip restaurant menus and in many magazines. And Meatless Monday is the perfect time for a little salad inspiration to get you hooked on the idea. (Yes, that’s a thing, too. Learn more about it here.)

Some of my favorites include:

And there are many more on my recipes page to further tempt you.

But the fact is that most of the time, for every day eating my “big salads” include whatever vegetables, beans, and/or nuts I have on hand that make me happy that day, a combination of goodies from my local farmers market and store-bought staples. Pictured here is a bed of gorgeous mixed greens and baby spinach topped with red pepper, sprouted lentils, watermelon radish, cubed tofu, red onion, and avocado. Top with a simple drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, crush of black pepper, and pinch of salt and a healthy, satisfying supper is ready in 10 minutes.

So. Big salad for dinner. It’s time. Make it your own, and go for it!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease through diet and the relationships between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to hep people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.        

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Upscale Super Bowl Salsa Starring Roasted Tomatoes, Tomatillos, and Garlic

When it comes to the Super Bowl, everyone loves the game-day classics, usually including such things as chili, nachos, and pizza. I’m no different, so last year I jumped on the bandwagon with a round-up of a few of my personal favorites here. But no matter what you’re serving, I’ll go out on a limb and say chips are on the menu—which means you’re gonna need some salsa. Hey, you can even put out more than one kind to keep your buffet table as interesting as the game. Here are a few suggestions, from traditional to fruity:

(Yeah, okay, so guacamole’s not a salsa—but it otherwise fit the chips ‘n’ dip category so I tossed it in there for all you guac lovers out there.)

In today’s post, I add a new recipe to my repertoire by including roasted tomatoes and tomatillos together in one glorious dip. Unlike its summery counterpart, perfect when fresh produce is in season, this version employs roasting, a common method of cooking in the colder months that really allows the flavors to intensify. You’ll need to work a little bit harder to make this salsa then simply chopping fresh vegetables, but people always seem impressed when things are roasted—don’t they?—which is why I’ve called it “upscale.” Well, whatever. It’s quick to make, wonderful when served either warm or cold, and a perfect accompaniment to burritos, tacos, grilled fish, and other suppers

And, of course, chips.

* * * * *

Roasted Salsa with Tomatoes, Tomatillos, and Garlic

Heat oven to 450 degree F, then wash and prep the tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onions, and poblano pepper. (Use as many as you like, this really isn’t an exact thing, but for one frame of reference here I used 2 medium tomatoes, 7 tomatillos, 1 onion, 1 poblano pepper, and an entire head of garlic.) Peeled garlic cloves and tomatillos can stay whole; tomatoes can be cut in half if large or remain whole if small; onion and pepper get a rough, small chop. Toss all the vegetables in olive or other vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper, and place together on a pan. (More on how to roast tomatillos here.)

Roast about 10 minutes, then give everything a toss and cook another 7-10 mintues or so. (Time varies by size of the vegetables.) You’ll know the tomatoes and tomatillos are cooked when they are soft but still hold their shape: if a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily, they’re done; usually the tomatillos take longer, since they’re harder. For the onions, garlic, and peppers, you’re looking for a nice charring.

Chop or Blend. You now have two options. For a chunkier salsa that retains some of the distinct colors and flavors (pictured at the top), simply give everything a rough chop before adding remaining ingredients below. Or, for a more homogenous mixture, throw everything into a food processor and pulse until you obtain the texture and viscosity you desire.

The blended salsa, below, is also great, just a slightly different animal; it, too, was terrific with chips and made a toothsome topping for vegetable quesadillas when served warm. (Recipe for that dish is here.)

We’ve gotten ahead of ourselves, however.

