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Slice of Life

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    When mung bean sprouts first made their appearance as a healthy, natural food in the 1960s and ’70s, many people dismissed them as a food fad.
  • Shortcake is a perfect dessert
    Desserts are always on the menu at our house, not that we need them after most meals. But still this is me cooking, so dessert is, well, expected.Cookies? Sure, always good but been there, done that. Cake?
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    Its barbecue time and in my house this poses a bit of a problem, since two of the couples we typically invite have children that are “almost” vegetarian with a nod to eating fish, which technically makes them pescatarians.
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Mix fish, salad for new, fresh meal

So how much food is too much food to serve for a fancy birthday, anniversary, holiday or for company?

Do we really need to have soup, salad and an appetizer, along with bread, main and side dishes and dessert for a meal? I say no, no and no again. In this day and age of too much cholesterol and calories and super-sized meals, it is wise to re-examine what and how much we serve and how we can make it not only delicious but healthy by combining the traditional salad and fish course to create a new and exciting dish.

Lemon Smoked Salmon and Pita

4 pitas cut into quarters, lightly toasted

Smoked Salmon Topping:

6 to 8 ounces sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped red onion

1 cup shredded fresh spinach

1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped chives or green onions, plus a few snipped for garnish

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Pepper to taste

16 spinach leaves

8 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1 cup chopped black olives

Lemon spread:

4 ounces cream cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon white horseradish

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

For spread: In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the softened cream cheese, salt and pepper, white horseradish and whipping cream. Beat until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and set it aside.

For topping: In a bowl combine the salmon with the red onion, shredded spinach, chopped chives, lemon zest, and pepper. Mix to combine. Spread some of the lemon spread on top of the pita quarter, place 1 spinach leaf on top and then top with a heaping tablespoon of the smoked fish mixture. Place the topped pita quarter on a salad plate and decorate with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle the chopped black olives over the top.

White Fish Stuffed Tomatoes

1 head of red leaf lettuce, shredded

8 ounces prepared white fish salad (store-bought or make your own)

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and cut in half lengthwise

8 hard cooked eggs, sliced or cut into quarters (optional)

1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced into rounds

Divide the shredded lettuce between 8 plates and set it aside. In a bowl combine the white fish, chopped celery and chopped red pepper, then spoon it into the tomato halves. Place 2 halves on each plate and decorate with slices of egg and hearts of palm. Serves 8.

Smoked White Fish Chopped Salad

2 cans artichokes, drained and cut into quarters

2 cans sliced water chestnuts

1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded carrots

6 sliced green onions

2 cans black olives, drained and cut in half

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces

3 cups shredded spinach or romaine lettuce or a combination

1 1/2 pounds smoked white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoons dill

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large salad bowl combine the artichoke pieces, water chestnuts, carrots, green onions, olives, red pepper and shredded spinach or lettuce. Toss to combine. Add the fish on top; sprinkle the dill over the top of the fish. Combine vinegar, olive oil and sugar and then drizzle over the top. Season with a little salt and pepper and toss gently so everything is coated and combined. Refrigerate for at least a half hour before serving. Serves 8.

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@verizon.net or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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