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TIP OF THE DAY: Eat More Fish With Sashimi Salad

If you want to eat more fish but don’t like cooking it, here’s an easy idea: sashimi salad.

Just toss sliced fish over greens.

Instead of opening a can or searing the fish tataki-style (briefly seared), sashimi salad is an easy alternative.

A decade ago one of our favorite neighborhood sushi bars closed, taking with it one of our favorite foods, “marinated salmon”—was a mesclun salad with onions dressed in vinaigrette and topped with slices of salmon sashimi.

It was deliciousness, low in calories, and had eye appeal: a culinary home run. We had it several times a week.

When the restaurant was replaced by a cupcake parlor, we had to make it at home. Aside from fetching fresh salmon, it couldn’t have been easier.
 
 
1. SELECT YOUR FISH.

Ask for recommendations at the fish counter. The staff can also slice the salmon or tuna loins into sashimi-thickness slices.

The typical sashimi slice is 2 inches by 1/16 inch, but you can have them sliced longer and thicker as you prefer (longer is also better to drape over a mound of salad, as in photo # 2).

You can also consider the kaku-zukuri cut (“square slice”, photo #5) of 3/4-inch cubes (photos #1, #3 and #4).

The sashimi sold in sushi restaurants in North America is flash-frozen, whether it is local or flown in from elsewhere. It is thawed before preparation. You can purchase flash-frozen fish in your supermarket, slowly thaw it overnight in the fridge and eat it the next day.

You may also find live salmon and other varieties at Asian fish markets, where they can filet them for you.

 
2. PICK YOUR GREENS.

Are you in the mood for something more mild, like a mesclun mix; or a peppery arugula and watercress? A mixture is always a good idea.

If you like crunch, consider shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix).

We like onion in our salad. Japanese recipes use green onions (scallions); but you can add your allium of preference (the different types of onions).
 
 
3. ADD OTHER VEGETABLES & FRUITS.

Use whatever you have, or add whatever you like. We personally like:

  • Avocado
  • Baby beets
  • Blueberries and/or blackberries
  • Carrot curls
  • Cherry/grape tomatoes
  • Chinese vegetables: bamboo shoots, bok choy, napa cabbage, etc.
  • Diced honeydew
  • Edamame
  • Japanese pickles (oshinko and tsukemono, available online or at Asian food stores)
  • Lychees or rambutans
  • Mango or papaya
  • Orange or mandarin segments (particularly blood orange)
  • Radish slices, or shredded daikon (Japanese radish)
  • Seaweed salad or kimchi
  • Snow peas or sugar snap peas
  •    

    Sashimi Salad

    Sashimi Salad

    Sashimi Salad With Quinoa

    Sashimi Salad

    Square Cut Toro Sashimi

    [1] Mesclun with tuna cubes, at Kabuki Restaurants. [2] Conventional sashimi strips over a mounded salad, garnished with cherry tomatoes and tobacco, at Natsumi | NYC. [3] Double the nutrition: Sashimi salad over quinoa (or your whole grain of choice), at Sushi Samba. [4] Sashimi salad with wasabi & passionfruit dressing. Here’s the recipe from from Delicious | Australia. [5] kaku-zukuri, square-cut sushi; here, toro from Fish For Sushi.

     

    Shichimi Togarashi

    Nori Strips

    [6] Shichimi Togarashi, a blend of seven Japanese spices (photo courtesy Yahoo). [7] Nori strips, scissor-cut from nori sheets (photo courtesy Food Sharing With Little One).

     

    4. PICK YOUR DRESSING.

    Rice vinegar and/or lime juice with olive oil (and a splash of sesame oil if you have it) make an excellent basic vinaigrette for sashimi salad.

    You can also add salad oil to ponzu sauce.

    Here are some more-elaborate favorites:

  • Wasabi-passionfruit dressing.
  • Yuzu dressing.
  • Nobu’s sashimi salad dressing is simple: onion, rice vinegar, water, mustard and pinches of granulated sugar, sea salt and black pepper.
  • For something more lively, take a look at this mint cilantro vinaigrette.
  • This gluten-free ginger dressing uses tamari instead of soy sauce, plus green onions and a splash of sake.
  • If you like things spicy, check out spicy Korean sashimi salad, hwe dap bap, which uses gochujang, spicy red pepper paste.
  • Or, simply splash some sriracha into the vinaigrette. This fusion recipe combines soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice and sriracha.
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    5. PICK YOUR GARNISH.

