How are ya? Is the day treating you well so far? Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday’s post about healthy snacks for kids. Some of you had some great ideas! I’ll probably look back on them when I eventually have my own one day, but until then, I’m content with having this kind of baby:
…which will be transported in this kind of stroller:
Oh I joke I joke… kinda. Annnyways, over to my usual Wednesday programming! Here’s what’s going down in terms of new things for Try Something New Tuesday 111:
1. Recipe of the Week: Now that summer is pretty much in full swing, I’ve been buying fruit of all kinds like it’s going out of style. Sure, the folk at the grocery store are probably thinking “Oh look, here comes that girl that cleans us out of blackberries and watermelons. Better put an order in for some more!” But if they knew what I was actually doing with those blackberries (which is making this Blackberry and Balsamic Smothered Chicken) they’d understand.
This glaze is super easy to make and can be done in less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is mash some fresh blackberries with the back of a spoon and reduce them in a saucepan over medium heat with some balsamic vinegar. I also added some fresh rosemary and let the mixture thicken until it was nice and syrupy. A little balsamic reduction, if you will. Over chicken with a side of bright green beans and thinly sliced red onion, it makes a perfect light summer meal.
Oh, and here’s a little tip: If you happen to have some extra glaze, stir it into some plain Greek yogurt for dessert. Balsamic vinegar might not seem like a dessert condiment, but I promise this will convince you otherwise. You can thank me later.
2. Mixed Sea Vegetables. Or, to be more precise, a mix of 9 different sea vegetables. This product comes from my favourite kelp noodle brand, Sea Tangle. They say…
Our Mixed Sea Vegetables package contains a combination of nine different sea vegetables. Some are commonly known such as kelp (kombu), wakame, and hiziki while others are not widely available, such as seaweed stems and montagne. Sea vegetables are a tasty and great source of fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine.
You may remember back from my post all about sea veggies and thyroid function that I’m quite a fan of wakame, arame and nori. I also adore Sea Tangle’s kelp noodles, so these seemed like a good idea to me. Low in calories and practically fat-free, an entire bag of these mixed seaweeds provides just under 50% of your recommended daily intake of calcium, and 23.6% of your daily iron.
On the back of the bag, there was a basic recipe for a seaweed salad which I loosely followed for this trial. To prepare the seaweed, it said to rinse the pieces very very thoroughly. They come coated in salt in order to keep them fresh, but this can all be washed off by soaking the bits in water and letting them drain. After patting them dry, they looked like this:
The recipe called for kelp noodles, but I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted some tofu shirataki noodles instead. The dressing was a simple mixture of the following:
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 packet stevia
Once I prepped the dressing and gave the shirataki noodles a good rinse, I added everything to the bowl of seaweed and mixed it together.
A while ago I tried to make a seaweed salad similar to the kind from one of our local sushi restaurants, but it really didn’t compare. This one, however, was much more like it. Texture-wise, it was spot on. Although mine was missing the creamy sweet Japanese sauce that the restaurant version has (which I expect contains a lot of sugar), I really liked the more savoury one that I mixed up.
The bag of seaweed was a little expensive to be eating this salad every day (I think it was about $5 for the bag) but when mixed with a bag of tofu shirataki noodles, it made 2 cups worth, or enough for about 2 appetizer-sized servings. If I’d had a bit more time, I would have made a few Angela rolls to follow as a main course!
3. Cookin’ Greens. A little while back, I was contacted by a representative for Cookin’ Greens (from The Toby Brand), who offered to let me try one of their products for free. I doubt the average person would get excited about an offer to try frozen spinach, but as you probably guessed, I was all over it!! I was even more on board when I read a bit about where the freshness of the products. According to the company’s website,
Cookin’ Greens are dark-leafy greens that are farm picked and within six hours, are double-washed, double blanched, chopped and quick-frozen for your convenience, locking in all of their flavour and nutritional benefits. The result is vibrant and textured thanks to the innovative IQF (individually quick frozen) process, improving upon the traditional, “frozen block” format of the past in favour of shredded, confetti-like glorious greens.
Cookin’ Greens has several different products, but as the name suggests, all of them fall under the category of frozen greens. There’s chopped kale, chopped rapini, chopped spinach, the Designer’s Mix (collards, rapini, spinach, yellow beans, and diced sweet white onion), and the Athlete’s Mix (collards, spinach, kale, sweet red pepper, and white beans). I thought the Designer’s Mix sounded lovely, so that’s the one I picked.
In terms of nutritionals, just 1 cup of Designer’s Mix contains 60% of your recommended daily vitamin A, 30% RDI vitamin C, and 10% of your recommended daily iron and calcium. Woot woot!
So, how did I eat these greens of glory? Rather than throwing them into a green smoothie (which is usually what happens to most of my dark leafy veg), I decided to add them to my omelette at dinner. There were already onions in the mix, so I added the following veggies:
- finely diced zucchini
- about 1/3 diced red bell pepper
- diced tomato
- fresh basil and parsley
The package said to defrost a serving of the greens in either the microwave or by boiling them in a pot, but I wanted to maintain maximum nutrition so I steamed them instead. While they dried, I sauteed the rest of the veggies lightly in a frying pan for about 3 minutes, then added a mix of 2 egg whites, 1 egg, and a little unsweetened almond milk. When the bottom began to harden, I added the greens on top.
After saying my usual brief prayer to the omelette flipping gods, I grabbed my flipper and hoped for the best. This was the result:
This was by no means my finest flip – it was touch and go there for a while and I was even contemplating starting over completely because I figured this omelette was destined to become a scramble. However, all was not lost and I managed to keep it together for the most part. Here’s what I thought of the greens:
- It was a bit of an extra effort to steam them. I could have boiled them in water or broth as the package suggested, but it’s believed that veggies lose nutrients this way because they leach out into the cooking water. Since so much effort goes into getting them from the farm to the bags so quickly, it’d be a shame to lose the goodness to boiling water!
- Although I was able to try the product for free, the store where I purchased it sold the 500g bags for $6.99. At the rate I go through greens, this would definitely not be good for my wallet!
- I appreciated the fact that the vegetables are frozen very soon after they leave the farm (6 hours or less!) which perhaps might help to justify the price tag.
- For anyone who loathes washing and chopping vegetables, this could be a convenient option.
- I loved the flavour that they added to my omelette. Normally I just use fresh spinach as my green of choice in this type of dish, but the Designer Mix added a different yet very pleasant twist!
Annnd that’s all I have for you today! Now it’s your turn to tell me…
- What’s your favourite dark leafy green and how do you like to prepare it?
- Did you try anything new this Tuesday?