Healthy, Happy, Homemade Meals by Gooseberry Patch


  • Full Title : Healthy, Happy, Homemade Meals (Keep It Simple)
  • Autor: Gooseberry Patch
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gooseberry Patch
  • Publication Date: November 9, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162093292X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620932926
  • Download File Format: epub

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Make it Healthy

  1. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits is always a goal when eating healthier. Fresh from the garden, the farmers’ market or from the produce section of your favorite grocery store, choose ingredients that look fresh and colorful. Then enjoy them as soon as you can.
  2. Eat uncluttered foods. Who needs to add canned sauces and gravies when a grilled piece of meat or roasted veggies taste so great? Keep food clean and simple whenever you can.
  3. Read the label. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, look it up and be sure you want to eat it. Unprocessed or minimally processed foods are always best. Processed foods often add unneeded preservatives, salt, and sugar. Choose real foods (like eggs, lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grain breads) over processed foods with added ingredients you don’t need or understand.
  4. Choose the right fat. Use heart-healthy fats such as canola and olive oil whenever you can. Butter is a real food but margarine isn’t. Fats are good for you—just choose the right ones. And be a bit creative when you can such as using avocado on your toast instead of butter and jelly.
  5. Don’t forget to snack. Having a healthy snack between meals can help you not to overeat when mealtime comes around.
  6. Treat yourself and enjoy. There is always room for a treat. Dark chocolate is everyone’s friend. The oatmeal in an oatmeal cookie is good for your cholesterol.
  7. Watch the calories. The USDA says that most adults need about 2000 calories a day.



Make it Happy

One of the best pleasures of life is sitting around the table with family and friends to enjoy a good meal. Here are some tips for making meal time a happy one.

  1. Presentation of food—colors, plates, etc.
  2. Turn off the devices and have some fun table talk.

Make it Homemade

  1. Preparing a meal together is a great family experience for any age. Even the little ones can help stir and add ingredients and feel a part of the meal prep that is so much fun.
  2. Eating at home ensures that you know where the ingredients came from and that it is fresh and good. Plus you’ll save money!

 

From the Author

Italian Lentil &
Vegetable Stew
 
Submitted by: Eleanor Dionne, Beverly, MA
 
Growing up in an Italian family, we ate a lot of vegetable dishes. We called it "peasant food" and boy, was it yummy. My mom always made some kind of homemade stew or soup every Monday in the winter. This slow-cooker recipe is still a favorite of mine.
 
1 c. dried lentils, uncooked
3 c. water
2 c. marinara sauce
1 1⁄4 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1⁄2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3⁄4 c. onion, chopped
1 t. garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
 
Combine lentils and water in a large slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except olive oil; stir. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or until lentils and vegetables are tender. At serving time, stir in olive oil; ladle into bowls. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition Per Serving: 192 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 269mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, 7g sugars, 9g protein.

From the Back Cover

Make nutritious, all-time favorite recipes that your family & friends will love! You'll find 325 tasty and good-for-you recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner…even desserts and parties!

  •     Family-pleasing dishes like burgers, salads, casseroles and more
  •     Mouthwatering meals to bring them to the table smiling
  •     Complete calorie and nutrition information for every recipe

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ish and Sustainability

After freshness, local, sustainable and seasonal are the three points that I think are most important when buying food, and this applies when I am buying fish too. In my sushi classes, my students always ask about fish. Of course it is very important to find good-quality seafood, so when you find a good fishmonger, try to make friends with them. Don’t be afraid to ask about the quality of the fish, its freshness and the recommended fish of the day.

It is very important to buy sushi- or sashimi-quality fish and seafood to make sushi or sashimi. Although there are no precise legal definitions of these terms, according to European Union guidelines sushi- or sashimi-quality fish and seafood has to be very fresh, taking note of possible food-borne illnesses from bacteria and parasites. So find a fishmonger that you trust. You don’t have to go to a Japanese fishmonger – I go to good fishmongers on the high street.