  • Citrus zest or julienned strips
  • Crispy Chinese noodle or wonton strips
  • Nori strips (photo #7)
  • Scallions, finely-sliced
  • Sesame seeds—black, white, regular or toasted
  • Shichimi togarishi, Japanese spice blend (red chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed)
  • Tobiko (flying fish roe), available in different colors (green, orange, red, yellow) and flavors, like wasabi tobiko
  •  
     
    6. BEVERAGE PAIRINGS

  • Green tea or black tea, hot or iced (but no milk and sugar in the black tea). We especially like Genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice that gives it a lovely, nutty; flavor.
  • Mineral water, especially sparkling with a high level of minerals.
  • Rosé, sparkling wine or white wine.
  • Sparkling water/club soda, plain or citrus-flavored.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: 12+ Good-For-You Snacks For The New Year

    Four days into the new year, we can’t stop nibbling on the empty calories.

    So we put this list together, as a reminder that good-for-you snacks taste good, too.

    These are some of our grab-and-go favorites. For the sake of brevity, we’ve left off the most obvious—fresh and dried fruits, crudités, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, lowfat/nonfat plain yogurt, pepitas, pickles, popcorn, sugar-free Jell-O and pudding, tuna pouches, etc.—to present other ideas.

    For total convenience, they’re all grab-and-go.

    Enjoy them with a low-calorie beverage: flavored water or seltzer, hot or iced coffee or tea, bone broth, etc.

    SAVORY SNACKS

  • Edamame warm or dried: Edamame are green soybeans. They have a powerhouse mix of protein, slow-digesting carbs and nutrients like folate, iron, magnesium and vitamin K. If you have a microwave at hand, heat frozen edamame. The ones in the shell are better for snacking: They take longer to eat.
  • Jerky: While this meat treat does have some sugar, it is packed with protein. Our favorite brand is Krave, which has tender meat and nine delectable flavors. If you want a shot of caffeine with your jerky, we’re fans of Perky Jerky, with several flavors each in beef and turkey jerky.
  • Leafy green chips: Look for them at health food stores, or make your own. You can buy snack packs from companies like Rhythm Superfoods (which has five flavors of kale ships, plus beet chips). Here’s a recipe for microwave kale chips. We also like to make cabbage chips). You can also make chips from collards and any leafy green tops you may throw away, like beet tops and broccoli leaves.
  • Nut butter packets: individual servings in almond, hazelnut and peanut butter from Justin’s. You can simply squeeze the treat from the packet, or get the Snack Pack dipping package with pretzel sticks.
  • Other Vegetable chips: You can find carrot chips, green beans and mixed veggie chips in plastic containers at many retailers. Seek, and ye shall find.
  • Pistachios in the shell: Nuts are a nutritious snack, but it’s too easy to wolf down more than the recommended one-ounce portion. Pistachios are the best, because it takes time to remove them from the shell. Plus, pistachios have only 3 calories apiece, about half the calories of most snack nuts (example: for 100 calories you get 30 pistachios or 14 almonds). For a full ounce (the recommended portion):
  • *Almonds: 20-24 almonds have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.
    *Cashews: 16 to 18 cashews have about 160 calories and 5 grams of protein.
    *Peanuts: 28 peanuts have about 170 calories and 7 grams of protein.
    *Pistachios: 40 to 45 pistachios have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.

       

    Crunch-Dried Edamame

    Pistachio Snack Packs

    Olive Snack Pack

    [1] Edamame, steamed warm or dried, are packed with nutrition (photo courtesy Sensible Foods). [2] Pistachios are the best nut for snacking if you want the shell to slow you down (photo courtesy Wonderful Pistachios). [3] Load up on snack packs of olives—black, green, plain, flavored (photo courtesy Gaea).

    *Walnuts: 14 walnut halves have about 190 calories and 4 grams of protein.

  • Olive snack packs: heart healthy with fiber, individual snack packs are available in black and green, plain or flavored. There’s no liquid, no mess.
  •  

    Healthy Sweet Snack

    Red Grapes

    [4] Justin’s sweet or savory snack packs combine different flavors of nut butter—almond, hazelnut, peanut—with banana chips or pretzels (photo courtesy Cooking Light). [5] Easy peasy: freeze grapes or banana chunks (photo courtesy Only Gluten Free Recipes).

