Friday, March 24, 2006

South Beach Diet Day 5 - Balsamic Chicken & Pan Roasted Broccoli

Dinner for my Honey - Roasted Balsamic Chicken Breast and Pan Roasted Broccoli - eating in CAN be better than going out!

Morning of Day 6 of the South Beach Diet

I won’t bore you with yesterday's morning – same as the day before, chipotle spiked quiches for breakfast and a piece of cheese for a forced mid-morning snack. Truthfully, I never really savor food before noon, so diet or no my breakfast is usually boring except on the weekends when it's more like brunch, but I digress as usual.

My Honey worked from home and had lunch with me – a "sort of" salade Nicoise ( I didn’t add the hard boiled egg (forgot to do it in the morning, and didn’t want to wait longer for lunch) or the anchovy (not my Honey’s favorite). My hero’s comment…. “Now THIS is a salad – not like the Wendy’s versions I’ve been eating” Dessert was jello, this time lemon. Afternoon snack, probably cheese – I don’t remember.

Now for the fun part…I’ve had plans to go out for dinner with a cousin of mine since January and one or the other has cancelled out three times since then. So a couple of weeks ago we decided that unless one of us was in the hospital – no cancelling this time!!!

Not a problem for me, although we usually go for Chinese, Indian or Thai, I decided that any of those would be too tempting for me, so we chose a restaurant with a bistro type menu. I ordered mussels, or as the Belgians and French would say – moules frites (mussels & fries). I just asked the server to replace the fries with a simple salad.

Now I LOVE mussels. In fact, there’s a fabulous restaurant here in Toronto CafĂ© Brussel that serves 30 kinds and I always find it hard to choose…moules au vin blanc, avec Pernod, a la Russe (vodka & cream), Provencale…..don’t get me started, just check out the "moules" pages to see for yourself. So I was expecting a huge bowl heaped with plump and juicy mussels swimming in some sort of broth that I could savor using an empty shell as a spoon. I was prepared to forego the sopping up of the broth with crusty French bread, but......

I was very disappointed and unsatisfied with this restaurant's version (No names will be mentioned because my dad used to tell me "If you have nothing nice to say - say nothing". I won't go that far but I will resist the urge to name names. Besides my cousin liked her meal). Anyway, back to my mussels.....The bowl was presented in the usual manner – one large bowl covered with another to be used for the empty shells. The aroma of the spicy tomato sauce came through and my memories of other joyous mussel experiences kicked in before he even removed the top bowl.

And then the first disappointment – more than a third of the bowl was taken up by another bowl containing a sad looking mixed green salad with much oil and litte vinaigrette and the rest of the bowl was not really piled very high with the mussels. Second disappointment – although the sauce was flavorful, it was too thick to “spoon”, meaning I would miss out on what usually is a great part of eating mussels - slurping up the broth/sauce. And finally, disappointment number three – at least 4 mussels were closed (which means you shouldn’t eat them) and of the rest only 4 or 5 were actually plump and juicy. The rest were scrawny - so much for the food. Not to worry, the company compensated but I did have some jello and some almonds when I got home.

Before I left for my dinner out, I prepared a version of the South Beach Diet Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breast and some pan roasted broccoli I've adapted from Cook's Illustrated for my Honey. He thought it was delicious, so I thought I’d share them with you.

It's my birthday weekend - let's just say that since I like the adage "You're only as old as you feel", that I'm 21 - legal (except of course I can't drink for another week because of the diet) and full of enthusiasm for all life holds. Anyway, not sure what we'll be doing - it's a long weekend filled with possibilities, so I might not get a chance to write daily. I do promise to share highlights - you just might have to wait until Monday.

In case I don't get a chance to post a separate one, I'm adding this to one of my favorite blogging events - Weekend Herb Blogging from Kalyn's Kitchen.



Kalyn said...

Hey happy birthday! I hope you have a great weekend. My family also had that thing about "if you can't say something nice". Funny isn't it how those ideas are universal. It's something I'm always working on. Your South Beach Dinner sounds great.

barbie2be said...

oh, this looks so yummy!

sher said...

Happy Birthday!!!! That picture looked so good.