Look out for the MSC logo on products. This certifies that the fish comes from a fishery that has been classed sustainable. All of the major supermarkets now stock MSC-certified fish and seafood, and you can also buy ethical, sustainable fish online – see ‘Stockists’, here, for more details.

Try to use local fish such as mackerel and sea bream. Ask your fishmonger where and how the fish was caught. Look out for line-caught or pole-caught fish and hand-dived or creel-caught seafood, and avoid anything that has been bottom-trawled, beam-trawled or dredged in order to catch it. See ‘Preparing Fish & Seafood’ (here), for further information on freshness and sustainability.

Traditional Accompaniments to Sushi

Soy sauce and wasabi

In sushi restaurants in Japan it is usual for chefs to add the wasabi to the inside of the sushi before it is made – or, if you prefer, you can ask the chef to make the sushi without wasabi when your order is taken, which is what I did when I was a child. When you’re making sushi at home, you can either add wasabi to the roll itself or, as I prefer to do, add it to the soy sauce and mix it with the end of your chopsticks, so that it combines – this way you can control the heat. Use as much wasabi as you like, although remember that you should be able to taste the sushi filling. Similarly, you should dip your sushi into the soy sauce or soy sauce and wasabi mixture gently, so that very little of it is absorbed: the sushi rice should not soak up lots of soy sauce. You are not making a risotto; it’s an accompaniment, so don’t drown the rice! If you’re eating nigiri at a restaurant you should dip the edge of the fish, not the rice, into the sauce, otherwise it runs the risk of collapsing. If you’re eating temari (a ball-shaped sushi that has thin layers of fish on top, but which can be made at home, unlike nigiri), then you should do the same. It’s OK to use your hands, so don’t worry if you haven’t quite mastered your chopsticks yet.

Pickled ginger

Many people add a piece of pickled ginger to their sushi, which is fine, but it was originally intended as a palate cleanser. When you eat sushi – at a restaurant, or at home – you are often eating lots of different types of fish, and a small amount of pickled ginger in between each type of sushi helps to stop the different flavours becoming muddled.

Serving Your Sushi

There are no rules to serving sushi when you’re cooking at home. If you were eating out, you might start with miso soup or sashimi – it’s traditional for sushi bars to serve sashimi first, before you are too full – but at home you can serve dishes all together. If you are cooking for four people, say, I would make miso soup, one type of salad (one of the sashimi or seafood salads in this book) and three different types of sushi roll. Of course, it depends on the individual, but one hungry person will eat around twenty pieces. I like to mix everything up and serve different types of roll on a big platter. Contrary to what popular sushi chains would have us believe, in Japan you wouldn’t arrange sushi pieces so that they sit flat on the plate, but would place them so that they are standing up, on their sides.

In Japan, green tea is served with sushi, but of course there’s no reason why you shouldn’t drink beer or wine – or, of course, sake.

Safety

Sushi vinegar helps to preserve sushi rice, but you should still consume it on the same day that it is made, and do not refrigerate it. I would recommend keeping sushi for no more than half a day once it is made.

A Note on Japanese Measurements

The traditional Japanese cup, called a gō, is equivalent to 180ml of liquid or 150g of rice. It is used throughout the book. Incidentally, a bottle of sake is normally 1.8 litres; we call this measurement a shou. Ten gō = one shou.

Rice Measurements

3 Japanese cups (450g) of rice make 1.1kg sushi rice

Small roll and small inside-out roll: 80g sushi rice = half a handful of sushi rice (can be 75–85g)

Giant roll and giant inside-out roll: 160g sushi rice = a handful of sushi rice (can be 160–170g)

Hand roll: 50g sushi rice = a small handful of sushi rice (can be up to 65g)

