thai mussels {from market to table}

We have done a very poor job of utilizing the LA Farmers’ Markets since moving here.

So last Thursday I decided that I wasn’t going to plan every single meal of next week like I normally do. I would go to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market (considered one of the best in LA) Sunday morning and make dinner out of our findings! Sadly, this is kind of my idea of living on the edge… ;)

The farmers’ market was amazing, and I now vow to visit more often. It was the perfect way to spend Sunday morning and I was able to buy all of the vegetables and fruit I needed for the week!

Soon after we started browsing (and people dodging/celebrity spying) I spotted some pak choi (bok choy) and had just seen a recipe on Fake Food Free that I wanted to try out (Ginger Soy Pak Choi) so our meal immediately took an Asian twist.

Then we were at the Oyster Boys stand and I over-heard one of the Oyster Boys describing Thai Mussels…um, done. Actually, we decided it over a few oysters. Um, yum.

So following his instructions, we combined coconut milk and veggies in a large pot and let the mussels cook away. Can we just take a second to discuss how amazing fresh lemongrass smells?! I almost didn’t want to throw it in the pot.

The thai mussels were incredible – the flavors so complex and spicy, creamy and fresh – all at the same time. And so easy! Mussels always strike me as complicated or a lot of work, but they really aren’t!

Thai Mussels

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Keywords: gluten-free Thai

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (2 inch piece)
  • 5 inch piece of lemongrass, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to preference)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup white wine
  • sriracha to taste
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 2 lbs fresh mussels
  • brown rice
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

Heat coconut oil in large pot.

Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass and saute for about 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk, wine and red pepper.

Bring to a boil and add mussels to pot.

Simmer until mussels open, about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice and veggies and garnish with cilantro.

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2011 in review

I thought it would be fun to review 2011 through my blog! It’s been a busy year, but a really, really good one!

Here are some of my favorite posts from 2011:

Favorite Healthy Appetizer:

Thai Guacamole – from almost a year ago! SO good!

Favorite Cheese Appetizer: 

Roasted Grapes with Brie – need more.

Favorite New Social Media:

instagr.am. Love!

Favorite New Cheese: 

Burrata. Enough said.

Favorite Restaurant Trip:

It wasn’t documented on the blog, but the night after our wedding my parents, brother, and good friends all went out to D’Amico Kitchen in Minneapolis for a night full of laughs, reminiscing and some of my favorite people. A recent amazing meal at Mercato di Vetro comes in at a close second.

Favorite Breakfast: 

Hawaiian Breakfast. Rice + bacon + green onions + eggs.

Favorite Cocktail:

Mango Cucumber Wine Cooler – even though I spilled it all over the kitchen floor, it was so refreshing and I’m a sucker for cucumber cocktails. 

Favorite Entree: 

Easy Chicken Curry. Need this asap, SO good!

 Most Indulgent Meal: 

I dubbed it the engagement dinner - meat and potatoes (plus lots of butter and cream) for my midwestern man!

Favorite Sandwich: 

Artichoke, Spinach & White Bean Sandwich – vegan and delicious!

Favorite Daily Eats Post: 

I love doing the daily eats posts, I feel like it gives you a glimpse into my everyday life and shows you that Nutritionists can be healthy, but they can also enjoy burgers! The camp version was a favorite and brings back so many memories!

Favorite Wedding Picture:

So hard…there are so many that I love!

What an amazing 2011, I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us! 

Thank YOU for reading and making this blog what it is, I wouldn’t be here without you!

chinese bbq pork with provolone

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant…

and seen something that sounded so interesting but you just weren’t able to order it because there were so many other things on the menu that you needed to try?

When that happens to me, I jot down a few words and email them to myself. Inspiration I call it. Hopefully I’m not the only one who does this crazy, little thing. (Please tell me I’m not the only one?)

So on April 16, 2010 I emailed this to myself:

And proceeded to think about it every now and then for the last 19 months.

I have no idea what possessed me, but I finally made it. And I’m so glad that I did. For starters, I can now delete that email. I can also share a recipe that can be mostly made in the slow cooker and will be a nice change from the standard BBQ pork.

I wish I could remember where we saw this, I know it was some dark bar in Denver, and we ate mac & cheese with truffle and mushrooms (been wanting to make that ever since too) and something about it just sounded right to me.

The Taster on the other hand was thoroughly confused.

“Chinese BBQ pork with provolone?”

“On a corn tortilla?”

“I don’t get it.” “Why?”

During times like this, I usually just shove some food in his face and wait for his (always honest) opinion.

This doesn’t top his list of favorites, but I loved it.

It is part nacho, where the edges of the corn tortilla get all crispy like chips.

Part tostada, with the classic corn flavor and juicy meat.

And part, “what? I don’t get it.”

Which is the best part of all.

BBQ Pork with Provolone

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 6 hours (15 min active)

Keywords: slow-cooker sandwich entree high protein Chinese Mexican

Part nacho, part tostada and part…

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder
  • 1 cup asian bbq sauce
  • 1 cup liquid (beer or broth)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • corn tortillas
  • provolone cheese

Instructions

Combine pork, bbq sauce, garlic and liquid in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until shredded.

Pre-heat broiler.

Top tortilla with some of pork mixture (draining liquid from pork) and provolone.

Broil until cheese is golden brown.

*If pork mixture has too much liquid, remove cover, stirring frequently until it has thickened.

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enjoying the holidays

Last year I was in the midst of a “healthy holidays” series and I came to an important realization.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, without stressing out about how many calories are in that cup of egg nog and worrying about being perfectly healthy the whole time. I’m going to eat cheese and drink wine with abandon! ;)

Here is what you should do in the next week!

Always fill a stocking. (Your own counts!)

Eat cookies. (keyword: homemade)

Do something active with your family. (I’m hoping for a hike in 80 degree weather before flying to Minnesota later that day!)

Enjoy a large, family meal that focuses as much on the laughter and the company as it does the food.

Kiss under mistletoe.

(source)

Start a tradition.

Listen to all the holiday music you can.

Donate something. Time, money, etc. (Donate to Medical Missions in Haiti here)

Wear some fun holiday makeup!

Take a day off from the computer/twitter/facebook/etc. (We can all use it.)

(source)

Be Thankful for what you have.

Think of those who aren’t as lucky.

Enjoy the holiday season! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you are celebrating!