Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cannellini, Tuna and Herb Salad

This is the perfect summer lunch.  Light, refreshing and healthy with a huge dose of fresh herbs.  You can use whatever herbs you have on hand, parsley and mint are always excellent, rosemary and tarragon would also taste delicious.  This salad would be great on sandwiches, on lettuce or just by itself served with hard boiled eggs, avocado and tomato.  The options are really endless. 

2 cans tuna drained
1 15 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed (other white beans such as great northern would also be good)
1 cup loosely packed roughly chopped herbs.  I used a combination of parsley, mint, dill, basil, lavender and thyme
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar would also be good)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 small shallot finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Make the vinaigrette by adding the herbs, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt, pepper and oil.  Allow to sit 5 minutes to let the herbs soften.  In a large bowl, combine tuna and beans and then add the vinaigrette.  Combine everything.  Enjoy!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spicy Thai Eggplant Dip

How’d that happen?  I started this blog when I was a 4th year medical student, anxiously awaiting the future.  Tomorrow is my first shift as a 4th year resident running a busy labor and delivery.  Residency has been no doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but in many ways, also the easiest.  I love what I do and feel so blessed by the challenges and rewards of my job.  I sure hope I learn a lot this year before I am released into the wild!

In residency you can really only have one hobby and even though I continue to cook, keeping up this blog has proven to be very difficult.  I still exercise with frequency, which is no minor feat to stay in shape through my busiest year.   Hopefully I’ll have more time in the next 12 months to update here. 

I have been able to keep the weight I lost off for more than a year (!) and even gave all of my old clothes to the women’s shelter—my closet now filled in with new attire.  Who needs all of that temptation in the form of flowy dresses and baggy jeans sitting in the back of the closet?

In attempt to stay thin, I have been cooking many more healthy foods.  I will try and post healthy and easy recipes this summer for everybody to try.  The easiest way to eat well is to buy and prepare your own food, eating whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables.  Eating well is completely delicious by using herbs, spices and lots of fresh produce.  And, unfortunately for my husband, bake less.

This recipe is based off an appetizer that is served at one of our favorite restaurants near our house.  The tangy eggplant dip is served with sticky rice, which is used as a chip of sorts to scoop it up.  It could just as easily be served with pita or tortilla chips and be equally delicious. I emulated the recipe and wanted to amp it up a bit by grilling the eggplant, peppers, garlic and shallots that go in.  I know sticky rice isn't a whole grain but, oh well, it's good.

Spicy Thai Eggplant Dip

1 eggplant
4 green or red thai peppers (more if you like really spicy)
1 shallot whole
2 cloves garlic in their shell
6 kaffir lime leaves (can be found at Asian grocery stores, or if you are my neighbor, I have a plant)
1 handful of cilantro, stems and leaves
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Wrap the whole shallot, garlic cloves and peppers in a foil packet.  Cut the eggplant in half and prick it with a fork all over.  Grill the eggplant and peppers until the eggplant is tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Peel some of the eggplant  (I like the texture of leaving some of the peel and it has more fiber) and cut the eggplant into cubes.  In the food processor, add the peeled shallots, garlic, peppers, lime leaves.  Add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.  Roughly chop the cilantro and add.  Whiz all of the ingredients until everything is combined and then slowly add the oil.  Serve room temp or cold with sticky rice or chips.