Mindfulness and the practice of, keeps popping up in media and conversation….In the 9-5, Monday to Friday world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment, to be mindful of the here and now. Friday evening, for example, is such a symbolic switch of mindset from one extreme to the other; one thats punctuated with special attire (in my case often track pants), special rituals (putting the laptop away so that it’s hidden, or turning off the Blackberry) and special foods and drinks, (alcohol, and ‘treat’ foods). Nonetheless being mindful and living in the here and now, not looking forward to Friday evening and not looking back to Sunday, has become very trendy. It’s something that is reported to ease stress and anxiety, help us appreciate where we find ourselves and create a better way of living.
It is Tuesday today and while I can’t say that I am not looking forward to Friday, I’m living in the here and now so rather than thinking about that Friday Feeling, I’m going to bring some into Tuesday.
I want the weekend feeling of something special, and doing something different, but being mindful 🙂 that it’s offically midweek.
I present to you: The Fake Away! Here in the UK, we like our Take Away food and tonight we are faking it, minus the naughty allergens and toxins that it usually contains. I guess for my friends across the Atlantic it can be a Fake Out!
The basic components of the meal are nutritious, accessible, quick to cook and low allergy.
The resulting dishes taste and look special and dazzling. They are as easy to cook for 2 as they are for 22.
Aromatic Oriental Salmon and Crispy Spiced Kale (recipe for 2)
2 lightly smoked salmon fillets (the light smoke taste works well, if not, standard salmon is fine)
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced into strips
1 red chilli, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
200g of curly kale, stripped from the stalky stems and shredded
2 tablespoons of sugar or agave
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of chilli powder (or more if you like it hot!)
Heat the oven to 220 degrees. Nestle the salmon fillets in the foil, top them with the ginger, chilli and 2 of the sliced garlic cloves, pour over the sesame oil and make an airtight parcel- you want this to steam. Put the foil parcel on a baking sheet and straight into the hot oven. I will leave them in the oven for about 8 minutes, maybe less if they are small, and bring them out to stand while I prepare and cook the kale- the standing means that they keep cooking gently, and that they retain lots of moisture and flavour in their little steamy parcel.
Keep the oven hot, I tend to turn mine up to 240 degrees. Pour the kale into a large mixing bowl and toss through the olive oil until it’s thoroughly mixed through all of the leaves. Gradually sprinkle the salt, chilli powder, sugar and remaining garlic through the leaves, tossing after you have added a little of each. You are looking to have a pretty even but light coating. Pour the kale onto a baking sheet (it will look quite high but will reduce) and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or so, remove and stir the leaves through, making sure to mix well and get the crispy side bits in the middle before returning this to the oven (you might have to do this more than once). You are looking for a an even crispness with some lovely crunchy darker bits (as per the picture).
Break open the parcel (being careful to avoid a salmon steam facial as you do it) and serve as you like (I like to eat with chopsticks…it takes me longer that way, oink oink) and top with some fresh coriander/cilantro.
Eat mindfully, enjoy the food and know that your body will too.