Bo sushi: 130g sushi rice

Temari sushi: 25g sushi rice

Inari sushi: 45g sushi rice

Glossary

abura-age: thinly sliced and deep-fried tofu, used to make inari sushi

aonori: seaweed powder

daikon: Japanese radish; you can also use mooli

dashi: Japanese stock

edamame: boiled soya beans

furikake: a dry Japanese seasoning, sprinkled on to rice

gari: pickled ginger

genmai miso: brown rice miso

hatcho miso: blended with roasted barley, this is very dark brown and has a longer fermentation compared to other types of miso. A unique and strong flavour

hijiki: sea vegetable, usually available dried and in small pieces

ikura: salmon roe (large roe)

katsuobushi: bonito flakes

kinshi tamago: Japanese-style egg crêpe

kombu: dried kelp, a sea vegetable with a very clear and gentle flavour available in sheet form or cut into pieces (usually 1cm × 3cm), normally used for making stock

kombu dashi: kelp stock

kome miso: rice-based miso, blended with barley

masago: capelin roe (very small roe)

mirin: a Japanese sweet rice wine used for seasoning

miso: a paste produced by fermenting soya beans, rice and barley with salt and koji fungus, used to make soups or sauces. There are many different varieties of miso, like beer, and it is divided into dark (aka miso) or white (shiro miso); see genmai miso; hatcho miso; kome miso; mugi miso; saikyo miso

mizuna leaves: Japanese mustard greens

mugi miso: barley miso

natto: fermented soya bean

nori: seaweed sheet, mostly used for sushi

panko: Japanese breadcrumbs, slightly larger and rougher than the Western equivalent, are readily available in supermarkets in the specialist sections

sake: Japanese rice wine

sesame seeds: black seeds have a stronger, nuttier flavour than the white. Both are available at Asian and Arabic grocery

saikyo miso: blended with rice, this miso is very pale and has a shorter fermentation and lighter taste than other types. It originated in Kyoto and is gluten free

shiso leaves: Japanese herb (perilla leaves)

soba noodles: buckwheat noodles

sushi rice: cooked Japanese rice and sushi-su

sushi-su: rice vinegar mixture

tamari soy sauce: darker and thicker than regular soy sauce. It is normally gluten-free and has a stronger flavour.

tobiko: flying-fish roe (small roe)

tsuma: shredded daikon normally used as a garnish for sashimi

umeboshi: Japanese pickled plum

unagi: freshwater eel, usually grilled with kabayaki sauce

wakame: sea vegetable, high in minerals, normally used for salad or soup and available dried and in small pieces. After soaking in water, these small soft leaves have a very subtle taste. It is a healthy emergency food, which can be easily kept in your store cupboard

wasabi: Japanese horseradish served with sushi or sashimi and used as an ingredient to add spiciness

Useful Equipment & Utensils

When you start cooking, it is helpful to learn good knife skills: not only will this give you more confidence, it will mean that you work more quickly and decrease the chance of injuring yourself!

Preparing fish and seafood can be a bit tricky, but remember that a good fishmonger will always be happy to prepare it for you, so don’t worry if you are not confident about your cutting skills yet.

I am obsessed with knives. It is not necessary to choose an expensive one, but do try to find a good-quality knife which suits you. Always check the grip: it must feel comfortable and not too heavy. You can find Japanese knives in most kitchen shops or department stores; some are quite different in shape from Western knives, but you can use any knife as long as you feel comfortable with it. Here are some knives and other tools that might come in useful:

cling film: use to keep sushi rice moist, to protect your sushi mat, and for making temari sushi; traditionally a muslin cloth would have been used

fan: very important for making sushi rice; you can use an electric fan, a traditional hand-held fan or the cool setting of a hairdryer

Japanese knives: these tend to be lighter, have little or no bolster and steely edges

Bunka/Santoku knife: a very common and general-purpose knife, which most Japanese people have in their kitchen

Deba knife: heavy and chunky-looking, this is used for sanmai-oroshi (boning and filleting fish)

Yanagiba/sashimi knife: this has a long and narrow shape and is used for slicing raw fish for sashimi or sushi

Japanese omelette pan: a rectangle-shaped pan, used for making dashi-maki tamago. Found in Japanese shops or online

oshi sushi kata (wooden oshi sushi box): a mould for making oshi (pressed) sushi; a multi-size cake tin works as a good substitute – see ‘Oshi Sushi’, here

rice cooker: very common in Japan, although I prefer using a non-stick pan

strainers/sieves: for washing rice and straining eggs

suribachi: a Japanese mortar

surikogi: a Japanese pestle

sushi mat: for rolling sushi; traditionally made from bamboo, though you can find modern silicon sushi mats. If using a bamboo mat, cover it tightly with cling film before you use it; it’s a useful way to make the mat more hygienic, and easier to clean after rolling

sushi oke: a shallow wooden bowl used to mix cooked rice and sushi vinegar, for sushi rice; you can use a deep dish or roasting pan

