Hello Cabbage

Cabbage doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be relegated to a soggy side dish. Fresh cabbage is crisp and tasty, fantastic for salads and much more.

Cabbage is a member of the brassica family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are among cabbage’s many health benefits.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cabbage is shredded and served raw with a spicy dish such as Szechuan eggplant or Indian curry.

I plate the cabbage first and then add the main course on top. The cabbage provides a base for the flavorful topping much like spaghetti sauce over pasta or black beans with rice.

I like the crisp, cooling effect of the raw cabbage together with the heat of the chili-infused sauce.

Consider the flavors and the colors of the cabbage and your main course to choose a combination that’s both attractive and delicious. Wouldn’t the vibrant purple of this red cabbage look wonderful with a sunny yellow curry?

A general rule of thumb is that the deeper the color of the cabbage, the stronger the flavor. All varieties are low in calories and high in nutritional value. For variety, shred cabbage finely or chop it coarsely, or even select a textured cabbage like Chinese cabbage or Savoy. Why not replace one refined carb with some fresh cabbage today?

Salmon Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian fried rice, is a lively dish, full of spices and a variety of flavors. Classic ingredients include chicken, shrimp, eggs, tomato, and cucumber, however Indonesian cooks frequently use whatever meats and vegetables are fresh and on-hand. So don’t be afraid to use your creativity to add your own special touch with favorite items.

One of my favorite Nasi Goreng combinations is salmon, haricot vert (French green beans), onion, and campari tomato. The bright, colorful veggies make it as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat.

A bit of tomato, a bit of chili… If you like Spanish rice, you’re sure to enjoy this version of Nasi Goreng. Thanks to the Bamboe instant seasoning mix, it’s so easy to create Indonesian-inspired dishes of your own. (more about Bamboe) My family likes spicy food, so I usually add two seasoning packets to turn up the heat, but I made it with one packet here for you.

Day-old rice is much easier for cooking fried rice. There’s less moisture and stickiness. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice, too. If you absolutely must cook your Nasi Goreng with fresh rice, leaving it out to cool first should help some.

Salmon Nasi Goreng

Salmon Nasi Goreng

Ingredients

  • 4 cups day-old brown jasmine rice (or your favorite long-grain rice)
  • 2 six-ounce cans wild salmon, packed in water, no salt added, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Trader Joe's frozen French green beans, chopped in 1/2" pieces (or regular frozen string beans)
  • 1 cup Campari tomatoes, quartered (or halved cherry tomatoes or chopped Romas)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 package Bamboe Nasi Goreng spice mix (or two packages if you like spicy)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (light coconut milk is OK)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
  • sea salt to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drain water from salmon, then combine drained salmon, coconut milk and spice mix in a bowl. Set aside to marinate.
  2. Chop onion, green beans, and tomatoes, and mince garlic. Set each aside in a separate bowl until needed.
  3. Cook the chopped onion in the oil in a non-stick skillet or wok for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chopped green beans, mix well with the onions, and cook until green beans are heated through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the minced garlic, mix well, and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the marinated salmon, mix well, and cook until salmon is heated through, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the rice, mix well to combine all ingredients, and cook until the rice is heated through, stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste to check the seasoning and add sea salt if desired.
  9. Add the quartered tomatoes, mix gently, and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!
http://www.laurawestkong.com/gff/2011/salmon-nasi-goreng/

Meet Bamboe

Bamboe instant spice mixes

Bumbu is Indonesian for spice mix, and Bamboe is a company that makes instant bumbu.

When you hear instant, don’t think neon cheese powder. Every ingredient is all-natural. The kinds of things an Indonesian cook would use to make bumbu from scratch. Shallots, garlic, chili, and various spices in a bit of oil to make a paste. Ingredients like lemongrass and galangal (a relative of ginger) that are not always easy to find.

What's inside Bamboe packets

Most varieties are made from gluten-free ingredients. Check the label to be sure, at least one of them (Bumbu Bali) contains soy sauce.

Bamboe’s curries are probably my favorite. However I’ll use any of their gluten-free mixes in my cooking. There are directions on the back of the packets to make the dish in a traditional way, and creative recipes on the Bamboe website. Often I will simply check the ingredients list for the flavors I am looking for and use a packet that sounds good to improvise with the ingredients I have on hand.

Look for Bamboe at Asian grocery stores. You could even ask your local health food store if they would order Bamboe mixes. Pure and natural, they’d fit in perfectly on a health food store shelf.

Suddenly

my fabulous gluten-free coconut cake

Welcome GFFs (gluten-free friends)!

I didn’t plan on starting another blog*… not yet anyway. But suddenly, unexpectedly this week, my fatigue has finally gone away and I’m back to my normal self for the first time since 2011 began: running, playing, laughing, quilting, dreaming.

Due to the pain and fatigue brought on by food (gluten, dairy & sugar), I spent most of spring 2011 parked on my couch watching endless hours of Food Network. That’s an odd viewing choice for a person who is mostly vegetarian and now gluten-free as well. There was practically nothing on TV that I could eat even if I had the energy to prepare it.

However, watching food shows sparked an obsession in me to create fabulous gluten-free dishes to entice myself to eat. That was also the medicine that healed me.

And now suddenly here I am at the beginning of a new food adventure. Stay tuned because in the coming posts I’ll share my take on gluten-free dining with you, including flavorful dishes that are naturally gluten-free such as curries (I adore curry and hope you will too!), tasty & nutritious whole food baking, coconut treats like the cake above, and much more!

*My first blog: Adventures of a Quilting Diva, chronicles my life as a quilt-maker and designer. See what I’m up to in the sewing studio!