     

    SWEET SNACKS

  • Apple chips: One of our favorite sweet snacks just happens to be good for you: crunchy apple chips from Bare Snacks, in three varieties (Fuji, Granny Smith and Cinnamon). Naturally sweet with no added sugar, a half-cup serving is 110 calories.
  • Flavored nut butter packets: Justin’s has squeeze packets and Snack Pack dipping snacks with banana chips and chocolate, honey, or maple nut butter.
  • Frozen grapes: High in fiber, vitamins and minerals, frozen grapes are like a bite of an ice pop. One cup, about 32 seedless grapes, has about 100 calories. Red and purple varieties have more antioxidants. Wash seedless grapes, let dry, and freeze on a baking sheet. Store in an airtight zip-top bag. Frozen banana chunks are another option.
  • No Sugar Added Fruit Leather: The Stretch Island Fruit brand has no added sugar, and 45 calories per snack pack. There are six different fruit flavors.
  • No Sugar Added Popsicles: These may be grab-and-go, but you have to eat them on the go or they melt. Still, they’re one of our favorite ways to enjoy a frozen treat for 15 calories. There are also Creamsicles (30 calories) and Fudgsicles (80 calories). More information.
  • Sugar-Free Caramels: Werther’s makes sugar free hard caramels in original, caramel chocolate and caramel coffee. But our personal favorites are the soft, chewy sugar-free caramels.
     
    If your favorite good-for-you snacks are missing here, let us know!
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Crudites, A Gingerbread House Alternative

    Vegetable Christmas House

    Veggie Lodge

    Chocolate Holiday House

    [1] A good-for-you Christmas treat. [2] Start here (photos #1 and #2 courtesy Green Giant). [3] A chocolate house, made with molds from King Arthur Flour.

     

    How about a vegetable cottage instead of a gingerbread house?

    Created by Green Giant; we found it on

    It was originally posted on Green Giant’s Facebook page.

    Here’s the rub:

    The bloggers who re-posted provided the ingredients, but instructed the reader to “Click here for the directions From Green Giant’s Facebook Page.”

    Alas, clicking all those links delivers a “Page Not Found.”

    Conspiracy: Maybe there never were directions! At best, we have some step-by-step photos.

    So you’ll have to put it together yourself. Or delegate it to someone who likes to build.

    If you’re a great food crafter, please make it and send us the instructions.

     
    RECIPE: VEGGIE LODGE

    Ingredients

  • 6 8″ carrot logs (1 front, 5 back)
  • 8 5″ carrot logs (lodge sides)
  • 8 3″ carrot logs (front)
  • 1-1/4″ logs (by front door)
  • 4 1-1/2″ carrot logs (window opening)
  • 3 7″ carrot log rafters
  • 16 6″ roof celery stalks
  • Foam core board gable measures 8″x 6: x 6″
  • Carrot coins for stone path
  • Slice of turnip for window
  • Toothpicks & cream cheese mortar to fasten the cucumbers and celery
  • Bamboo skewers to stack chimney mushroom “stones”
  •  
    For The Surroundings

  • Artichoke “evergreen trees”
  • Broccoli floret “bushes”
  • Boiled baby potatoes
  • Hard boiled egg Santa snowmen (recipe)
  • Cremini mushrooms (brown tops) for more shrubbery
  • Yellow/red cherry or grape tomatoes
  •  
    For The Dip

  • 1 large red bell pepper or other dip holder
  • Dip of choice
  •  
    Ingredients
     
    Or, ditch the healthy house and make this chocolate version from King Arthur Flour.

     
    CAN YOU FOLLOW THESE PHOTOS & BUILD THE LODGE?
     
    Veggie Lodge Preparation

      

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    GIFT OF THE DAY: ButcherBox Grass-Fed Beef

    Butcher Box

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    Butcher Block Steak

    [1] A monthly (or one-time) box arrives, frozen and portion-wrapped. [2] The Steak and Chops Box. The boxes differ somewhat each month depending on what’s best. [3] You have to cook your own meat, but the result is worth it (all photos courtesy ButcherBox).

     

    What do you give loved ones who want to switch to all-natural and organic foods?

    To those who want to start the new year on the Paleo Diet?

    How about parents who only want to feed their children hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats?
     
    WHY GRASS-FED BEEF?

    Founder Mike Salguero, a follower of the Paleo Diet*, was first introduced to 100% grass-fed beef through a local farmer who sold quarter- and half-shares of cattle. Mike was instantly hooked, preferring the more natural taste of grass-fed beef and the many health advantages of grass-fed beef over conventional grain-fed beef.

    He asked himself: “Why isn’t everyone eating this?”

    The reason, he found, is that not everyone has access to grass-fed beef. Even if their market carries it, it is often limited to ground beef. Just 1% of the total beef consumed in the United States is 100% grass-fed.

