low-cholesterol

Seafood Salad Recipe with 4 dressings

Fish and Seafood are healthy choices, and it is low-fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “The good omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation, read more in Seafood and fish healthy benefits.

Preparing a seafood salad, buy fresh from the market or use frozen seafood mix, I often stock a bag in the freezer. Add the quantity into a colander hold it under the water tap to remove the layer of ice.

Put a pan on the stove bring water to near boil and flash through the frozen seafood. Remove seafood quickly with a sieve and transfer to a bowl filled with ice cubes. If you bought fresh fillets and choice of seafood shells, poach the fish and shellfish for more flavour. Bonus, the remaining liquid has turned into rich aromatic fish taste broth.

 

 

Seafood Salad

How to poach fish and seafood in an aromatic broth called court-bouillon, a traditional way to enhance flavour. The Seafood Salad recipe and dressing variations are right here below.

  1. The poaching liquid is easy to make within 30 minutes. Using ingredients; sea salt, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley with lemon or vinegar. (The use of acidity is to help to retain the colour of salmon and turns shellfish in a bright red colour (lobster, crab). Milk helps with white fish fillets.
  2. Add some spices peppercorns, cloves or give it an Asian twist use ginger, galangal, Lemon Grass, etc.
  3. Bring liquid with aromatics to a boil let it steep after 30 minutes remove all the aromatics.
  4. Bring the liquid back to near boil, watch bubbles break through the surface. Add pieces of fish and shellfish carefully into the water.

Seafood Salad Recipe Asianfoodtrail

Cooking time

  1. Cook for the right moment;
    1. small shrimps only need 15 sec,
    2. squid just 1-minute
    3. for all shellfish approx. 3-5 minutes (or shell opens)
    4. Fish fillets between 3 – 10 minutes, this depends on thickness and type of fish. Watch the fish fillets change colour and start to get flaky.
  2. Note: for whiter and creamier flavour use milk to poach in the fish fillets with aromatics.
    1. Pour milk in a pan, just to cover the pieces of fish fillets barely.
  3. Remove quickly with a sieve, to cool transfer immediately in an ice-water bath to stop cooking process and cool down immediately.

For Instant Pot users: cooking time table for fish and seafood.

Poaching liquid

  1. If you are preparing a cold fish dish, remove the pan from the burner leave it to cool down in the poaching liquid for more flavour.
    1. This step slows the cooking pace down. Watch the time and the target temperature carefully.
  2. At the end of poaching all fish and seafood ingredients, you will have an excellent intensified liquid leftover. Keep the broth by straining through a sieve in containers or freeze in cubes.
  3.  Store the poaching liquid in the fridge use it within 24 hours for best flavour. Store in the freezer, it will keep for 2-3 months.
  4. Or use a high-pressure canner to store poaching liquid as broth in glass jars. I use a 24-quart Presto canner.


 Various dressing style

Seafood Salad fresh ingredients, I love various dressings to fit my mood and appetite or to go along with my menu theme.

Italian/Mediterranean Insalata Frutti di Mare simple dressing is one of my favourites. Add parsley with two tbs of lemon juice with 80 ml (1/3 cup) of light olive oil, 1-2 cloves of garlic finely minced, pepper and salt. Taste for acidity level and add if needed a little bit of vinegar. Garnish with parsley leaves or chopped onion on top. Optional: add 1 Tsp of dijon mustard for vinaigrette dressing

Thai-style dressing, in Thailand this dressing is often combined with grilled squid and fish. Start with 4 tbsp lime juice, 4 tbsp fish sauce. Add 4 tbs palm sugar or 1 tbsp liquid sweetener ( no stevia!). Followed by 2-4 cloves minced garlic, 2-3 tbsp finely chopped coriander. For moderate heat add 1 pod chilli deseeded, chopped or sliced finely. Like Thai-style hot add in finely 1-2 chopped bird’s eye chilli’s). Add 2 tbsp of filtered water and mix everything together. Taste and add a little more water if needed. Garnish with fresh mint and coriander leaves to finish. Optional: no fresh chilli at hand use 1 tsp sriracha sauce.

Japanese Wafu-style dressing, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 4 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar, 6 tbsp oil (do not use olive oil), 1 tsp fine caster sugar (1-2 drops liquid sweetener). Optional: add finely grated onion with daikon. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds on top.

