Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ARF/5 a Day Tuesday

Today’s ARF/5 a Day Tuesday at Sweetnicks, and tonight’s main dish incorporates three veggies: onions, bell peppers, and zucchini. I reall NEED to cook something healthy tonight after last night’s dinner at the Little Emperor in Riverside. Mikki, our CTA Director took about 40 of us out to dinner to thank us ofr helping defeat the governor’s agenda in the November election. (She had a surprise for us: CTA Vice President David Sanchez was there! He’s so wonderful.) She ordered everything for us: egg rolls, fried shrimp, cream cheese-filled wontons, hot and sour soup, Kung Pao Shrimp, Asparagus Chicken, Orange Peel Beef, Vegetable Lo Mein, and a pork dish I don’t know the name of (which was nasty, by the way). And what did I do? I ate some of everything. I didn’t make a pig of myself, but did eat more than I really should have. What can I say? You set food in front of me and I eat.

So this morning it’s low-carb yogurt with granola, dried raspberries, and pecans, and lunch was hot and sour soup from the Chinese place next to my office. A quick, 99¢ meal. Dinner is Steak and Veggie Spaghetti, plus a green salad. I took a recipe I've had for years that used just bell peppers and onions, and added zucchini. It made it even better, I think. Between the steak and the salad, we had our veggies: onion, bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Thats 5!

Steak and Veggie Spaghetti

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1 lb. tender steak, thinly sliced
1/4 c butter or margarine
1 large clove garlic, mashed
1 large onion, chopped
1 small red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/4 c white wine
1 t salt
8 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti
2 T oil
Parmesan cheese

In large skillet brown meat in butter with garlic. Remove meat to warm platter. Add onion, bell pepper, and zucchini to skillet and cook until crisp-tender. Add wine and salt; return meat to skillet. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti; drain. Toss spaghetti with oil, then combine with meat-vegetable mixture. Top with Parmesan. 4-6 servings.

Since we have negotiations tomorrow, it’s baking night. I haven’t been able to find even frozen cranberries anywhere, so I decided to use a recipe from Joe of Culinary in the Desert and change it to make it low carb. In addition, I had to do what Joe did–change the recipe to go with what I had. Joe’s original recipe for Lemon Coconut Bread is here . Joe stated that the recipe he started with called for 8 ounces of yogurt, but he used a 6-ounce container plus 2 ounces of sour cream. I was using Dannon’s Carb Control Yogurt, which comes in 4-ounce containers, so I used two of them. Joe used a cup of sugar; I used a cup of Splenda granular. Also, Joe used lemon yogurt; all I had was vanilla. So I replaced Joe’s 1/4 cup of vanilla soy milk with 1/4 cup of lemon juice plus a teaspoon of lemon extract. Another difference is a minor one: I always add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in my homemade breads. It’s just a “Cyndi” touch, started when my friend Yvonne (who’s on the negotating team with me) started giving me flax that she grinds herself.

Here’s my adapted recipe:

Lemon Coconut Bread

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1 c Splenda granular
1 T canola oil
1 t lemon extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 4-oz. containers Dannon Carb Control Vanilla Yogurt
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c all-purpose flour
2 T ground flaxseed
1/3 c flaked sweetened coconut
2 t grated lemon rind
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c lemon juice
1 T flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a medium bowl, whisk together Splenda, oil, lemon extract, and egg. Whisk in yogurt. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, 1/3 cup coconut, lemon rind, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, and add wet mixture plus lemon juice to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9X5” loaf pan coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Food Blogging in the News Again

I came across this article in USA Weekend, cut it out and saved a paper copy, and was going to summarize it for you. But I found the article online, and decided to give you the link so you can read the whole thing. Aw, what the heck, I’ll summarize it anyway. It mentions seven of the author’s favorite food blogs:

1. The Food Section, “All the news that’s fit to eat,” is a filter blog, meaning it posts food-industry information such as recipes, articles, and calendars of food events.

2. Accidental Hedonist, which most of you know as the blog that organized and ran the first Food Blog Awards.

3. Chocolate and Zucchini, focused on the foods of the host’s native France.

4. Too Many Chefs, a group blog.

5. Obsession With Food, a blog about food and wine, with really great photographs.

6. Slice, a blog that reviews pizza joint in and around New York.

7. Orangette, which was just chosen the Best All Around Food Blog in the 2005 Food Blog Awards.


Paz said...

Both dishes look delicious! What happened to the rest of your post about the food blogging in the news?


Joe said...

Nice changes Cyndi! How was the texture of the bread using all Splenda?

WebSorceress said...

A new take on spaghetti. I can't wait to try this meal. Good going with getting back on track.

Cyndi said...

Paz, thanks for letting me know about my lost post! I fixed it.

Joe, the Splenda has not changed the texture of my breads that I can tell. I normally do all whole wheat; this time it was half and half (didn't have any ww pastry flour), and it was dense, but still lighter than if I'd used all white. At negotiations they loved it, and my friend Shan said it was her favorite to date.

Felicia, this IS a tasty way to stretch sirloin--use even more veggies than I suggested. And make sure you use Parmesan on top--really adds good flavor. Thanks for dropping by--I"m going back to look more at your blog!