11 Ingredient Challenge: Success!

January 19, 2010

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see the posts last week, I was sent this NY times blog article about 11 ingredients we need to be eating more of. As I am always looking for a good challenge, I set out to create a menu incorporating all 11! I ended up creating a three course meal that really exceeded my expectations. “Healthy” foods are often overlooked because of the bland or even worse the gross stigma they carry with them (see most people’s disdain for sardines). But no need to worry here; the healthy part of this meal became second nature to all of the delicious flavors!

I started with a carrot, beet, and swiss chard soup. Relying on the sweetness of both the beets and the carrots to add richness to this soup, the combination of ingredients was really fantastic (and what a color!). Easy to make, and even tastier the next day this soup resembled a borscht and was a big hit as our first course.

Who doesn’t like fish tacos!? So for our entree, I took my favorite preperation including a bright slaw and a bit of guacamole to make the sardines really shine. For those a bit concerned with the sardines, you could easily substitute with shrimp (as you can see on the left) but you may be surprised how much you like the sardine version. Packed with straight from the sea taste, sardines on their own may not be your favorite, but paired with a slightly sweet slaw (the addition of the raw beets and prunes was perfect) and the creaminess of the guacamole makes for a great balance.

So what about a healthy dessert? Well rather than adding some yogurt to a bunch of blueberries and calling it a dessert I knew I had some great ingredients left to use and came up with this chocolate pumpkin mousse parfait that was beyond delicious. Dark chocolate, pumpkin and cinnamon blend perfectly with a pomegranate whipped cream laced with blueberries. And despite the addition of some eggs and cream, this dessert relies on the natural flavors and sweetness of the ingredients and will be a “go to” dessert of mine in the future; healthy label or not.

Plus look at all the extra “healthy” ingredients I added. Dark chocolate, avocadoes, greek yogurt, and carrots! So there it is, my 11 (I’d like to say 15) ingredient challenge! I’ll be posting the creations that some of you have sent me throughout the week. But I’ve decided to also extend my offer. Now that you’ve seen my three course meal, you’ve got to be wanting the recipes that much more. So send me your pics and I’ll send you my recipes!


In need of a little challenge?

January 12, 2010

Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times

(Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times)

A friend of mine passed this article along from the New York Times blog. A list of 11 (weird number for a list) foods that nutritionist Jonny Bowden says we should be, but aren’t eating. I’ll be honest, the list isn’t all that groundbreaking, but nonetheless it’s a nice resource and reminder for us home cooks needing a challenge. For instance, when’s the last time you bought sardines?

So this got me thinking…What interesting ways can these eleven ingredients be combined to make a dish or even better a full meal. I’ve already got a few ideas and will be sharing my creations with you at the beginning of next week, but what about you? How would you use these ingredients (some much easier than others) to make a memorable meal. Well here’s your opportunity to try. So work out a recipe or two incorporating some of these ingredients (bragging rights for most ingredients used), snap a photo, and share your results with the rest of us. For added incentive, those who email me (silvercaterers@gmail.com) the pictures of their creations by noon Monday will receive my recipes for this little challenge along with the recipe for my favorite Tortilla Soup. So get cooking!

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