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Q: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: gremlin-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 16 Jan 2003 13:15 PST
Expires: 15 Feb 2003 13:15 PST
Question ID: 144367
I'm trying to eat healthier, but I don't have much time to cook. I've
got a list of foods I've heard are healthy, which I'd like to eat more
of. Can you recommend some quick, easy dishes or snacks I can make
which would incorporate the following ingredients: Salmon, almonds,
spinach, sweet potatoes (or yams), strawberries, tomatoes (or tomato
sauce). You don't have to cram all the ingredients into one dish, just
so long as each ingredient appears in one of the recipes. Try to avoid
recipes that use lots of animal fat or sugar.

Clarification of Question by gremlin-ga on 16 Jan 2003 15:47 PST
I forgot to mention part of my problem - I'm a picky eater! I'll eat
strawberries plain, and I'll be willing to eat canned salmon as soon
as I find a brand that doesn't have bones in it. But I don't really
like the other foods plain. They're just too bland.

Clarification of Question by gremlin-ga on 16 Jan 2003 15:50 PST
Ok. Oranges aren't bland. But I still prefer them mixed into a salad
or something rather than on their own.

Clarification of Question by gremlin-ga on 16 Jan 2003 15:59 PST
If you can come up with a recipe that involves frozen strawberries,
that's even better, because fresh strawberries go bad so quickly. All
I can think to use frozen strawberries in is a smoothie.
Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 16 Jan 2003 16:33 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi gremlin-ga,

Thanks for your question. I also try to eat healthier foods so this
was a fun question to answer. Hummer-ga has some excellent
suggestions, by the way.

SALMON—I don’t have a web source for this recipe, it’s something my
mother makes. Prepare the pasta of your choice (shells work very
well). At the same time or just before the pasta is done, heat up some
frozen green peas. Drain the shells, add peas, canned salmon
(drained). Dress with olive oil and a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill
(more or less depending on the proportions you’re making). Quick,
easy, flavorful and low on the calories.

Smoked salmon (also referred to as lox) is absolutely delicious, if

ALMONDS—This is a great snack item.

Herbed Spiced Nuts,6255,12177,00.html

SPINACH—Like Hummer-ga, I like this in a fresh salad, but it’s
delicious cooked. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like a huge amount
before you prepare it. Once it wilts, you’re left with a small
quantity. Baby spinach is particularly tender. My favorite way to
prepare this is to sauté it. You can prepare other like vegetables
such as broccoli rabe similarly.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach,6255,20762,00.html

SWEET POTATOES/YAMS—You can’t go wrong baking them. Another way to
prepare them is to make hash.

Sweet Potato Hash,6255,12039,00.html

I don’t know if you’ve ever had these at a restaurant, but sweet
potato fries are wonderful. This recipe is from a show called “Cooking
Thin.” Because you’re baking and not frying, the fat content shouldn’t
be too bad. Also, use olive oil sparingly.

Sweet Potato Fries,6255,19861,00.html

STRAWBERRIES—Personally, I think this is one item you’re better off
just eating by itself. They’re so wonderfully sweet. A very flavorful
way to eat them would be with a fruit dip. I have no source for this
one either, but it’s very simple. Take a container of whipped topping
such as Cool-Whip (low-fat works fine) and mix in an 8oz. container of
peach yogurt, preferably the kind with the fruit in it. Serve dip with
strawberries, melon slices, or whatever fruit you like.

TOMATOES—This is one of those foods that I love to eat fresh. However,
since it’s not the optimum season for tomatoes at the moment, a couple
of suggestions: if you can buy Roma or plum tomatoes. They tend to
have more flavor. Tomatoes on the vine are a bit more expensive, but
again these will be more flavorful. A trick that Food Network chef
Sara Moulton recommends is salting tomatoes before cooking or using as
is. This reduces the water and concentrates their flavor.

One of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes is to slice them, top them
with chopped basil and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. It’s a great
side dish. Balsamic vinegar is one of those ingredients that adds a
lot of flavor and no fat.