Mix and stir. Whether you chop or blend your roasted vegetables, it won’t become salsa until you add the key ingredients, which are lime juice (fresh, from about 1-2 whole limes), chopped cilantro (to taste, a few tablespoons), and a bit of white balsamic vinegar (about a teaspoon or so, or less). What you’ll want to do is stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes to come together before tasting. This would also be the time to include more crushed garlic and finely minced hot pepper for bolder flavors, or perhaps some additional diced raw onion for bigger bite. Sometimes salsa will also benefit from a touch of honey or agave if your vegetables weren’t sweet enough; an extra drizzle of oil can also be nice. Readjust with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed to suit your palate. (If these instructions are still too vague for you, check out this video showing me salsa-making in action.)

This is a basic recipe, but don’t forget that the ultimate key to getting you into your kitchen is making things the way you like them: have fun, toss in some corn kernels, throw in some black or white beans—whatever! Plus, if you’re making your own salsa, you’ll not only impress your Super Bowl guests (or yourself), you’ll also enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating whole foods prepared with a lot less sugar and salt than if you’d bought it at the store. No packaging waste, either.

And that—to employ an obvious, not at all clever, really shouldn’t even say this yet still true turn of phrase—is definitely a touch down when it comes to your health, and the health of the planet.

Yeah, definitely shouldn’t have said that. Try this recipe anyway, won’t you?

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease through diet and the relationships between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to hep people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.        

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Chili: The Comfort of Home Cooking

Meatless chiliAfter traveling for many weeks throughout India, all I did was eat Indian food. (Obviously.) Now, while I love the spicy, flavorful dishes of the Asian subcontinent as much as anyone—adore it, really—any cuisine gets old after a month in my humble opinion. That’s probably why my own kitchen creations include dishes from all the world overMexican to Moroccan, to keep my taste buds tingling. A few American favorites make appearances every so often, too, like the classic chili con carne.

Or, in this case, chili sin carne, or without meat. Which I would have just stated outright but who’s ever heard of chili sin carne? It just sounds like a naughty phrase I made up. And I like that about it.

Anyhow, as it happens, chili was the very first dinner I made upon my return from abroad. Combining my needs to eat anything not Indian and relish in the comforts of home cooking amidst the return to frigid winter weather, it was the perfect dish that kept me warm and fed the whole week long when jet lag and fatigue stymied further culinary endeavors.

Since I’ve described how to make chili in the past (click here), today’s post is little more than a photo with a bit of cooking encouragement to get you off the couch and into that room with the stove. Chili really is the perfect opportunity to have fun in the kitchen and make it your own. Indeed, this batch is a bit different from the previous one, since my recipe varies by whimsy and season. Today’s version features traditional ingredients like red, green, and poblano peppers along with pinto and kidney beans in a cumin-scented tomato base. Things get more interesting, however, when you, er, lose the carne and add the sin. 

Now, now. Stop rolling your eyes—whether at the thought of leaving out the meat or at that horrid pun—and give it a shot. Most meat substitutes, like the soy protein crumbles I used here, really do take on the texture of ground meat and the flavors of however it’s cooked. So, it’s a perfect way to enjoy chili in a more-environmentally-conscious-and-less-cholesterol-and-saturated-fat kind of way while giving a bit more heft to each delectable bite. 

A scattering of sharp cheddar cheese, diced onions, and cilantro are welcomed optional toppings, completing this hearty supper that’s both soothing and satisfying. Take the meal over the top with a serving of moist and savory cornbread, if you like. (My favorite recipe is here.)

Vegetarian Chili

Despite the joys of discovering new dishes around the globe, it’s so good to be back in my own kitchen, a return to cooking and eating the P.K. Way that is as delicious as it is sustainable and nutritious.

As they say, there’s no place like home.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.        

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

The Nutrition Doctor is (Back) In the Kitchen

I’m a firm believer that one has the entire month of January to wish people a happy new year. Hence today’s post, where my words arrive in a brilliant tapestry of richly hued marigolds, a photo I took in India where I was traveling these past weeks. And I’ll bet that not many of my regular readers receive new year sentiments in Hindi, so what I lack in timeliness perhaps I gain in creativity. (Or something.)

