Tuesday Open Thread ~ The Culinary Challenge


~
“If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. ” ~ Criss Jami
~
CULINARY CHALLENGE - Winning.jpg
~

Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's Open Thread. The month of September is a lean month for Trader Joe's crew members at Store #171. On September 1st, our manager initiated a “Biggest Loser” contest at our store along with a $300 prize as incentive. Little did I know when I signed up what these guys are capable of in their quest to win. Ice cream, doughnuts, and fried chicken showed up in the break room, mysteriously, during the first week of the competition, followed by some smack talk about which one of us would not last till the end. As a fellow competitor you know what I say? Bring. It. On.

~
CULINARY CHALLENGE - Resist temptation.jpg
~

The Challenge

Okay, I’ll be honest; I do miss the sugar, the bread, the cheese, the butter, etc., (not to mention the occasional glass of wine after dinner). And wouldn't you know it, this week is the week where all the holiday items are coming in. Aargh! Temptation everywhere I look but I have not wavered. Meals have been challenging but not impossible. The trick was finding a way to add flavor without using a lot of fat or calories. Stretching my culinary skills a bit, I've put together a few recipes that have surprised even me. My favorite one so far is a seafood vegetable soup that is quite good, easy to make, freezes well, and fits the criteria needed for the contest. So, for today's food related OT, I'm including a low calorie deliciously edible seafood veggie soup.

~
CULINARY CHALLENGE - Underwater Restaurant.jpg

Underwater Restaurant, Maldives

~

The Recipe

Ordinarily, I would've included a picture of my seafood vegetable soup, but I'm having problems with my phone. Instead, I thought this picture of a pretty cool underwater restaurant might get us in the spirit of today's seafood themed recipe. I mean, just because we're eating sensibly doesn't mean we can't fantasize, right?

Ingredients:

5 cups chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
2- 1 lb. bags of TJ's Seafood Blend (or 4 cups of shrimp, calamari, and scallops)
3 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon + 1 tsp. Olive Oil
½ cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
½ head of cabbage, or 3 cups shredded
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large saucepan and add onions, sautéing on medium heat until onions are a light golden color (this may take up to 30 minutes)
  2. Place onions and 2 cups of chicken stock in large soup pot and blend with hand blender until mixture is completely smooth.
  3. In a hot saucepan, add 1 tsp oil, bell pepper & zucchini, and sauté for 2 minutes
  4. Add in carrots, garlic, and spices
  5. Sauté for another 2 minutes
  6. Add vegetable mixture to the soup pot with onion blended chicken stock
  7. Add in bay leaf, cabbage, and tomato sauce, and the rest of the chicken stock
  8. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until carrots are done
  9. Add seafood blend and cook for a few minutes until shrimp are slightly pink
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Serve and enjoy

Serves 6

~

The Ultimate Competition

What an inspiration to watch this Olympic athlete in one of my favorite Gold Medal performances, culminating years of hard work into sheer exuberant joy on the ice.

~
~
Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
~
CULINARY CHALLENGE - girl swinging.jpg
~
What's on your mind today?
Arrow.png
Share
up
10 users have voted.

Comments

Anja Geitz's picture

I will be a wee bit late commenting this morning because I will be hiking up the very steep hills here in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains.

Hope you all are having a great morning!

up
6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

Seafood stew sounds yummy ~ thanks for the recipe!

I changed my lifestyle 11 months ago when I read that essay by OPOL on intermittent fasting. It is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and I've been my best self in years! My metabolism is going along at a nice clip - has been for a few months now. Best thing I've ever done for myself.

Glad it's Tuesday ~ another day closer to Saturday!

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Pleasantry

up
6 users have voted.

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

-- Voltaire

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Congrats on the healthy changes you made in your life. I remember OPOL's essay too. I was especially interested in the "autophagy" aspect of fasting. Might be easier to do now that I've cut down on so many things!

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

QMS's picture

You can tune a piano, but can you tune a fish?

up
4 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS can't say I've tried either but if I had to choose, I might try a freshly caught tuna sautéed in butter and dill. As for skinny, meh. I'm doing this mostly for the money. Lol.

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

QMS's picture

@Anja Geitz
Skinny fish.
Around here.
Fat fish feed elsewhere?

