Whole 30: Day 15

Man, this project is taking forever. I can’t say I won’t be happy when it’s finally time to move on to my next project.

The thing is, though…I’m feeling really good. Like, really really good. So, the project continues. Also, what’s the point in getting this far along if you aren’t going to get the answers that you’re looking for? So, pressing on.

This morning we had an early morning work thing at our local food coop. Yes, the infamous Park Slope Food Coop. So, we decided to grab some apples and jerky and make that breakfast.

Of course, the best part of working at the food coop is shopping at the food coop afterwards. I thought I did really particularly well this time around.

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Out of this, came an inspired and simple lunch:

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Made up some tuna salad, plopped it on a bed of salad greens, threw on some cherry tomatoes and splashed some Ume vinegar on the greens. Delicious.

For dinner I went a little more complicated. I had some gorgeous monk fish, and my favorite thing to do with it is make it into a mustard curry. So, I did that. I got the recipe from Mermaid’s Garden, where we have a weekly fish share. It’s pretty terrific. I alter fish for what’s on hand and also sometimes will do okra instead of cauliflower or swap out jalapeño for whatever hot peppers I have. If I’m in the mood for spicy I’ll up the amount of those hot peppers, and if not I’ll keep it as written. Usually I like to eat it with naan…but since that’s out this time around I opted for slightly less spicy since there was no starch to help numb the spice. I thought it turned out perfect. Also! This is a recipe that seems intimidating: it is really not! Pretty simple as long as you have everything prepped and ready to go. And you need the curry leaves. That’s pretty much what makes the whole dish. Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound firm fleshed fish fillet, cut into two inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 4 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or 4 tablespoons of ghee)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 each dried arbol chile
  • 12 each  curry leaves
  • 1 tsp.garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine (I subbed this for extra chicken stock cause Whole 30)
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock or 1 cup bottled clam juice mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. coriander Seed, toasted & ground
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp. allepo or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 cup okra or cauliflower, sliced in ½” pieces
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Warm a sauté pan over medium heat. Add half of the oil or ghee and the onions. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes dry out and darken in color, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender.
  2. Heat the remaining oil or ghee over medium heat in a deep heavy pan such as a dutch oven. Add the cloves and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and arbol chile and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the white wine (if using), tomato-onion puree and stock. Bring this to a low simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the coriander, tumeric, Allepo/cayenne pepper and mustard powder to the pan.
  5. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Add the okra or cauliflower to the pan and cover. One minute later add the fish. Re-cover the pan and increase the heat to high for two minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro.

I have made this a number of times and it is always outstandingly delicious.

Jicama, Watermelon, Tomato Salad

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This is really good. Though I’m starting to think that any creation you can think of with jicama would be good. This is literally what I walked home from my CSA pick up with. (Aside from the jicama which I just had at home). I totally made it up as I went. Here’s the gist:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cubed jicama
  • 1 cup of cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup of halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds (added after this photo was taken)
  • loosely torn fresh mint
  • loosely torn purple basil
  • about 1 tbls. balsamic vinegar
  • about 2 tbls. cold pressed olive oil
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients except for oil and vinegar together in a bowl
  2. Toss with oil and balsamic and enjoy.

Tomato Blueberry Salad

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OK, this is lovely and also delicious. Look how pretty that is!!! So, to continue my raw theme, (which I basically stumbled into cause it’s been so hot), here is my take on this great recipe from Sam Sifton.

It’s very nice the way it is, but I did find pomegranates (despite it NOT being pomegranate season) and make it with those the first time, and I found that the pomegranates were a little overwhelmed in the salad — I didn’t really taste them or notice them, they only looked pretty. But the big tastes of the red onion and cherry tomatoes took over, so I was hoping to find a fruit that would offset that a bit the second time around.

I chose blueberry, which was great, and was completely what I was looking for…but to be honest there are limitless possibilities with this salad!! Use your imagination and have fun. But basically, this is the perfect summer salad. Also would be good to show up at a BBQ with this salad — you would be a hit. (Yes, I know this from experience!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar (optional, works fine with and without)
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced, almost shredded
  • cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezedlemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 3 ½ ounces manouri or feta cheese, broken into small chunks (also optional)

Preparation:

  1. Halve or quarter the tomatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the blueberries, sliced pepper and onion, the herbs, za’atar (if using), lemon juice, olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Gently mix the salad, then transfer it to a large shallow bowl or serving platter, and dot it with the cheese (if using). Serve and eat.

I’ve made it with and without cheese. What can I say, cheese is always magic. But just in case you want to go full raw, drop it. Here’s a shot with cheese:

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