Another wonderful dish is Tomato and Artichoke Salad. It’s another
easy one to make, a great dish to take to a party and wonderfully

Tomato and Artichoke Salad,6255,13092,00.html

Salsa is another option that’s extremely easy to make (particularly if
you have a food processor) and is very low in calories. It makes a
great topping on a lot of dishes (I serve it with some sautéed chicken
and salad) . I have used this recipe many times:

Salsa Fresca,6255,11038,00.html

I’d also like to recommend another food that’s healthy and low in fat.

SQUASH—There are lots of different varieties of these, but one that I
love and takes very little in the way of preparation is the Delicata
squash (you can substitute something like acorn squash if you can’t
get your hands on a Delicata). The nice thing with this recipe is that
you can adjust the proportions of potatoes and garlic to your liking
and all you have to do to the squash is cut it in pieces and take the
seeds out. You eat the skin.

Roasted Squash with Potatoes and Garlic

ASPARAGUS—is another absolutely wonderful vegetable. It’s best in the
spring. Steamed or roasted, it’s fabulous. All you need to do is wash
the stalks, chop off a little of the ends, and go. If you want to
steam it, a steamer insert (available for a couple of dollars at
almost any large store, probably some grocery stores as well) works
beautifully. Let the water come to a simmer, lay the stalks down,
cover the pot and set a timer for about 10 minutes. The stalks should
be tender but not mushy. Serve with a little bit of butter and salt.

Roasted asparagus is even better. 

Roasted asparagus,6255,8265,00.html

You may also want to explore this site. It's geared toward people
using the Weight Watchers plan, which encourages eating lots of fruits
and vegetables, so the recipes should be useful.

Health Discovery Recipes

Search strategy:
All of these were recipes I've either made or had. FoodTV has a great
database of recipes in it, and I was familiar with that already.

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional
informations, please ask for clarification before rating my answer.
Happy cooking!


Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 16 Jan 2003 18:45 PST
Hi gremlin-ga,

For some reason your clarifications of the question didn't show until
after I posted my answer.

As with selecting all fresh ingredients, you want to make sure that
you get good quality fresh items. For example, the tomatoes. They
should smell like tomatoes. Plum tomatoes or tomatoes on the vine are
probably your best option in the winter months. Organic tomatoes may
be another option to explore if they're available in your area. Nuts
go rancid quickly so if you buy almonds (already shelled) and open a
package, put whatever you don't use in the freezer.

Regarding the blandness--A good balsamic vinegar (you don't have to go
crazy and spend a fortune) and good quality olive oil are stapes you
should have in your kitchen. A little seasoning on most of these
things and you'll have a feast for the gods.

Haven't tried any of these strawberry recipes, but they look doable
and yummy, particularly the one for Strawberry sauce:

Strawberries & More

gremlin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great answer.

Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: hummer-ga on 16 Jan 2003 14:34 PST
Hi gremlin,

All of the ingredients you mention do fine on their own - the
quickest, healthiest and easiest way to enjoy them is "as is". Making
recipes will only add to your caloric and possibly fat intake, take
time, and cooking often reduces a food's goodness.

I would just eat them hand to mouth. Nuts are high enough in calories
without putting them in squares, cookies or granola.

The easiest and quickest way to have salmon is to open up a can,
drain, remove the bones, and serve.  You might like adding little
lemon juice, or mayonaisse, but basically use like tuna.

Put it in a salad (uncooked). If you aren't crazy about eating a 100%
spinach salad, then add some to a lettuce salad (rinse the spinach
very well first).  Spinach is very easy to cook, just rinse and place
it in a saucepan and cover. The water on the leaves is enough to cook
it with - it will take just a minute or two for it to become all
wilted and hot. Serve with alittle butter or try some parmesean

They are delicious just being strawberries - slice and add to your
cereal in the morning or have some on your ice cream.  If you'd like
them alittle bit sweeter, slice and sprinkle some sugar on them (a few
teaspoons) and let them sit for at least an hour. They will make their
own syrup and be ready to put on anything.

Baked yams are delicious - an average size takes about an hour or so
at 350 deg. Yams are also good out of a can - just heat and serve
(avoid the kind with heavy syrup).

Again, you can eat as many tomatoes as you want - slice and serve. A
good drink to consider is V-8 or Mott's Garden Cocktail. Lots of
tomato juice there plus other vegitables.

Just my thoughts - perhaps another researcher will supply the recipes.

Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: tehuti-ga on 16 Jan 2003 17:37 PST
Just a few quick ideas:

Salmon: not the tinned stuff, please! Get yourself a nice fresh salmon
steak, place on a square of slightly oiled tin foil, add chopped
capsicum, mushroom, spring onion (do you call them scallions in the
US?) or whatever.  Shake over it some Thai lemongrass seasoning.  Wrap
up the foil, and bake in a medium oven for 20 minutes.

Spinach: cook with a little lemon juice and plenty of garlic and
pepper.  Use as a bed for the salmon steak.  Or whizz it up smooth and
mix into cooked pasta.  When served with pasta, toasted pine nuts or
crispy fried little pieces of bacon sprinkled over the top add an
extra touch.

Almonds: make a stir fry with them and strips of vegetables
(capsicums, mushrooms, onions, pak choi, carrots, bean sprouts or
whatever).  Use peeled almonds.  Throw them in first so they brown a
little. This is also wonderful when done with cashew nuts.

Almonds: make a rich stew of whole almonds, mushrooms, onions and
marinated tofu.  Thicken with some gravy powder and add a splosh of
red wine and some garlic.  Serve over rice or noodles, or bake into a

Strawberries - best of all with Cointreau poured over and nothing

Sweet potatoes - nice cut into wedges: put them in a bowl, add a very
small quantity of oil and mix around to coat them, sprinkle over some
curry powder.  Bake for about 30 mins in a hot oven.  Here in the UK,
they are also popular cooked into a curry and served with rice.

Tomato - for me there is nothing better than a whole tomato eaten raw.
 Go for tomatoes on the vine or baby plum tomatoes for the best

Tomato - can of plum tomatoes in tomato juice.  Throw into a pan and
add an equal quantity of orange juice.  Add seasoning, a little bit of
cumin.  Heat up until not quite boiling, and woosh together with a
blender (I use a hand blender keeping the pan on the cooker all the
time).  Finally, throw in a handful of finely chopped coriander
(cilantro?) leaves.  Serve with herb or cheese bread.  Delicious!

Tomato - chop tinned plum tomatoes roughly, add to pan with juice,
heat, and thicken with ready-made tomato puree and garlic puree. 
Throw in some Italian herb mix, or just oregano on its own.  Serve
over pasta.  This is lovely just like that, but you can start of by
sauteing onion and capsicum before adding the tomatoes.  Also, if you
want it to be more substantial, throw in half a tinful of kidney beans
or any other bean that appeals.
Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: tehuti-ga on 16 Jan 2003 17:40 PST
Ooops, forgot to make clear that the tomato/orange juice combination
is served as a soup.
Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: hummer-ga on 16 Jan 2003 17:52 PST
Holy salmon - what great ideas and recipes, You guys sure have more
energy than I do, though, to be doing all of that cooking! And I don't
have a clue what "Cointreau" and "capsicum" are. I must be
out-to-lunch, 8-)

Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: tehuti-ga on 17 Jan 2003 09:07 PST
Well I thought I had to say capsicum instead of peppers (red, green or
yellow) in order to be understood across the Atlantic!

Cointreau is an orange-flavoured liqueur.  It's nice on its own at
times as well :)
Subject: Re: quick, easy dishes using certain ingredients
From: hugyourkidstoday-ga on 11 Jan 2005 11:51 PST
Salmon: place some olive oil in a pan. place salmon cut into cubes in
the oil. add lemon juice, 2 cloves of sliced garlic, salt and cooking
soy sauce. cook and turn until fish is done and juices almost dried
up. enjoy with steamed vegetables.

Spinach: sauteed a few slices of onion and sliced garlic in olive oil.
add spinach and salt and sautee some more. enjoy as a side with a
curry or gravy dish.

Almonds: make little packages with snack bags of 12 almonds. toss one
in lunch bag every day for eating between meals.

Strawberries: add frozen or fresh in a blender. add soy milk,
blueberries, tablespoon of flax seed meal, a fruit yogurt and ice.
blend. enjoy a healthy smoothie. flax seed ranks way up there with
salmon and almonds for DHA content.

Tomato: buy the grape or cherry kind and snack on them at work.

Yam: peel, cut and boil. when done place in greased pan and spinkle
with salt and pepper. broil to give it a nice crisp egde. enjoy with
roast chicken, cream style corn and steamed green vegetables.

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