Are you having a good week? Mine’s been pretty standard so far but workouts in particular have been great! I’ve been incorporating swimming once a week into my routine, a little bit of rowing as cross training, and tomorrow after work I’ll be heading to the driving range to see if my golf clubs still work. 😉 As far as running goes, mileage will be pretty light for the rest of the week because I’ve got the Waterloo 10K Classic on Sunday. It’ll be challenging to PR this time around because my last one, the Yonge St 10K was a super fast, net downhill course and this week’s isn’t quite as forgiving!
Anyways, over to some food chat…
1. Recipe of the Week. Some of my favourite recipes are ones that I initially have no intention of making for the blog. I’ll mosey into my kitchen, grab a few things (usually veggies) out of the fridge, decide what protein source I want to pair with it, and add a bit of this and that until I’m satisfied (or too hungry to play with the ingredients any longer).
This Asparagus and Poached Egg on Arugula was lunch on Sunday, and it was also a wildly successful attempt at poaching eggs. I typically like to fry, hard boil, or scramble them, or make omelettes (and let’s face it – half of those turn in to scrambles, right?) For some reason, this time I felt compelled to test out my poaching skills.
I found 2 fabulous Huffington Post articles about how to poach like a pro (a how to and some additional tips that made me laugh), and miraculously managed to poach a beautiful cage-free egg on the first try without any stringy egg white bits holding on. One of the tips I was surprised to learn about was the ‘create a whirlpool’ trick. Before pouring the egg into the pot, try swirling the water round in a circle with a spoon. This helps to ensure the yolks and whites spin together and stay in tact once added to the water. Cool hey?
I’ve dressed the arugula here in a really light homemade dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and white balsamic vinegar, but feel free to use your favourite. The herbs in the salad mixture will definitely provide a lot of flavour on their own, so pick a dressing fairly mild in taste to let the herbs shine through.
2. Gai Lan. Gai what, you ask? Also known as kai lan, Chinese broccoli, and Chinese kale, this is a leafy green. Yes, I’ve discovered another one!
I found these sitting next to the baby bok choy in the produce section of my local Sobeys and figured they’d be a great green to add into my stir fry dinners. Or any time of day stir fry, for that matter. I’ll never turn one down and there are weeks when that’s all I eat for dinner. It never gets old.
A few fun facts about gai lan according to Encyclopedia Google…
- It’s a leafy vegetable with thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves, thick stems, and a few tiny white flowers
- It belongs to the same family as broccoli, Brassica oleracea
- The stems and leaves have a slightly more bitter flavour than broccoli, but the flower buds are sweet
- It’s fat free, cholesterol free, a great source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of iron and calcium
Apparently gai lan is used in lots of Vietnamese and Cantonese dishes, and is enjoyed raw in salads, boiled in soups, stir fried, and steamed. You probably don’t have to guess what Miss Stir-fry-a-holic did over here. 😉
Into the wok went:
- miced garlic
- a whisked mixture of tamari, miso, and rice vinegar
- gai lan
- shiitake mushrooms
- sliced green onion
- a few pinches of chili flakes
…. and it looked like this:
It might not look like there’s a lot of gai lan in there, but it made up about 1/3 of the bowl (mostly lining the bottom). I used it like I would normally use bok choy, and unfortunately this was a mistake. Gai lan is bitter – like, really bitter, and I ended up having to fish most of it out of the bowl in order to enjoy the rest of the stir fry (which was delicious, by the way!) If you plan to try this too, I’d recommend using a small quantity of gai lan mixed with more mild greens like bok choy, cabbage and spinach. There are not many veggies I dislike, but I’m afraid this one is being added to the list!
So tell me…
- Do you have any egg poaching secrets that produce perfect dippy eggs every time? Please share!
- Have you tried gai lan before? Any recipe suggestions for making it taste better?
- Did you try anything new yesterday?