For other reads and recipes: Thai noodle soup | Red Curry Mussels | Chinese stock methods and variations

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

Welcomed by a blazing sun on Sunday it ignited planning a trip to the beach. We never passed beyond that first thought. Absentmindedly sweeping up our backyard and trimming by pulling and snipping into the wiry Ivy. We ended up stripping down almost twenty years of Ivy growth against the garden wall.

After hours of manual labour, pulling and cutting the Ivy stalks we managed to get rid the Bush. Simple trimming turned out to be a heck of a job.

 

 

Going to the seaside was not an option anymore nearing the end of the day. Instead, we had a seafood salad mix as part of a healthy Keto (Paleo or LCHF) diet. Eating fish and seafood happens to be perfect with weight loss plan too.

Seafood and Fish

We like to eat and prepare the fish whole from head to tail, fish types e.g. red snapper, mackerel, sardine, red mullet, sea bream, and more. Or sample fresh seafood like cuttlefish, clams, mussels, prawns, scallops and oysters.

You might have guessed, Fruits du Mer or Seafood platter is one of my favourite dishes. The presentation combined with flavour, texture it will take more time in advance for preparation.

Instead, it is easier to have a salad with fresh, canned and frozen items for a quick formed meal. Eating more seafood and fish in our weekly meal plan are healthy choices, in fact, it is low-fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.


The good omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation. I have been reading on the benefits for a healthy diet due to reversing diabetes Type 2 while following Keto diet with very good results.

Here a short overview why having more fish and seafood benefits a healthy diet in our body and brain. The recipe description for Seafood Salad Mix with extra dressings and cooking notes are here with other recipe suggestions right after the resource listings here down below.

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

  • Lower blood triglycerides (cholesterol)
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • May improve symptoms of inflammation, arthritis and psoriasis

Seafood nutritional value

Seafood and fish nutritional value

  • Many varieties of seafood are low cholesterol and sodium
  • Rich source of protein, minerals and vitamins
  • Low-calorie source of essential nutrients
  • Polyunsaturated fats lower LDL, triglycerides, boost cholesterol profile
Resources and facts

Seafood nutritional value

What’s not to love with healthy and tasty seafood dishes. Any style goes throughout the year. For dinner tonight a seafood salad mix is just perfect.

For other Salads, click on Thai beef salad | Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad  | Seafood Salad Mix Recipe

Calendar events:

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet. Mention and share a fish event near you with us. We will add it to the list or perhaps even drop by :-).

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Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links:

Dried beans how-to

Dried beans how to:

Beans have become a staple ingredient in our weekly meal plans, a sensible choice since beans are low-glycemic, high-fiber, high-protein, and packed with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By adding foods with a low glycemic index in our diet, you will have an extra boon since our body will digest these foods slowly, you will feel full for a longer period while eating less calories without feeling hungry. Even better

The type of bean influences the cooking time but also the type of cooking vessel; slow cooker or pressure cooker. This is a general rule of thumb in how-to start with dried bean cooking instructions, as for the cooking times click on the highlighted guidelines links for more information on type of beans. For more information on Low GI foods and Glycemic index click the highlighted link as a valuable sources.

Pre-soaking beans:

  1. Using dried beans is easy for each cup of dried beans use three cups of water. There are two methods of pre-soaking the beans;
  2. Boil the beans for 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat source cover and let it stand for two hours.
  3. The standard method is to simply soak the beans in water for a minimum of eight hours or overnight. With a maximum of two day and cleansing the water in between on the kitchen counter or depending weather circumstances in the refrigerator to prevent the beans from fermenting.

Cooking Beans:

  • Regardless of the method you choose; drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water before cooking.
  • Use caution when pressure cooking because of the loose skins. Always use oil with these bean and you can place a rack or paper kitchen towel to help keep loose skins from floating up.
  • Tip when using  Fava and broad beans for the first time; blanch beans in boiling water for a minute then plunge them into cold water to peel off the thick brown skin before cooking. Or buy packages labled “skinless” to avoid this time-consuming chore.
  • A quick overview of informative webpage links for pressure cooking times, guidelines and tips for cooking beans;
  1. Hip pressure cooking times
  2. Recipesource Basic guidelines for pressure cooking dry beans
  3. Pulse Canada Guide to cooking beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas
  4. Healthy Highways Pressure cooking guidelines

Basic cooking recipe for preparing beans is adding flavors such as onion, bay leaf, garlic even dried peppers and more to the cooking water in a crock pot for slow cooking method or using a pressure cooker for speed. You could even add a chicken or vegetable stock tablet to give it a quick twist. After cooking you can simply add a good splash of olive oil and serve them straight away as a plain side dish.

