healthy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Inspired by this week’s weekly photo challenge, I hereby bring you my “Lunchtime” photo… potato tomato spinach

Yesterday and today TC and I went out for a ride of about 40km, one we do often, along the sea front. While it was sunny today, there was a strong northerly wind that was cold. It’s obviously being generated from all the snow that they are still having in the north, so that’s how cold the wind was – cold enough that my toes were numb when we got home.

Cold rides like that make me want to eat a nice hot lunch on our return. Lately I’ve discovered just how healthy and low-fat baked jacket potatoes are with a variety of vegetable toppings.

Today I was like Popeye the Sailor Man and got a decent serve of spinach in with my lunch. I’ve never bought frozen spinach before, but after this, I am a fan!

While the potato was baking (ok, I admit I use the microwave for this) I diced a large clove of garlic and a medium tomato. I had previously defrosted some frozen spinach. I heated up a little olive oil in a frying pan, added the garlic & tomato, sauteed for 3-4 minutes then added the spinach to heat through.

I then put this all over my baked potato (cut open of course), topped it with a tablespoon of light philly cheese and a grating of lemon zest.

Delicious and just what I needed to warm me through.  Enjoy!

Feelin’ hot hot HOT…

TC and I did a lot of shopping in the fresh grocers yesterday and discovered these little chillies called Antillais.

Ooh lah lah…. these little babies sure pack a punch!!

Now we like our chilli, yes we do. We like it hot.  But these particular ones are not to be messed with. This is what they look like:  Piment Antillais 4

They are smallish, round to oval shaped and have that distinctive wrinkled, star effect coming out from the stem. Apparently they are a type of habanero chilli, related to the scotch bonnet, and are thought to have originated in China. The ones we found are a product of France, but we’re not sure exactly what part of France, or French territory.

This gives you an idea of their size:  Piment Antillais 3

So how hot, you would like to know?

I’ll give you some idea… last night TC made us a lovely dinner of crispy skin salmon with an Asian style salad and mildly spiced couscous. Absolutely delicious. Apologies for not photographing the plate, I was too busy scoffing mine while the salmon skin was still crispy!

Anyway, the Asian style salad was really tasty and delicious (recipe below). After testing a tiny piece of the chilli,  TC included these two slivers of chilli only in the entire salad for two people:  Piment Antillais 1

Those two tiny slivers were enough to give us a good chilli flavour without going overboard. If you like it really hot, I would suggest no more than double this. I don’t think most people would be able to handle that much either. In fact in my experience, the two slivers we had would have been too much for many people we know.

I gingerly tasted a tiny morsel from the end of one of these slivers – oh yes, hot!! It was peppery, but at the same time quite fruity and almost sweet.

So if you’re a bit like us, a bit sick of this winter that seems to be dragging on past it’s use-by date and would like something to heat up your day, have a go at this lovely, crunchy Asian salad.

Enjoy!

TC’s Asian style salad

1/3 Chinese cabbage

2 radishes

1 medium/small carrot

40g capsicum

30g raw beetroot

2 spring onions

60g snow peas

chilli to taste, very finely diced

Dressing:

1tbsn soy sauce

1tsp nem sauce (Vietnamese spring roll dipping sauce)

Finely slice the cabbage, radish, carrot, capsicum, beetroot and spring onions. Add the snow peas and the finely diced chilli. Mix quickly to combine. Mix together the sauces & pour over salad, mixing again to combine everything.

Et voila! Bon appétit.

Ps, while I was looking up info about these chillies, I came across this funny video on youtube, which shows a young Frenchman biting into one of these… and how he handles the heat. My apologies if there is any French swearing – I couldn’t quite make out all the dialogue, but I could definitely identify with what he was going through!

A little zing in my day…

TC and I have decided to be ultra healthy for a while as we have put on a little winter “padding” that we’d like to get rid of. I had read recently that half a jacket potato topped with salsa makes a good, low calorie snack. So I thought that I’d like a whole potato with salsa  for lunch (it’s still way too cold for salads in my opinion). Potato and salsa

Not any salsa though – home made salsa. I found a recipe, had a go and voila!

Now I’m hooked. What a tasty salsa it is! I’ve never been all that much of a fan of salsas from jars. I don’t know, to me they’ve always tasted too… something. I’m not sure what… too salty? Too “fake”? Whatever it is, I’ve never really enjoyed them. Well home made is now the way to go. It was very fortunate that my guesstimate at how much chilli to put in (and what type – ie the only type I found) worked out perfectly – I can still feel it gently tingling on my lips.

Parfait!

I literally walked around to the fruit shop this morning & bought some chillis to go with the other ingredients I already had on hand. Here is my salsa if you’d like to try it:

Homemade Salsa

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green capsicum, diced

2 medium green chillis, diced

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp tomato paste.

Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook onion for about 2 minutes to soften. Add the capsicum and chilli, cook for about 3-4 minutes to soften. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir and bring the mixture up to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy.

This recipe made enough for 4 servings, served on whole jacket potatoes. Homemade salsa 1  Homemade salsa 2  Homemade salsa 3 Homemade salsa final

This is the size of the chillis I used. Two of these kind in the mix was just right for me – lovely and zingy without being overpowering. Of course that is very subjective, I like chillis! Green Chilli