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been, in case you were wondering, and I’m excited to share interesting food photos and sentiments from my eight city journey from Delhi to Bangalore. (An assortment of pictures is also on my Facebook page here, in case you’d like a little preview.Coming soon are posts featuring sumptuous dishes redolent of curry and ginger; colorful markets overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits—and cattle; and agricultural vistas brimming with bounty from both land and sea.

Also, Octopussy.

Yeah, I wasn’t making that up. (Extra credit for those who get the reference!)

Stay tuned, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and tasty 2014.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.        

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Where Are the Seeds? A Pomegranate Public Service Announcement (How-To Video)

With its covertly packaged ruby red seeds that yield a surprising crunch, a burst of sweet-tart juice dancing on your tongue, Punica granatum is a fruit unlike any other. It’s been cultivated since ancient times, a favorite in both Greece and Egypt, and is used in many different cuisines. It also has spiritual symbolism in numerous religions thus finds a special place on holiday tables around the world. Despite this unique prominence and impressive reputation, many haven’t the slightest clue how to approach a pomegranate. Like other plant foods less familar to American audiences, most eye it dubiously, perhaps remembering a previous unfortunate encounter, and opt instead for the pre-packaged seeds. In today’s blog post, I show you how to take charge of your pomegranate with two simple methods to easily extract the luscious seeds inside. In about nine minutes, you’ll learn how to successfully wrangle a pomegranate for your next meal. (Or party trick).

Not sure how to feature the gorgeous pomegranate seeds you worked so hard to extricate? I mainly use them in salads, like this spinach salad with pomegranate,  pepitas, and pomegranate vinaigrette or a kale salad with pomegranate, walnuts, and pears. I’ve been meaning to make vegetarian ash-e anar, a pomegranate seed flecked Persian soup made with the juice. I often just eat them out of a bowl, as in this video, for a snack or dessert. Last, but certainly not least, they make a great garnish in cocktails like a pomegranate champagne sparkler, The Diva,  or even a pomegranate margarita. (All of these cocktails use pomegranate liqueur and/or pomegranate juice.)

However you enjoy this beautiful red fruit, congratulations on mastering the pomegranate.

Thanks for watching!

* * * * *

This public service announcement was brought to you by Dr. P.K. Newby, whose sole mission is to encourage readers to live deliciously through plant-based diets that promote  health and protect the planet. She receives no remuneration from the pomegranate people but checks are welcomed.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Non-Dairy Eggnog, the P.K. Way

For the original recipe, click on the pic.

With the growing awareness of the environmental challenges associated with beef and dairy production, among other concerns, does nog need the dairy? That is the question I sought to answer this holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong: I believe in moderation when it comes to most things, and indulging in a cup (or four) of annual eggnog falls squarely into that category. If you enjoy traditional nog, do check out my original recipe here. It has better-for-you modifications to make it my own, of course—read: fewer calories and less saturated fat and cholesterol—but it does use milk.

But can eggnog really work without the “moo”?(I’ll leave the non-egg eggnog recipes to someone else to sort, at least for now.) After all, the vast majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, and there are a lot of tasty milk substitutes out there that provide taste and cow-free nutrition with a smaller carbon footprint than dairy. The minor alterations I make here, mainly substituting almond milk for skim milk, resulted in a tasty beverage that did indeed meet my eggnog craving. (See serving suggestions below).

Of course,  I’m used to this kind of thing, so it worked for me. The real test is: Did anyone else like it?

All I can tell you is that I served it a holiday party, and saw people going back for seconds—and some for thirds. So I’m guessing people couldn’t tell the difference between this non-dairy nog and the real thing, or liked this version just as much.

Then again, it could have been the rum.

