I thought I'd share a savoury recipe for once. Normally it's all about cupcakes here, but since I have had increasing difficulty buttoning my pants I thought it might be wise to limit my cupcake intake for a time. Don't panic, it's not forever, just until I can fit back into a pair of pants (in the Australian sense, not the British sense!) other than the only two things left in my wardrobe that fit me!
So a while ago (hah probably nearly a year ago. Well done, Past Vanessa, for using your new cookbook so much) I bought myself a copy of the Michelle Bridges Crunch Time Cookbook. For the Americans out there, Michelle Bridges is Australia's answer to Jillian Michaels, although probably not quite as hardcore and mean.
But she still says some vastly unpopular things that make some women very angry, and there seems to be quite a polarised opinion on her methods, but she's right about a lot of things, and she definitely doesn't sugar coat it (because sugar is the devil. Duh.) - we're not going to lose weight by cuddling puppies or making daisy chains or through positive affirmations about ourselves, and we're certainly not going to do it by eating cheese (mmm, cheese... *undoes jeans button*). But as anyone who read her book knows, she actually does give a damn about the psychology behind weight gain, and does try to address it. So she's mean AND sensible ;) I don't agree with her brand of rapid weight loss because to me it's unsustainable, but it obviously works well for some people.
Anyway, to her recipes - last year I wrote a less-than-complimentary review about her Lentil Shepherd's Pie, probably because it was kind of watery, unfilling and a little bit low on taste. That could easily be fixed with some spices, and, as I said, you could probably add a little sweet potato to it in order to thicken it up and bulk it out. Last night's recipe was a bit higher on flavour thanks to the addition of basil and balsamic vinegar, although I suspect it may not have filled me up had I not added the zucchini and snow peas. That's not saying much, though, given what a bottomless pit I have been lately!
I'm sorry there are no photos - I was too hungry! - but I think we all know what a piece of grilled salmon sitting on top of a salad looks like.
The link to the original recipe is here, but I had to wing it a little because the supermarket was out of asparagus, and we were out of spray oil at home. And also because I feel superior in knowing that you get more flavour out of tearing herbs than chopping them!
The original calorie content is 269cal per serve (recipe serves two), but I'm guessing my version was probably closer to 300-325cal thanks to the oil and the fact I used beans (and a larger number of them) plus snow peas and zucchini rather than just a few spears of asparagus.
Two handfuls mixed salad greens, washed and drained
Handful of green beans, topped, tailed, halved across, washed
Smaller handful of snow peas, topped, tailed, halved across, washed
1 small zucchini, washed, topped, tailed, sliced down the middle then in diagonal, 1.5-2cm chunks
1 250g punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed
Handful of basil leaves, torn
2tsp balsamic vinegar
2tsp olive oil
2 150g salmon steaks
Put salad greens and torn basil in two large bowls.
Heat half the oil in a grill pan (I used our old family cast iron frypan instead. It's an amaaaazing piece of kitchenware to have, it's not even the schmancy enamelled type, and it probably cost about $20 from a camping shop). Put the beans in and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally so that they get a little bit of charring but don't burn.
Next, add snow peas and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute before adding the zucchini and tomatoes. Stir occasionally for another minute or two until everything is a little bit brown and heated through. I recommend tasting the zucchini at this point as uncooked zucchini is quite bitter.
Remove from heat and divide evenly between two bowls. Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar.
Return pan to heat with remaining oil. When pan is hot, grill salmon on both sides until lightly browned but still pink in the middle. Serve atop salad. Enjoy! (and I can say it wholeheartedly this time!)