SUSHI RICE

Rice is a staple in Japan. Just as Italian people are passionate about risotto – its consistency and how al dente it is, for example – Japanese people are mad about rice. When I go to a sushi restaurant with my family or friends, we talk about the rice quality as well as the quality of the fish.

We eat rice with every meal – and also, for a quick light meal or snack, in the form of rice balls, onigiri, or sprinkled with the Japanese seasoning furikake, or with pickles, just as other people eat buttered toast with jam or Marmite.

Japanese rice is short grain and sticky when cooked. For everyday meals, we usually eat white rice in which the bran part, nuka, has been polished away during the milling process, creating beautiful, shiny rice. We also eat brown rice, genmai, which has more fibre and is high in minerals. Traditionally, brown rice would not be used for sushi in Japan, but it’s nice to have the option and it is becoming increasingly popular.

When making your own sushi, it is crucial that you use Japanese rice, which can easily be found in local supermarkets or Asian shops (see here for stockists). You don’t need any special equipment to cook it: you don’t need a Japanese rice cooker, just a 20cm non-stick saucepan with a glass lid (you shouldn’t open the lid when cooking rice). I use a large wooden bowl to make the rice, but you can use a deep dish or roasting pan. The most important thing is that it is fairly flat, so that the rice isn’t layered too deeply.

SUSHI RICE

Su meshi or shari

This is my fail-safe method for preparing perfect rice. It is important to have a well-balanced rice vinegar mixture (sushi-su). My secret trick is using a fan or hairdryer to cool down the rice and prevent it from becoming too sticky.

Makes 1.1kg, enough for 13 small rolls or 7 giant rolls, to serve around 4 people

For the sushi-su (makes 125ml)

120ml rice vinegar or brown rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of sea salt

For the rice

3 Japanese cups (450g) of Japanese rice

3 Japanese cups (540ml) of water

To make the sushi-su, put the rice vinegar, sugar and salt into a pan and leave on a low heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Be careful not to let it boil or the flavour will spoil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

To make the rice, first wash it thoroughly in a sieve for 4 minutes, gently turning it over by hand until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and put it into a pan with the water. Leave it to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes. It can be left overnight, but for best results I recommend leaving it for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Leaving the water in the pan, bring the rice to the boil, put the lid on and reduce the heat, letting it simmer for 8–9 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it stand with the lid on for a further 15 minutes. Do not open the lid.

Put the rice into a wide flat dish such as a sushi oke, a baking dish or a roasting pan. Pour the sushi-su over the rice and fold it carefully into the rice with a wooden spoon as it cools down, being careful not to damage the grains. You can use a fan or a hairdryer on the coolest setting to speed up the cooling process, directing it at the rice. The sushi-su gives the rice more flavour and that familiar sticky glazed look.

If you don’t want to use the rice immediately, cover it with cling film or a damp cloth so that it doesn’t dry out. Leave in a cool place, but do not refrigerate. The fridge will make the rice texture hard and dry, and the sushi-su helps to preserve the rice without refrigeration. It will keep for a day.

SUSHI BROWN RICE

Makes 1.1kg – enough for 13 small rolls or 7 giant rolls, to serve around 4 people

For the sushi-su (makes 125ml)

120ml rice vinegar or brown rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of sea salt

For the rice

3 Japanese cups (450g) of Japanese rice

5 Japanese cups (900ml) of water

To make the sushi-su, put the rice vinegar, sugar and salt into a pan and leave on a low heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Be careful not to let it boil or the flavour will spoil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

To make the Japanese brown rice, first wash it thoroughly in a sieve for 2 minutes, gently turning it over by hand until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and put it into a pan with the water. Leave it to stand for a minimum of 2 hours, or leave it overnight. It is very important that the rice soaks in the water for long enough as otherwise it can be undercooked in the centre. Brown rice has more fibre than white rice, so you need to soak and cook it for longer.

