Happy healthy(ish) hash

A cheap and cheering dish for carb-lovers.

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Wash, dry, and cut several small redskin potatoes into thin slices — the thinner they are, the crispier they’ll get, of course. Spread them out on a baking tray greased with olive oil spray, season (salt, pepper, rosemary, or other spices), and pop them in the oven (while it’s still preheating). You can throw in a few (unsmashed, unpeeled) cloves of garlic if you like.

3. Meanwhile, cut half a large red onion into fairly thin crescents. When the potatoes have begun to soften (perhaps about 5-10 minutes after the oven has reached 450F), take the tray out. Sprinkle the red onion crescents and some shredded carrots over the potatoes and then bake for another 10-15mins, or until the potatoes are soft or crispy.

Optional: Experiment with adding mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, or other higher-water-content veggies around the same time as the onions and shredded carrots; or add brussels sprouts or harder cabbages a little earlier. For a complete meal, top with a fried egg or mix with cooked corned beef.

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Salmon edamame salad

A lazy version of this great recipe, this salad in its most basic form takes three minutes and no cooking,  chopping, or even rinsing. All you need is: pouched salmon, frozen shelled edamame, bagged salad, pressed ginger, and pantry basics for the dressing. Optional: lime or lemon, avocado.

1. De-frost a handful of pre-cooked, pre-shelled edamame — it should take about 45 seconds in the microwave.
2. In your serving bowl, mix the dressing to taste: a good bit of sesame oil for the base, mixed with honey or sugar, soy sauce or tamari, pressed ginger, and lemon/lime juice or vinegar.
3. Open a packet of boneless skinless salmon (or drain a tin if you can’t find the pouched version) and mix with the dressing. Then toss in the salad leaves — any dark field greens will do, but I especially like anything with radicchio or red lettuce with this dish.
4. Finally, add the edamame. Sliced avocado also goes well with this, if you have some on hand.

Roasted reds pasta

Roasted orange carrots, purple red onions, and red pepper make for a sweet and colourful pasta dish.  All you need for the base of this dish is: any kind of pasta (penne, small shells, or whole wheat spaghetti all work well), garlic, and your red veggies. Then add your choice of tomato, olive oil, or cream/cheese for the sauce (if serving hot) or dressing (if serving as a pasta salad).

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place three or four well-smashed cloves of garlic on a baking tray and spray with olive oil spray. Pop into the oven to begin cooking as it warms.
2. Put a pan of water on to boil. When the water reaches a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside when done.
3. Meanwhile, slice a carrot into thin sticks, or use shredded carrots. Add to the baking tray, seasoning with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, rosemary and thyme. Put back in oven.
4. Slice the pepper into sticks as well, and the onion into crescents. When done, put them into the tray too and roast for another 10-15mins until softened.
5. When the veggies are all done, toss with the pasta and serve with choice of sauce or dressing…

E.g. a) For a tomato-based sauce, slice tomatoes and sautee in olive oil until they soften into a kind of sauce, adding more seasoning as desired. Or just open a jar of marinara or alfredo! You can also add sardines or meatballs for protein.
E.g. b) For a pasta salad, simply toss the pasta and vegetables with some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil; with crumbled feta or goat’s cheese; and/or with light cream cheese. Chill for a few minutes in the freezer if you want it ready faster.