* * * * *

Ingredients

  • 18 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ gallon soy milk, unsweetened
  • ½ gallon almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • Peel from 1 orange

In a large saucepan or pot, whisk up the eggs, then add the sugar. (If you use an electric beater, don’t overbeat and make it frothy.) Add the milk and cook slowly over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. More or less constantly, I’d say. I tend to multitask while waiting for this to cook but do be careful. There is a fine line between eggnog and custard, as I’ve learned. The latter is delicious, but not to imbibe. (More on this in the original eggnog post here.)  Add the spices, orange peel, vanilla, and honey, stirring to combine.

It usually takes around 20-30 minutes for the nog to reach a temperature of about 160-170 degrees F (70 C or so), which you want to do in order to cook the eggs.  When it reaches the correct temperature, remove from the heat and let sit for 2-3 hours. If the nog appears a bit lumpy—it’s just a bit of cooked egg—simply strain it through a colander. Perhaps because of the lack of dairy protein, or possibly because I used a different pot than usual, this recipe created very few egg solids, which was a bonus.

Taste, and adjust the seasoning, viscosity, or creaminess as you desire by adding a bit more of the above ingredients. This recipe will yield a nog thinner than most given the lack of cream, but I happen to like that. If you prefer a richer nog, simply add a bit of cream (if you do consume dairy) or nondairy creamer (but not the fake gross kind that’s pure sugar). Some people like to add whipped cream, although I personally don’t like to turn my nog into dessert. Whatever. Make it your own!

Note: Even though this recipe uses almond milk, I do not think it produced a dominant almond flavor. Perhaps just a hint, but I felt it worked with the other holiday flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. Delightful!

* * * * *

Eggnog all on its own, chilled, is lovely when garnished with freshly grated nutmeg, as pictured on the holiday table above. Of course, those who like it spiked can add their own spirits as desired, whether bourbon, scotch, rye, whiskey, rum, Grand Marnier, or brandy; a combination also works well. Because this recipe does have a subtle almond flavor, I added a shot of amaretto, creating a very nice seasonal cocktail. (This is why the drink photographer below takes on an amber hue. Also, bad lighting.)

And perhaps the best surprise of all? This recipe created beautiful foam, making a perfect eggnog latté.

Ah, eggnog. You really don’t need the dairy.

Enjoy, and happy holidays!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

 © 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Elegant Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Herbs

Even the most progressive and modern of cooks will admit to having a recipe for deviled (or “stuffed”) eggs up their sleeve. Just about everyone enjoys this lovely hors d’oeuvre, all the world over. They’re a perennial crowd-pleaser that will be consumed happily by both your forward-thinking foodie friends as well as those with a more traditional palate. 

To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the classic stuffed egg, which includes little more than egg yolks, mayonnaise, and perhaps some minced onion and celery. A sprinkle of paprika on top, and you’re good to go. This is the recipe my mom makes, and I always enjoy them.

That said, the holidays are a good time to take things up a notch, which is exactly what I’ve done today when my recipe borrows a few traditional ingredients from Scandinavian, Jewish, and Mediterranean cuisine with the addition of smoked salmon, horseradish, and dill as well as olive oil, mustard, and caper berries. The result? Still a stuffed egg, but including omega-3 rich salmon and monounsaturated-rich olive oil, both heart-healthy, makes it a bit more nutritious. And—as importantly—delicious. If you love both deviled eggs and smoked salmon, you will adore this recipe.

And you just might find they’re the first to go on your holiday table.

* * * * *

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 tablespoon scallions or yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon capers, minced
  • 1-2 ounces of diced smoked salmon
  • Freshly ground black pepper, several grinds
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Several shakes of Tabasco (optional)

Instructions

Peel the eggs, split them in half, and place the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Crush yolks into a fine mash using a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, olive oil, mustard, scallions, horseradish, vinegar if using, and herbs. (Vinegar adds balance to the creaminess, but you don’t really need it if using horseradish. Up to you! You could always make the recipe and adjust later if you like a little more bite.)  Fold in the smoked salmon and taste. Season with pepper, noting that you may need salt depending on how much salmon you included, which is naturally salty. A few shakes of Tabasco adds a backdrop of heat, if desired. Stuff each egg with some of the filling (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). I just use a regular cereal spoon for a rustic look, but you can use one of those cake decorator dealios to make it extra fancy if you’re into that kind of thing. You will have exactly enough filling for each egg half. Plate prettily, and scatter with dill for a simple garnish.