Leaving the water in the pan, bring the rice to the boil, put the lid on and reduce the heat, letting it simmer for 35 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it stand with the lid on for a further 15 minutes. Do not open the lid.

Put the rice into a wide flat dish such as a sushi oke, a baking dish or a roasting pan. Pour the sushi-su over the rice and fold it carefully into the rice with a wooden spoon as it cools down, being careful not to damage the grains. You can use a fan or a hairdryer on the coolest setting to speed up the cooling process, directing it at the rice. The sushi-su gives the rice more flavour and that familiar sticky glazed look.

As in the recipe for sushi rice above, if you don’t want to use the rice immediately, cover it with cling film or a damp cloth so that it doesn’t dry out. Leave in a cool place, but do not refrigerate. It will keep for a day.

Tips

• Sushi-su will keep in the fridge for at least a few weeks, so I recommend that you make double the amount or more, but ensure you use the correct quantity for the amount of rice you are making.

• Use a non-stick pan for cooking the rice as it prevents it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

• Eat the sushi rice within a day. It is very important that the rice is fresh.

HOSOMAKI

Small Roll

Hosomaki is a small sushi roll. In Japanese, hoso means an object that is small, petite or slim. It is a very traditional style of sushi and is familiar to many people. With its almost black nori seaweed sheet on the outside and the white rice on the inside, this roll looks very pretty. Just one filling, such as a thin stick of cucumber, raw fish or Japanese pickle is traditional, but you could also add a small amount of lettuce, or herbs such as shiso leaves, chives or basil. I usually cut them into 6 or 8 pieces. They are great for pre-dinner nibbles or canapés, and the layer of nori on the outside stops your fingers from getting sticky.

Tips

• Try a variety of fillings. I have described my favourite recipes here, but be inventive.

• It is not necessary to buy a Japanese knife, but do use your sharpest knife.

• When you make several rolls, roll everything first and then cover them with cling film or a damp tea towel until you are ready to cut them. They stay fresher this way. Do not keep them in the fridge as the rice will go hard.

KAPPA MAKI

Cucumber small roll

Kappa maki is the most famous vegetable roll, with a simple filling of cucumber. The crunchiness of the cucumber is lovely, and usually I don’t peel it as I love the texture with the skin on. Japanese cucumbers are slightly thinner than Western cucumbers, although they taste pretty much the same. When you buy a cucumber, try to choose one that is as straight as possible, as this will make it easier to roll.

Makes 4 rolls (24–32 pieces)

a sushi mat (if using a bamboo mat, cover it tightly with cling film)

a bowl of cold water for your hands

4 cucumber sticks, cut from a whole cucumber (see below)

2 sheets of nori

4 half-handfuls (roughly 320g) of sushi rice

2 teaspoons of toasted white sesame seeds, to serve

Slice the ends off a cucumber and cut it to the same length as the nori sheets (about 20cm). Cut it lengthways into 4 and remove the seeds carefully with a spoon or a knife. Cut the sticks lengthways into half again, so that you have 8 sticks of cucumber. You will need 4 sticks for this recipe, so wrap and store the rest in the fridge for 1–2 days to use in other sushi.

You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half with scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on the bottom half of the sushi mat, with the lines of the sheet lying horizontally across the mat.

Wet your fingers in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when handling sticky sushi rice. Look for a line in the nori sheet about 1cm from the top. Keeping the top 1cm of the sheet clear, spread half a handful of rice (roughly 80g) over the sheet evenly and gently with your fingertips. Do not use too much rice and do not press it on to the sheet. It must be a very thin layer of rice.

Place the cucumber stick in the centre of the rice. You can add some wasabi to the centre of the rice before you add the cucumber, if you like.

To roll your sushi, follow the instructions below. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling ingredients, then cut your rolls (see below).

Rolling the sushi

Holding the filling in place with your index fingers, start rolli

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