I had decided to barbecue chicken for the Fourth of July, but what flavor. A last year, I made this dish for my sister Karen, but I was overly cautious with the spices. This time I took my own advise and bumped up the spice level to four tablespoons. To go with the meat heavy main I made several vegetable sides—corn, grilled vegetables and a couscous salad. For a patriotic desert, I served strawberries, whipped cream, and blueberries.
I’m barbecuing a Nevis jerked chicken for the Fourth of July and I wanted some side dishes to go with the heavy meat main dish. With two vegetable dishes—corn and grilled vegetables—decided upon, I needed something with a bit of starch. Wife Jan is on the Noom Program, so she objects to dense starchy dishes. To please her, I chose to make a Israeli couscous salad packed full of vegetables and fruit.
I’m barbecuing a Nevis jerked chicken for the Fourth of July and I wanted some vegetables side dishes to go with the heavy meat main dish. The women of my family really like grilled squash and tomatoes, but I did not want to use the same Nevis spice blend on the vegetables. For the squash, I decided to use the Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar. To make it Noom friendly I reduced the amount of oil.
I’m barbecuing a Nevis jerked chicken for the Fourth of July and I wanted some vegetables side dishes to go with the heavy meat main dish. My family really likes grilled corn, but I did not want to use the same Nevis spice blend on the vegetables. For the corn, I chose to use chili powder—kind of a go-together with corn.
Jan’s family Christmas Eve traditional meal was Grandpa Von Hausen’s goulash. This was a depression era dish of bacon, hamburger, onions, a bottle of ketchup, garlic, paprika, and cans of peas, kidney beans, and pork & beans. The idea was that this dish would sustain the family throughout the days of Christmas—without anyone needing to stop and cook. I have already made the original dish healthier, but Jan is currently on the Noom Program and she asked me to Noom-ify this recipe. My main change from the last time was to replace the beef with ground turkey, to eliminate the bacon and the pork in the beans.
Like many of my dishes lately this one comes from a discussion with my wife Jan. She is on the Noom program and instructs me on changing my cooking style to meet her needs. She has also been posting my dishes on the Noom group chat and she got a very positive response from the Noom councilor for my grilled shrimp tacos.
When we lived in China we were introduced to a vegetable that was not commonly used in the U.S. pea tops (sometimes sold as “pea leaf”)—the tender ends of the pea shoots. Pea tops is not something you will find in Western supermarkets, you will only find them Asian markets—in season. Frequently, I would use these in a soup, but today wife Jan asked for them in a stir fry. Lately, there has been a bowl of Mandarin oranges on my counter and—as I was gathering ingredients for my stir fry—I decided, “Why not throw a couple into the mix?”
This meal started with my wife Jan noticing that I had a ripe avocado on the counter. “We should have tacos, hmm, grilled shrimp tacos,” says she. I know that she is also very fond of grilled corn, so I suggested grilled corn salsa to go with the tacos. Thus a meal was born.
In the morning, I had decided to reheat the leftover chili for dinner. When my daughter Eilene finally woke up, she said, “Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that my friends are coming over tonight”—dinner for six, not three. I could have thinned out the chili with more beans, but one of her friends does not like beans. After a discussion, we settled on Thai red curry chicken soup.