Monday, December 04, 2006

Salt Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free Dinner

quite possibly the most healthy meal I have ever made

recipe #148

An interesting challenge.

My Father has been on this diet since the end of September. I told him that I would like to make him a nice dinner before I left to the left coast. What do you make someone who is eating none of the above mentioned things. To make it even more of a challenge vinegars are for the most part out--at least in any quantity.

I found 2 recipes that I thought would work nicely and then modified them to work for my Dad:
1/3 cup plain soy yogurt
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or to taste)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon liquid amino (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/3 cups quinoa
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 fresh jalapeño chile, seeded (if desired for less heat) and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced shallots or white onion
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts crushed
Whisk together yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.

Rinse quinoa in a bowl using 5 changes of water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large sieve after each rinsing).

Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water 10 minutes. Drain in a large sieve and rinse under cold running water.

Set sieve with quinoa over a saucepan containing 1 1/2 inches boiling water (sieve should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Toss quinoa with curried yogurt and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.

The original recipe is here.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup tamarind pulp (from a pliable block)
1/2 cup boiling-hot water
4 drops stevia
1.5 tablespoon liquid amino
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 firm-ripe California avocados
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic clove, minced
2 (1 1/2- to 2-inch-long) fresh Thai chilies or 1 serrano, stemmed and minced (including seeds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled, leaving tail and first segment of shell intact, and deveined
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Fry shallot and make tamarind sauce:
Heat oil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then fry shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain (shallots will crisp as they cool). Reserve oil.

Soak tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl until softened, about 5 minutes. Force pulp through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Add stevia, liquid amino, fish sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice and stir.

Cut avocados and cook shrimp:
Halve, pit, and peel avocados. Cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks and toss with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice in a bowl.

Transfer reserved oil to a 12-inch heavy skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté ginger, garlic, chilies, and salt, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté, turning over once, 2 minutes total. Stir in tamarind mixture and simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

Spoon shrimp and avocado over rice, then sprinkle with peanuts and fried shallot.

Makes 4 servings.

The original recipe is here.

I know that I sport of cheated on the shrimp recipe. Fish sauce does have a huge amount of sodium, but it is more or less an irreplaceable ingredient.

We also had steamed artichokes (I would have preferred grilled but we didn't have a grill) with garlic ghee. For some reason my Dad thinks that ghee is an acceptable form of dairy. They would also have been terrific with a homemade garlic mayonnaise that replaced liquid amino with salt.

I found some nice white asparagus that I thought would go nicely. We had that steamed with just a bit of lemon juice.

All and all it was a nice meal. Quinoa is an incredibly picky little grain. You have to rinse rinse then drain on a towel then massage its feet and tell it that it is pretty. It is too high maintenance for me and I think I am through with it.

The shrimp and avocado dish was great. I made it before with soy sauce and sugar and it was wonderful. The low sodium no sugar version translated very nicely.



Very cute comment on the quinoa. I agree that it's high maintainence, but we don't do any pasta, so when I crave white food, I'll make the extra effort. I've tried pudding, too. No success, so far!

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