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried Butter beans or Lima Beans

 

Avocado Chia seeds healthy breakfast

Avocado

Due to its shape and leathery skin, did you know that another name for Avocado is Alligator’s pear? What’s in a name right? 🙂

A biologist calls it persea americana, but avocado derives from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, which also refers to a certain part of the male anatomy that the fruit somewhat resembles. In English, the word has almost the same pronunciation as the Spanish abogado, “lawyer.” In Mexico it is called the aguacate. Use your imagination to understand why the Aztecs called it the fertility fruit. Legend has it that an early English description of “avocado” called it the “avogado pear,” leading to the misunderstanding of “alligator pear.”  The fact that the shell of the fruit looks vaguely crocodilian doesn’t hurt. (source: dictonary.com)

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

A fruit native to Mexico and Central America, much eaten as a vegetable and the main ingredient to make famous guacamole dip with tortilla chips. With great benefits to this mighty fruit, a serving size of 150 gram has 240 calories, very low in cholesterol and sodium. Rich source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate. Supports cardiovascular health, promotes blood sugar regulation and has anti-cancer benefits. It is no wonder why Avocado is considered among the World’s healthiest foods.

Chia Seeds

Another health food native to the same region is Chia Seeds (the seeds come from a flowering plaint in the mint family) an important crop and super food for the Aztec’s it was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying Chia 29-years ago. Chia is the highest currently known plant source of omega-3 ALA, which is able to convert into both EPA and DHA. Rich in anti-inflammatory activity, has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus as an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled. Or making a gel by adding liquid for instant pudding or as an egg or butter substitute. 

Avocado Chia seeds mash healthy breakfast

Avocados are regular ingredients in our fruit basket, last week there was a health products promotion at the discount chain store Action for Chia seeds and I bought two packages to add them to our diet. Half way through a hectic week, I needed a healthy boost so I came up with this preparation an Avocado and Chia seeds mash. A healthy breakfast alternative recipe, spiced up with a bit of SiChuan pepper powder and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on toasted Corn bread. Perhaps you could use a #transformationthursday superbooster too with all these ingredients loading up energy, watch out Friday!

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast

 

 

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Gluten-free

Many summers back we had an impromptu BBQ dinner with friends at our Taiwanese home. Our guests brought Pot Luck to our home, one of the dishes a fantastic Tabbouleh salad made with bulgur. My first attempts to remake Tabbouleh was disappointing since then I learned of my mistakes such as not squeezing hard enough to remove all liquid.

While parsley is the main herb ingredient, you can easily make adaptations with other herb options. Based on this salad but creating a different taste is by adding 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato tapenade instead of tomato puree for a pronounced flavour.

A healthy dish with memories, running out of bulgur gave room for another twist by preparing this salad with Quinoa seed. With every bite, the seeds will pop a little giving it an extra dimension.

 

With no fresh lemons available nor bottles of lemon juice, I substituted with Chinese rice vinegar and adjust seasonings for the olive oil based dressing. The same reason I tried Apple vinegar which would be my last resort since it has a higher acidity you need less. So start with just one tablespoon and increase with half if needed.

Last summer our youngest came back from her holiday in Morocco with student peers. She brought Aragan oil purchased from a local vendor in a small village. There’s a reason why it is called Moroccan liquid gold as one of the rarest oils in the world.

The nutty taste and fragrance is absolute heaven! I am not an exaggerating type but Aragan oil really does give an extra dimension to salad dishes. If not available you can replace with walnut oil, olive oil will work but has a different end taste.

Liquid gold, it is an unequalled and understandably rare commodity outside of Morocco. A food gem in my kitchen cabinet for as long as the treasured food gift last.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, Power food

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa is a basically a powerhouse full of nutritional value and a good choice on the menu. A super grain high in protein and fibre, an ancient seed re-ignited as a super food. If Aragan oil is gold liquid than the mother grain of the Inca’s are gold nuggets. Apparently, NASA sent astronauts into space with Quinoa on the menu as the power food.

Today’s Tabbouleh version has no parsley, instead, it is prepared with fresh mint and coriander. You can serve the dish for lunch with bread, dinner or barbeque as a side dish.

For other salad inspiration, try our Red Beet Salad with Orange, Feta Cheese, Mint recipe or Yum Nua Thai Beef Salad recipe.