Friday, March 3, 2017

A new, healthy, obsession

I've been observing with interest the various lettuce wraps I see on various cooking/food shows I watch. I watch them a lot. I've watched people in this country as well as Asia fill them with all kinds of things, all fresh, all delicious looking. I've also been looking for better ways to keep my weight in check, as my 'same old foods' get pretty boring.

A couple of nights ago on one of my favorite shows, Chopped, 4 health-oriented chefs competed with basket ingredients with the charge to prepare something light, but delicious. In the chefs' interviews some spoke of the value of wraps like this, and other ways of producing light and healthy foods, while the judges talked among themselves about how the current feeling when it comes to dieting is not actually dieting, it's all about lifestyle changes and eating lighter, fresher, healthier foods that are still delicious. All the time. I've heard similar things before, but somehow, this time it clicked with me so yesterday I bought some ingredients to give it a fair try.

I have stuff for Mexican-style, simple grill style, Thai/Asian style, and the above, which is simply a filet of fresh snapper from the Oregon coast cut into strips and quickly sauteed in a bit of coconut oil, and a bunch of fresh veggies. Next time I think I'll put the fish down first, then top it with the veggies. I'll also prepare more of the veggies. There is carrot, radish, sugar peas, green onion, asparagus and probably things I've forgotten, all cut into edible size pieces and tossed in a citrusy dressing I made. I have to admit, it was really delicious! I was wishing I had more but that was just gluttony speaking, my taste buds wanting more stimulation.

I found the citrus dressing recipe online from a Napa Valley chef, and it was supposed to be thick -- but not thick enough for my taste, and frankly, a bit bland. I grated some garlic and ginger into it and found it much more palatable, but still a tad thin. It tasted great with the fish and veggies, but tended to run out of the lettuce and all over my hands. I may need to give up and buy a jar of some addictive sauce from our local Cafe Yumm vegetarian restaurant -- then, I'll use their ingredient list to try and make my own afterwards.

I've also bought some jarred peanut sauce with lots of good Thai flavors (coconut milk, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, peanuts, and more). I could certainly make this on my own, but I cannot be trusted with a  jar of peanut butter in the house because I will literally eat enough at one sitting to make myself sick. Also have some other Asian sauces, and will buy more next week when I visit my favorite Asian food store.

I'm thinking that butter lettuce might work better than the red leaf lettuce, because its leaves form natural bowls. But the red leafs are large and flexible and easy enough to use. I may need to find room in my garden for some of this!

So, stay tuned. Perhaps some more photos and suggestions next time around.

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