    Mike set out to make 100%† grass-fed beef accessible to those who want it. He sought the best farmers; he and the team tasted every month’s supply before buying it.

    He added organic and free-range chicken and humanely raised heritage pork to the product mix, and made it simple to order and receive meat for the month.

    Butcher Box works on a subscription basis: Sign up for the number of months you want. You can cancel at any time, change your box contents, set your schedule (every month, every other, every three months) and so on.

    FOR GIFTS: You can send gift subscriptions or single boxes.
     
    WHAT YOU GET

    The team goes to great length to ensure that you’re wowed with each box you receive. Every cut from every farmer is tasted before ButcherBox buys it. If they don’t love it, you won’t get it.

    ButcherBox won a blind taste test on the Today Show, and gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from own taste test as well.

    ButcherBox offers four different monthly boxes, a balanced assortment of steaks, roasts, and easy-to-cook items like ground beef and tips. It arrives when you specify, portion-wrapped and frozen.

    Each monthly box contains a balanced selection of 3-5 premium cuts, from ribeye to flat iron to short ribs. In addition to the rotating monthly choices, each box includes a premium blend of ground beef.

    Based on the month’s contents, you can choose in advance to add on other options each month: New York strip steak, bacon, roasts, and so on. Its easy to customize your box to your household’s preferences.

    The basic boxes are:

  • All Beef Box
  • Beef & Chicken Box
  • Beef & Pork Box
  • Mixed Box (all 3 meats)
  •  
    All boxes come with curated recipes that you can use to cook the month’s cuts.
     
    WHAT IT COSTS

  • The ButcherBox you select is $129/month. It includes 7-10 pounds of meat—enough for at least 20 individual portions at a 5- to 8-ounce portion size.
  • The meats are less expensive than in stores, and shipping is included to the contiguous 48 states.
  • For individual gift boxes, prices start at $79.
  • The meats are flash frozen and portion-packaged.
  • DELIVERY

    The box is filled with dry ice that’s carefully calculated to keep the contents frozen on your doorstep for up to 24 hours after arrival.

    You receive a tracking number the night your box ships.
     
    CAN’T WAIT TO START YOUR OWN SUBSCRIPTION OR TO SEND BUTCHERBOX AS A GIFT?

    Head to GetButcherBox.com and start to drool!
     
    ________________
    *The Paleo Diet emphasizes whole foods and proteins from grass-fed animals, whose meat is considered more flavorful. It is usually lower in fat and calories.

    †Some cattle are 100% grass fed; others are fed with grass until six months before harvesting, when they are switched to grain to fatten them up.

     
      

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    GIFT OF THE DAY: Spicy Brownies

    Sea Salt Brownie

    Sea Salt Brownie

    We [heart] spicy Mayan brownies (photos courtesy The Grommet).

     

    Salt Of The Earth Bakery is an artisanal baked goods company that re-imagines classic treats, by adding finishing salts and exotic spices.

    These extras turn the cookies and brownies into decidedly adult fare.

    We love brownies—great ones—and are always on the prowl for what’s different and delicious.

    Salt Of The Earth Bakery makes five brownie flavors. The one that called out to us was the Mayan, “the brownie that bites you back.”

    Seasoned as the original Mayan chocolate was, with cinnamon, and cayenne, it’s topped with Halen Môn (Anglesey), crunchy sea salt flakes.

    In the Mayan and later Aztec cultures, chocolate* was only available to the nobility, wealthy merchants and honored warriors.

    Unleash your inner warrior and try a few.

    Other flavors include:

  • The Brownie, a classic with Halen Môn sea salt
  • The Kona, with espresso and Hawaiian Kona sea salt
  • The OMGCB, with caramel and French sel gris
  • The Nutty One, with peanut butter, and French sel gris
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    ABOUT SALT OF THE EARTH PRODUCTS

    The line is all-natural and certified kosher by OK-D. The chocolate is 100% Fair Trade USA certified chocolate from Guittard.

    Salt Of The Earth Bakery is commited to the environment, from sustainable packaging, to recycling to maximizing eco-friendly power sources such as solar and hydro energy.
     
    GET YOUR BROWNIES

    Three boxes of 2 brownies each (1.6 ounces per brownie) are $15.00 at SaltOfTheEarthBakery.com.

    There are also gift packs of brownies and cookies.
     
    ________________
    *For the first few thousand years of its existence, chocolate was a beverage. Solid chocolate was first created in the 19th century, in Europe. Check out the Chocolate Timeline.

     
      

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