Bon appetite!

up
1 user has voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Really have enjoyed your culinary OT's. Weight gain is a challenge for me and this seafood soup sounds delicious. As the weather gets cooler, soup is very comforting. On Sunday, it was cooler and rainy and after helping break down tables,chairs etc from the Santa Fe Conservation Trust Fundraiser, went home and tried my hand at a spicy African peanut soup.
What a performance on ice! All of this will motivate me to get on my bike and head to stretch and strengthen class this morning!
Good luck with your challenge!

up
4 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Anja Geitz's picture

@jakkalbessie

Spicy peanut soup sounds delightful! And a perfect soup for the cooler weather. You'll have to let me know if you liked it and then share the recipe! So glad you found my soul recipe useful. Soups are great to have around during the cold weather.

The ice skating performance is called "Winter", and I have yet to see any short program performance, male or female, quite as stunning as this one. Such a shame Alexei's competitive skating career came to an end shortly after he won his Olympic title. 23 years of age is too young to have those kind of regrets, but sometimes injuries make those decisions for athletes. Still, I'll always remember how it made me feel the first time saw him perform this program.

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I'm doing my best to get back to my low-grain ways. I felt so much better when I was off corn, wheat, and even potatoes--much as I missed them. And the weight just came off.

I wasn't on any particular diet, just making some changes on the advice of my doctor, but it was really transformative. I don't think it would be right for everybody, but it's pretty good for me!

up
5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Amazing, isn't it, how good you feel why you are taking care of yourself, right? I'm only on my 16th day, and I already notice the difference. Will probably launch into intermittent fasting after this month is over now that the hardest part of changing my eating habits is behind me. A definite plus, even if I don't win, but I'd be lying if I didn't say the money was the prime motivator! Lol.

up
3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

for getting me thinking about soup, because it is clearly soup season here. Cppler mornings, rain yesterday and predicted for tomorrow, shorter days and all that. Have a week solo coming up real soon, so it's time to score some soup bones and other fixings and let the pressure cooker take over the cooking for me. Well, except for my pizzas, that is. Wink

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

So you make a good pizza as well? You are certainly a handy person to have around. What wine do you like to pair with your pizzas?

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
the Italians; sangiovese and barbera followed by lagrein and aglianico, and some custom blends, Opolo has one but I forget what it is and I'm out so I can't check inventory, and David Coffaro makes an Italiano blend that goes well. Then, of course, if I'm all out or running way low on the above, there's always the California solution to all pairing questions, a nice big zin.

up
1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

...sounds tasty too!

It's the carbs that make us fat and drive hunger. Fats will make you feel satiated and full...just use healthy ones - olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grassfed butter...and stay away from the veg and seed oils.

Here's an interesting look at food addiction by a Dr. video or text
https://thefatemperor.com/ep35-beating-food-addiction-with-expert-robert...

When it comes to food, we don’t reach for broccoli or steak when we’re upset, we reach for a sugar or starch. It’s typically a carbohydrate. And everybody’s got their own poison. My personal one was Coke and M&Ms. Some people have the starches, the rices and the potatoes and the breads. But it’s always a carbohydrate. And the reason for that is that carbohydrates affect a particular part of the brain that other foods do not affect. So when you eat a steak, it makes you feel satisfied. But when you eat bread or sugar, (M&Ms for me) it gets you high. It affects a different part of the brain, the same part of the brain that alcohol, nicotine cocaine effects.

Hope you had a great hike. I'm looking forward to cooler "hiking" weather this fall.

up
4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Thanks for the link. Great stuff. Didn't you also provide a link to a video by Dr. Jason Fong in EL's OT recently on the "roots of obesity"? Fascinating stuff. I sent it to a co-worker of mine who is very interested in foods and natural methods of healing. Her reaction was the same as mine. No wonder we have so many people who are confused about food! I recently had an elderly customer come up to me in the store and ask me if the reduced calorie potato chips were ok for her to eat after she told me her doctor told her she couldn't have anything to eat that was high in fat. What I wanted to say to her was NO, salty potato chips were NOT a good thing to eat if you are having to change you're eating habits. But I couldn't, so I just had to say I wasn't comfortable advising her what to eat if she had a medical condition.

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier