Healthy vegetarian Sunday dinner – potatoes and cucumber salad in yogurt dressing

Lately, we really prefer to eat less meat, and more vegetable and plant food. After watching A Plastic Ocean, What the Health, Cowspiracy, who else has the appetite for meat or even seafood? The world is really sick, everything seem polluted and everywhere is having problems. I am not saying that I am turning to a vegetarian now, but I think eating less meat is a good act. 

Let’s go for a very healthy Sunday dinner with a potatoes salad. My husband is a big fan of potatoes salad, because of where he is from, Germany! And I know he loves this salad, as always remind him of his mother, that’s how she used to do potatoes salad.

First of all, we have to cook the potatoes. There are few ways to do it. You can chopped them in cubes first, then boil them in water or steam them, until they are cooked. You can also boil or steam the entire pototes and roughly cut them into cubes after they are cooked. Make sure you season them with some salt, and then let them cool down or even chill them in the fridge. Depends on how would you like to eat your potatoes, if you would like them a bit warm, no need to chill them too much. 

To prepare the rest of the ingredients, get a big salad bowl ready, and place everything inside. Thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced onion, diced celery and two hard boiled eggs cut in cubes. Mix all ingredients well, together with the potatoes as well. For the dressing, mix Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, garlic powder, half lemon juice, fresh finely chopped dill or dry one, finely chopped spring onion and finely chopped parsley well, then pour the dressing into the the salad. Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it with garlic bread. 

Sunday homemade dinner – Tandoori shrimps skewer with long grain rice

Tonight I would like to cook seafood, was thinking to cook something with shrimps. What can I do with shrimps? Searching online for idea, and I found something with tandoori shrimps, sounds like a good idea to me! A touch of Indian and a bit of spice. I think the best thing to go with the shrimps is the long grain rice that my husband likes, he do prefer long grain rice much more than the Chinese one. After my last trip to India, I always would like to cook something Indian, why not trying it tonight?

The ingredient for tandoori shrimps is not complicated at all, I almost have all the herbs at home, just missing turmeric powder because I finished up with it and need to buy a new one. The first thing to do for this dish is to marinate the shrimps, make sure you’ve spend enough time to marinate them before cooking. At least marinate the shrimps for half an hour, the best at least up to two hours. Remove the head and shell of the shrimp but leave the tail on, and make sure you devein them nicely. Use a large bowl to put all the ingredients for marination, around 300ml of Greek yogurt, together with some olive oil, pinch of salt, lime juice, minced garlic, Garam Masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Please go for your taste, as there is not a fixed formula because the level of spice that each of us like or can take is very different. Mixed all the ingredients well, and check out the taste always, then place all the shrimps into the bowl and let them sit inside the fringe for around 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest, getting things chopped up and ready. I would like to put also onion, red pepper and pineapple to the skewer, so I need to chop them into pieces. For the long grain rice, I would like to cook with carrot and broccoli, so I have to chop them into small cubes as well. You might want to use green pea instead of broccoli, but I really do not like green pea, so I rather go with broccoli. You can choose other green vegetable as you like, for example other kind of beans or even chopped celery. If you are using wooden skewers, please make sure you’ve soaked in water at least for 15 minutes before cooking, as you do not want them to burn later on. I do have some stainless steel skewers, so I do not have to do that.

Let’s start cooking the rice before starting to cook the skewers. I am not sure what are you using to cook the rice, but I am using the rice cooker, as each Chinese should have one at home which is very convenient. If you do not have one, just put the rice with double portion of water and boil them. Add a pinch of salt, and the chopped carrot and broccoli into the rice just right before the rice is done, mix them well together and let them sit into the rice cooker or pot for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I was cooking the skewers in the oven, but you can do it by frying. Pre-heat the oven under 210C, and get a tray ready covered by foil. Put one piece of onion, red pepper, shrimp, onion, pineapple, shrimp, and so on, alternatively on the skewer until it’s filled up. Repeat the same until you finish with all the ingredients. Place them nicely on the tray and put some olive oil on each single piece, and place them in the oven and grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them over in the middle of the way, but the oven is hot enough to cook for both side.

Serve the skewers with the long grain rice, and garnish the skewers with finely chopped coriander and a touch of lime juice. My husband feels that the rice is a bit blend, but I love it with vegetables and actually the touch of carrot is adding some good flavour into the rice. Maybe you can try to use the marinade to make a source for the rice or the overall dish. The dish is not spicy at all for us, I guess next time I will try to add more spice.

Grilled Lamb Kebab with Red Cabbage Salad

This new cooking show is one of my favourite, Jamie Oliver’s ” Save with Jamie”. I like the show, because they talk about how you save money by eating at home, as that’s what Jamie always emphasised in his previous cooking shows. He always encourage people to cook and eat at home instead of dining out. This new show, they also talk about the nutrition and calories level of the meal, which is good information to get about the dish. One more thing I love, is about food waste. How to make use of food that you always have problem with, those you almost need to throw away, but turned into something else that you can just save them instead.

Watched him cooking this the other day, and would like to cook this for my husband, because he likes lamb kebab. To shop for the ingredients, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, red cabbage, mixed greens, tortillas, Greek yogurt and some pistachios. First of all, to get the minced lamb done, season with salt and pepper, then mixed them well with some finely chopped onion and some breadcrumbs, and get them on the skewer or stick. Then get your red cabbage chopped into thin slices, place them in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add some white vinegar into the bowl, then squeeze the red cabbage until they are all soft and well absorbed the vinegar. Finish them by adding a touch of sugar.

Now, let’s get the pistachios, cumin and fennel seeds into the mortar and crash them nicely and fine, put them aside and we will use them later for the lamb. Grill the lamb with a pan, when they are almost done, paint a layer of honey on top and then dive them into the pistachios to get that nice texture and coating as the final touch. Heat up the pan and fry the tortillas, serve them with the mixed greens and lamb with some Greek yogurt on top, and some red cabbage aside.

Fish Fillet and King Prawn with Potato & Lettuce Salad

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.

 

CNY’s Eve dinner, good to go for fish – Salmon and Scallop with Avocado Dips


Tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve, I am thinking to cook a salmon dinner for the two of us. For the 團年飯 (Tuen Lin Fan), dinner for the whole family to get together, it’s an important dinner  during the year. Traditionally, we need to make sure we are having certain dishes for dinner, such as fish, shrimp and meat. Fish (魚 pronounce as yu), that represent good fortune and money, shrimp (蝦 pronounce as ha), that represent a lot of laughter and happiness. So, I guess for just the two of us, salmon is a good choice.

I would say, this dish is all about the avocado dip. That is not like guacamole, because that will be too strong for salmon, the trick for this one is with Greek yogurt. So, this dish is salmon and scallop with zucchini and cauliflower, served with avocado dip.

To get everything prepared before starting to cook. Cut the cauliflower in pieces and steam them until almost done, I will finish them later pan fry with butter and seasoning. Cut the zucchini in slices. Cut two avocados in half, and smash them into a large bowl. Then, add minced garlic, some Greek yogurt and a bit of lemon juice into it, and mix them well together. Season it with the amount of salt and pepper that you like. Now, heat the oven in 190C, place a foil and then salmon on the tray, season the salmon will salt and pepper, a bit of lemon juice and put some dill directly on the salmon. Drizzle some olive oil on the salmon and the tray, and put it in the oven and grill for 15 minutes. Turn the salmon upside down when it’s half way done, that helps to cook it more evenly. Sometimes I do prefer to grill the salmon with fully wrap of foil, in order to keep it moist. But today, I guess it’s fine to grill it just like that.

When the salmon is in the oven, we can get the grill pan to fry the zucchini with olive oil. On the other hand, we can heat up another pan with butter, and fry the cauliflower, and season them with salt and pepper. Then, we heat the pan with butter, and fry the scallops. Please remember, do not overcook them, otherwise they will become too dry and chewy. Don’t forget to turn your salmon once in the middle. When the salmon is done, take them out and serve it with the scallop, some zucchini and cauliflower, of course with the avocado dip. The avocado dip tastes better if you have chance to let it chill in the fringe a little bit.

Just to make the entire family happy, I’ve also made some salmon with potatoes for our two doggies. Salmon is always good for dogs, this is actually what our vet asked is to feed one of our dog when she was having allergy. Good for skin and joint as well.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choy! 恭喜發財!年年有餘!