Friday, March 18, 2011

fishy friday

in observance of lenten "fasting" we are not eating meat on fridays.  (just in case...lent is a christian tradition occurring between ash wednesday and easter and is a time for fasting, alms giving and prayer to deepen your spirituality.  it is forty (sometimes calculated as forty-four) days symbolizing the forty days that jesus retreated to the woods, fasted and resisted temptation of the devil before beginning his ministry).  some people are a little more hardcore on the ol' fasting than we are.  technically on ash wednesday and good friday, you're only supposed to have one meal in the day and no meat...and then on all fridays, no meat (fish & eggs = ok).  i, however, am a nursing mother who would literally pass out if i ate only one, we cut the meat out and called it good. 

today's fishy friday menu:
me and anthony: eggs, potatoes, toast, oj, strawberries
nolan: whole grain cereal, plain yogurt, strawberries

me and nolan: leftover quinoa "burgers" (quinoa, white beans, carrots, green onions, ginger, cumin, grapeseed oil), a pear and some veggies leftover from a soup i made earlier in the week (parsnips, celery, carrot, rutabaga)

all three of us: roasted salmon (slathered in butter with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest) wrapped in cooked swiss chard leaves, yams and rice

nolan LOVED it all.  my baby is amazing.

the quinoa burgers i have made a number of times and are super yummy.  tonight was the first time that i made the salmon and i'm not very big on salmon, but it pretty much rocked the house.  ;)  so, here are the recipes!  they are both modified martha stewart recipes...thanks, martha.

quinoa burgers:
servings: 4

*1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
*1 medium carrot, diced
*6 scallions, chopped (two of these are for the, optional in my opinion)
*1 can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
*1/2 tblsp. fresh ginger, finely diced (my addition)
*1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (i never have these and feel funny buying crumbs, so i just tear up a piece or two of bread and throw it in
*1 large egg, lightly beaten (i replaced this with a little grapeseed oil because i was cooking for a vegan friend...)
*1 tblsp. ground cumin
*salt and pepper to taste

-bring 3/4 cup water to a boil, add quinoa, cover, reduce to low and cook until the water is absorbed (roughly 12 minutes)
-put carrots in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped 
-add scallions, cooked quinoa, beans, ginger, cumin, bread(crumbs??), oil (or egg), salt/pepper and pulse until combined but slightly chunky (i like it a little less chunky-- they stay together better (albeit slightly) when cooking
-note...we only have a miniature food processor and this is all a bit of a pain as i have to do it in batches, but well worth it.
-form into patties (you may need to chill the mixture in the fridge for a few minutes if you're having trouble forming it...
-heat up some oil in a non-stick pan and cook 'em up (about 8 minutes per side)
-the recipe calls for serving them on pitas with a greek yogurt sauce made with...yup, you guessed it...greek yogurt, lemon juice, chopped scallions and s&p) and sliced cucumbers.  i like them on a yummy toasted wheat artisan bun myself.  i haven't made the sauce, but the cucumbers are a nice addition.  i also usually put tomatoes and avocado on it and serve them with sweet potato fries.  super delish.  enjoy.

swiss chard wrapped salmon
servings: however many you leaf per filet...butter mix said for four on the original recipe...i used it for two...whoops.  :)

*salmon (or other fish that sounds good to you) filets...size and quantity dependent upon number of people and said peoples' appetites.
*one chard leaf for each filet of salmon
*2 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp...or microwaved for 12 seconds if you are like me and don't remember to plan ahead)
*2 tbsp finely diced fresh tarragon (i substituted fresh rosemary super, super finely diced as i had it on hand and love me some rosemary)
*one large (or two small) clove of garlic, minced and smashed with a little salt to make it into a paste
*2 tsp lemon zest
*salt and pepper to taste

-preheat oven to 400
-cover baking sheet with parchment or foil
-bring few inches of water to boil in large pot and add chard leaves (i found one at a time to be easiest).  cook until soft (less than 4 minutes) and remove with tongs. 
-place leaves flat on baking sheet
-place one salmon filet on each leaf, toward the top
-season fish with s&p
-spread herby buttery goodeness on fish
-wrap up the chard leaf and tuck in the stem (if that works for you...)
-cook fish to liking (12-14 min. for cooked through...though, this depends on the thickness of the fish, i suppose)
-remove from oven, plate it up, sprinkle some lemon juice on it, serve it with yummy sides and enjoy. 

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