Cooking Notes and Variations

As in most things I share on my blog, this recipe is also to taste. In the quicker (read: fewer ingredients) version, I just add smoked salmon to my basic deviled egg recipe: no horseradish, dill, or capers in that one. (Add as much or as little fish as you like, using the full 2 ounces for a more pronounced salmon flavor.) I honestly like the simpler variant just as much; this one just has, well, more. More complexity, more flavors. You can use more or less olive oil and prepared mustard, too, as it suits your palate. I do recommended starting with the lower amount of mayo and adding more only if you really need it. Or you could try going with a bit more EVOO. Finally, you could make the recipe with all the ingredients listed without adding the salmon and then garnish each egg individually with a piece of smoked fish and small sprig of dill, which I do on occasion when the mood strikes. It’s sort of the best of both worlds: a traditional deviled egg with a smoked salmon and dill garnish for a touch of class. Do whatever you want and have fun!

* * * * *

And, by the way, it’s a dash or two of Tabasco, or cayenne pepper, that makes the egg “deviled,” in case you were wondering. Without this ingredient, they are actually just “stuffed” eggs in the true culinary sense of the dish. No one seems to know this, or care, so I like most just call them all “deviled” eggs except when I’m being pedantic like now.

Whatever you call them, they’re, er, devilishly good.

Groan.

I know, I’m better than that. But it’s Monday, and apparently my wit is still in bed, cowering under the covers this cold December morning.

Don’t let my terrible wordplay—used by any writer who’s ever written about eggs, and, let’s face it, isn’t even funny—dissuade you from trying this elegant recipe. And if you think eggs with the yolks can’t be part of a heart-healthy diet, as was touted in the 1980s, learn more about current research findings in a very well-written and informative article (and with many more bad egg puns) here, or hereThere’s no reason most people can’t enjoy deviled eggs every now and again as part of a moderate, balanced diet, especially if their overall eating pattern abounds with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and all that good stuff I write about here on the The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen.

And that’s eggscellent news indeed.

(Sigh.) 

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.  

© 2013 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Savory Swordfish in Tomato-Tamarind Sauce with Coconut Chutney

Today’s recipe is one of my “best dishes ever” according to my husband. Hardly a scientific study, this sample size of one. Though, for the record, he doesn’t say that for everything I make, in case you were wondering.

Anecdotes aside, this super savory supper simmers tender chunks of swordfish in a bold Indian-scented tomato sauce and tops it with coconut chutney for a dish that may not be the “best ever” (in my view) but did come out pretty darn good. My Facebook fans were also pretty enthusiastic about it from the food porn photo I posted and immediately requested the recipe.

The longest part of the preparation is making the tomato-tamarind sauce, which takes about 30 minutes as described in detail here. Once the sauce is just about done, cut the swordfish in chunks, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat in a sauce pan until seared on all sides, about 3 minutes. Next, add some of the sauce into the pan and simmer over medium-low until the fish is cooked through, another 5 minutes or so; you will have a lot of sauce left over for another use, happily. Shown in this picture is about half a pound of swordfish and 4 cups of sauce. (We like things saucy.) 

An optional garnish to take things up a notch is a dollop of coconut chutney. (It will take about 10 minutes to mix it up, and the recipe is here.) Alternatively, a simple scoop of plain yogurt would also work well, a common accoutrement to many Indian dishes. Finally, do read here if you’re interested in learning about the health benefits and environmental aspects about swordfish, always in consideration at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen.

And if you do give this recipe a shot, let me know if you find it my “best ever.”

I’d love to increase my sample size.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. Her blogging is currently taking backseat as she writes her second bookShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

© 2013 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.