saansaturday: (eggplant or radish?)
([personal profile] saansaturday Tuesday, 9 December 2008 00:31)
Tightening up my nutrition has had me eating well the past week. Part of this is that having rules and restrictions can foster creativity for me--it's sort of like writing a poem within the bounds of a form. It's also because eating out is difficult to do and I'm trying to eat more often--recently I'd reverted to only eating 3-4 times a day--so I really need to cook a tasty variety of food to keep myself happy. Here are a few of my creations.


Protein Kaiserschmarrn

This is not quite Kaiserschmarrn but the taste and cooking method really remind me of this German/Austrian dessert. I created this recipe by accident one morning when attempting to make protein pancakes. Our sea shipment from China, which had my good nonstick skillet in it, had not yet arrived. So I cooked the pancake in a not-very-nonstick skillet which I had left behind in Germany. It stuck like crazy, so I couldn't flip it. I broke the pancake up into pieces and continued flipping them around in the pan until everything was just barely cooked. This concoction was pretty amazing, like eating dessert for breakfast. It would make a delicious dessert--if you wanted to be decadent you could dust it with powdered sugar and/or serve it with applesauce, another fruit sauce or barely (or not at all) sweetened whipped cream. I do make this in my good nonstick skillet now, intentionally breaking the cake into pieces as it cooks.

2 scoops low-carb vanilla whey protein powder
3 eggs
about 1/2-1 cup rolled oats
about 1/3 tsp. salt
about 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
about 2 Tbsp. milk or water
(optional: about 2-4 Tbsp. milled flaxseed, or this milled flax mixed with dehydrated berry powder that I found at Costco)
about 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
a large handful of chopped pecans (I just break them by hand into the bowl, no need to get a knife and cutting board dirty)
unsalted butter

In a large bowl use a fork to whisk together the protein powder and eggs. Stir in the oats, salt, cinnamon, milk or water and if, desired, flaxseed. Add the berries and nuts and stir again. The batter will be pretty gloopy. You can use the blueberries frozen since they're small but if you use some other kind of larger berry it's best to at least partially defrost them first.

Rub a stick of unsalted butter over the bottom of a skillet, a thin layer to cover. Heat the skillet over medium, then add the batter. It will be very thick so you'll need to spread it out to cover the pan. Cook it for about 3-5 minutes, or until the bottom side is browning like a pancake. Use a spatula to flip the pancake in parts, breaking it into pieces. I like to have some nice large pieces as well as smaller ones. Cook for a few more minutes, flipping and breaking the cake more as needed, until it is just cooked--still moist in the middle. This serves two very hungry people. It has substantial carbs so I like it for breakfast or for a post-workout meal.


Five-Spice Tilapia

This is a variation on my Baked Salmon with Magically Delicious Fish-oil Drenched Onions. I have yet to get tired of this recipe, as there are so many variations possible. Another variation is to use basil and substitute sliced tomatoes for the citrus.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 bell peppers (I like one red and one orange), sliced
about 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
about 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced ginger (I like to make matchsticks)
about 2 tsp. five spice powder (I may have used more, I kind of spilled it into the pan)
a little salt
fresh ground pepper
4 tilapia loins, rinsed and patted dry
4 or 5 mandarin oranges (or other variety of orange), unpeeled, sliced thin

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add the olive oil and after it's hot, add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, ginger and some of the five spice. Saute until tender and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and lightly salt the vegetables. Rub the tilapia with a little salt, pepper and allspice and place it over the vegetables. Arrange the orange slices over the fish. Slide the pan into the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked.


Vaguely Greek Spinach Burgers

I really wanted feta in these but I didn't have any. This is only the second time in my life I've made hamburgers. I know adding all sorts of things to burgers was a bit of a fad a few years ago I'm behind the times as I made up this recipe Friday afternoon.

about 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
about 5 cloves garlic, more or less to your taste, minced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
a lot of fresh spinach, as much as will fit in your wok, washed (you want some water still clinging to the leaves to help it steam a little in the wok)
a dash of salt

oh, let's say something like 16-20oz. ground lean beef. I don't really know. It was about 1/3 of a huge package we got at Costco.
1 egg
about 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 yellow onion, minced
a few cloves of garlic, minced
about 1/4-1/3 cup grated monterey jack cheese
about 2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper

Heat your wok over high heat. When hot, add the peanut oil in a swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic and onion and cook 20-30 seconds. Add all the spinach and a little salt and continue to cook, turning and stirring the spinach often (I like to use tongs) until it is wilted. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the beef, egg, onion, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach, mince it, and add it to the mix. Let rest for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Form burgers--I attempted to go for about 5oz. each but who knows? This made seven burgers for me. I just got a new cast iron stovetop griddle/grill, so I cooked them on that. You can cook them in a skillet or grill them or whatever you prefer. Serve with sliced tomato and stone-ground mustard. (Or whatever your desired condiments are).


Palava Chicken

I made this one this afternoon. I particularly liked how the peanut butter made the sauce creamy. The flavors were quite harmonious.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry and sliced fairly thin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
about 4-5 cloves garlic, roughly minced
6 small or 4 large tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt people!)
about 2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
lots of fresh spinach, probably 6 cups or so
about 1 Tbsp. extra hot New Mexican red chile powder
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet (or chef's pan, which I prefer) over medium. Add the olive oil, then the chicken. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is browning a bit on all sides, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes to the pan juices and saute for about five minutes or until they are soft. Reduce the heat to low and add the peanut butter and half the water. Cook, stirring pretty much constantly to keep the peanut butter from burning, for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the remaining water, thyme, chile, spinach and, if desired, a little more salt and pepper (I didn't add more as there was plenty of salt on my chicken and in my peanut butter). Stir the spinach into the liquid until it is starting to wilt enough that there's room to add the chicken back to the pan. Add the chicken and cook the whole mess, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through, about another 5-10 minutes. If your chicken breasts are large you can probably get about 6 servings of stew out of this recipe.
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