A Fantastic Friday Lunch

February 13, 2012

In a recent post, I mentioned that on Friday, my dear friend Kristy Hanson came over and we hit the gym and had a killer workout. Then she came over and we made lunch. What I didn’t share in that post what we had for lunch… but that’s what this post is for! It was a delicious meal, and I took pictures.

In addition to being delicious, this meal was quite noteworthy because there was a lot of experimenting going on. You know how much I love trying new things, right? Well, this meal involved not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new things! FOUR! I was in hog heaven.

Enough procrastinating, David – get on with it! The whole meal was built around the idea of using…

NEW ITEM #1. About a year ago, I started noticing vegetables in all sorts of strange colors. Naturally, I bought every oddly-colored vegetable I could find! I was diligent about blogging about them, too – so click these links for pictures of rainbow carrots (and more rainbow carrots here and here), Easter egg radishes, black radishes, orange cauliflower, purple bell pepper, and white eggplant.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen an oddly-colored vegetable. Until the other day, when I picked this up. It’s a purple cauliflower!

Isn’t it beautiful? And it’s loaded with antioxidants that white cauliflowers don’t have – hence the purple color. And, contrary to popular belief (or at least my own), purple cauliflower isn’t the result of breeding or genetic manipulation – it’s a naturally occurring heritage variety that can be traced back to either Italy or South Africa. It’s still beautiful once you hack it into florets:

Kristy and I decided to make a big veggie stir-fry, with the purple cauliflower as the star. I also cut up onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, yellow squash, and zucchini. Meanwhile, Kristy cut two chicken breasts into chunks:

We cooked the chicken in one skillet, and the veggies in another, because we ended up trying two new sauces, one on each component. And that brings me to…

NEW ITEM #2. I bought this bottle of garlic sauce on the island of St. Maarten, when I was the on a cruise in December, and I’ve been dying to bust it open:

I charged Kristy with photographing the bottle, and she opted to create a floating bottle illusion, which I love! The sauce is a super concentrated garlic puree – it smells incredible! There’s only five listed ingredients: garlic, onion, vinegar, salt, and spices, and one serving (a teaspoon) has no calories and no fat.  We added about a tablespoon to a skillet slicked with non-stick spray, and added the chicken to it.

Meanwhile, in the other, bigger skillet, we slicked it with non-stick spray and got the veggies going  – first, the onion, so it would get nice and soft, then we added the cauliflower, since it might need a few more minutes to cook, and then we added the rest of the veggies. After they had been cooking for a while, we added a different sauce to that pan, and that sauce is…

NEW ITEM #3. This caught my eye when I was wandering at Whole Foods:

When Kristy’s photography ends up in a museum somewhere, this photograph will be called “Sauce with School Bus.”

I bought it because I like apricots and I like dijon mustard, but I’ve never had the two of them together. And with 15 calories and 0 fat per tablespoon, it was a lot healthier than a lot of the other sauces on the shelf. When the veggies were mostly cooked, we added about 1/3 of a cup (5 servings) to the skillet – enough to coat all the veggies (and there were a lot of veggies), but only enough to coat them lightly. We also added…

NEW ITEM #4. Fake pasta!

I’ve been seeing this item at Whole Foods for a while now, and finally gave in and bought some. It’s a tofu-based pasta alternative – this variety is spinach fettuccini – and that entire bag (2 servings) has 50 calories and 0 grams of fat (it’s zero Weight Watchers points, for those of you that do Weight Watchers). It’s super easy to prepare: cut open the bag, drain it, rinse it, and heat it up – either in hot water, or you can do what I did, and clear a space in the veggie skillet, and add it in. Be warned: the fettuccini strands tend to clump together, so use a fork or something to tease them out a little bit before you add them.

The cooking of the entire meal was quick – about 10-15 minutes in two side-by-side skillets (I would’ve taken photos but my stove is in the dark corner of my kitchen). Then we plated it up, and dug in!

The final result:

It was delicious. The garlic-sauced-chicken was flavorful, and the veggies were perfect. The apricot dijon sauce was a little sweet and had a great mustard kick. The fake pasta was good – I don’t think you could be fooled into believing it was real pasta, but Kristy pointed out it was very similar to texture and taste to sobu noodles, which are often used in Vietnamese and Thai dishes. The pasta helped round out the dish, and absorbed the sauce nicely.

The best part? Kristy and I each ate a big plate of food, and there was enough leftover for a big, tasty dinner.

KEEP IT UP, DAVID!

PS – If you didn’t have time to visit Keep It Up, David over the weekend, than you missed out! I blogged both days over the weekend, so click on these links to read about an unexpected run and the new skyscraper I added to my collection!


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