Wild Salmon with Rosemary Citrus Glaze, Shaved Honeydew, Fennel and Olive Salad and Wild Rice with Sage Brown Butter

Wild salmon with rosemary citrus glaze, shaved honeydew, fennel and olive salad and wild rice with sage brown butter.

Wild salmon with rosemary citrus glaze, shaved honeydew, fennel and olive salad and wild rice with sage brown butter.

One of the benefits of being back on the Weight Watchers is that it makes me so much more conscious of the food I’m eating.  That really is the point after all and I’m a little disturbed to discover just how unconscious my eating had become.  Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t become a sleep eater (thank god) but I’d completely fallen into “open mouth – shovel in” as an automatic response to every whim.  This resulted in a very happy tongue but increasingly tighter clothes.

Paying attention is much better all around.  By cooking at home and controlling what goes into the food calorie-wise, it also makes me think about the quality of the ingredients and creativity of the recipes.  The more I read about food and agriculture, the more convinced I become of the importance of selecting non-processed, sustainable foods.  They’re much more expensive without a doubt, but the fact that we’re eating less of them almost makes it a wash.

I love salmon, but I’ve come to the point where I can’t bring myself to eat anything but wild-caught fish.  The fact that farm-raised salmon has to be artificially colored to even resemble salmon is a deal-breaker for me.  A dye job just doesn’t belong on a dinner plate.

That said, tonight’s dinner was caught in the wild and you could taste the freedom and love.  I pulled the glaze recipe from myrecipes.com.  Continuing my way through this month’s Bon Appetit, we dug out the mandoline and took a crack at the Shaved Honeydew, Fennel and Olive salad as a side.  Mixed reviews on this one, I think it would have been better if we’d used fancier Spanish olives but I was too lazy to deal with pits.  To round it out, Bri made his wild rice with sage brown butter, which is just plain amazing.

Dinner clocked in at 10 Weight Watchers points.

We went with Butter Chardonnay for the pairing, because how could you resist a wine called “Butter?”

WILD SALMON WITH CITRUS ROSEMARY GLAZE

Wild Salmon with Citrus Rosemary Glaze

Wild Salmon with Citrus Rosemary Glaze

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 4-oz wild-caught salmon filets
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • ¼  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ¼  cup dry white wine
  • ½  teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¾  cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 325.  Sprinkle filets evenly with salt and pepper and place two lemon slices on each filet.  Place salmon in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake until salmon is flaky, about 20 minutes.
  2. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine and rosemary; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates. Add juice and syrup; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute. Spoon glaze over salmon and serve.

SHAVED HONEYDEW, FENNEL AND OLIVE SALAD

Shaved Honeydew, Fennel and Olive Salad

Shaved Honeydew, Fennel and Olive Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds honeydew melon, rind and seeds removed, shaved on a mandoline
  • ½ fennel bulb, shaved on a mandoline, plus 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fennel fronds
  • ¼ cup brined green olives, 
such as Castelvetrano, pitted, 
very coarsely chopped

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk orange juice, lemon juice, and 
2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add melon, shaved fennel, 
and olives to vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top salad with orange zest and fennel fronds, and season with salt and pepper.

 

WILD RICE WITH SAGE BROWN BUTTER

Wild Rice with Sage Brown Butter

Wild Rice with Sage Brown Butter

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves coarsely chopped

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare wild rice in a rice cooker or on stove top. (My rice preparation knowledge is limited because I’m completely dependent on our Zojirushi rice cooker.
  2. Melt butter over high heat, add sage leaves and stir constantly until butter starts to brown.
  3. Pour over rice and mix well

Peach and Blue Cheese Toasts

Peach and Bleu Cheese Toasts

Peach and Bleu Cheese Toasts

With my renewed commitment to counting Weight Watchers points and dropping the pounds that have snuck back while I was not paying attention, I’ve been trying to make really diverse meals that are big on flavor and nutrition and small on points.  My main rule above all else is that food has to be satisfying (and should pair well with wine).

This is a great, fast light weeknight dinner that makes delicious use of the amazing peaches that are in season in late summer.

I love Bon Appetit recipes!  This is adapted from the August 2014 issue.

We paired this with a moscato.

Weight Watchers Points:  6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large ripe peaches
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 slices country-style bread
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp while balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces blue cheese (such as Roquefort or Saint Agur), room temperature
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) baby arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  • Using the tip of a paring knife, score an X 
in the bottom of each peach. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling water just until skins begin to peel back where cut, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl 
of ice water; let cool. Peel; cut over a small 
bowl into wedges, collecting juices. Add lemon juice and honey and toss to combine.
  • Toast bread and season with salt. Spread cheese on toast and 
top with peaches, leaving juices behind. Whisk 
oil and vinegar into juices. Toss arugula with enough dressing to lightly coat in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Arrange over toasts. Serve the rest on the side as a salad.

Celery Soup with Roasted Garlic and Mashed Avocado Toast

Celery Soup

Celery Soup

Tonight’s dinner was inspired entirely by my sister, the nutritionist.  She’s on a quest to help people improve their health and quality of life with food.  During our random Monday afternoon telephone conversation, she told me that eating four stalks of celery per day can help lower blood pressure.   We really love celery in our house; it makes its way into all sorts of salads and stir fries and even the occasional cocktail.  The fact that it can have positive health effects makes me love it more.

Knowing that I was going to make celery soup for dinner, I headed over to food52.com to see if they had any recipes.  Then came the discovery of Jane Grigson and one of the most delicious and simple soups I’ve ever made.  To go with it, I roasted a head of garlic and mashed it onto toast and then topped it with mashed avocado.

I left the milk out and substituted a dollop of fat free greek yogurt for the cream and the soup came in at 6 points.  One slice of the toast all done up with the garlic and avocado is an additional 4 points.

celery soup ingredients

celery soup ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ pound celery, chopped (outside stalks or celeriac — about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup diced potato
  • tablespoons butter
  • cups chicken stock
  • ½  to 1 cup milk (optional)
  • About 1teaspoons dill weed (2 teaspoons for fresh dill)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cream
  1. Stew celery, onion, and potato gently in the butter in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add stock or water and 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed. Simmer for 20 minutes if you have a blender, 40 minutes if you use a food mill.
  2. Blend or purée the soup (I look for any excuse I can find to use my immersion blender).  Bring slowly to just under the boil, seasoning with salt, pepper and more dill weed if required.
  3. Put the cream into the soup dish, and pour the soup in on top. Swirl round with the ladle before serving, to mix in the cream.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

This is a recipe I adapted from an oatmeal cookie recipe on Weightwatchers.com.  Instead of the suggested raisins, I added dried cranberries and some orange zest.  They come together really fast and are easy to make  The best part is that you can eat two of them and only cost yourself 4 points!

NOTE: The recipe calls for softened butter.  If you’re like me the cookie-making urge strikes with little warning — certainly less than would be required for softening butter.  If you find yourself in this position, don’t melt the butter, it’ll completely change your cookies.  Just stick it in the microwave in a ramekin for about 15 seconds.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked quick oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cut butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tbsp fresh orange zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl or in the bowl of a mixer and beat butter for a few seconds. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine.
  3. Add egg white to butter mixture and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  4. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake until set and golden, about 11 to 14 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Yields 2 cookies per serving.