Grill pan | Grilled Scallops

I own one of those large panini press style “healthy” table top grills, which I occasionally bring out for things like pork medallions, slabs of chicken, shellfish. Occasionally would be the key word here, let’s just say it’s a bit of hassle to clean up. So, a more handy stove top grill pan has been on my wish list for quite some time. I recently bought one and I love it. I can use it to grill bread, make sandwiches, or for things like this:

Grill pan. With shrimp in it.

Grill pan. With shrimp in it.

Or grilling scallops… HMMMMMMMMMM:
 

Grilled scallops

Grilled scallops

When I grill scallops, I buy fresh, large sea scallops, and don’t add anything to them except for a tiny bit of salt and pepper. The scallops will release their own scallopy juices and, combined with the dark color and aroma you can only get from a grill, taste totally awesome. With this grill pan, I don’t have to wait for sunny weather to enjoy my scallops! This time, I added a bit of color using some chopped red bell peppers, and green onions and lemon balm that came from my garden. I wish I had more of this to go on top, more like a tapenade, because it looked so pretty like that, and it wasn’t so strong tasting that it stole the show from the scallops at all.

La Boheme Crepes @ Kitsilano Farmer’s Market

 

La Forestiere

La Forestiere

This is what I came for! Well, mostly, anyway, and the produce too. More about this later…

Summer weekends means farmer’s markets. I went to the one in Kits the past weekend. It was pretty small, compared to both Steveston and Ladner, but it had more produce in terms of quantity and variety… It could be just the particular vendors present, or the time of the season (even 2 weeks could mean the end of a certain produce). 

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

 
There were a lot of different types of fresh vegetables and a lot of apricots and many different kinds of cherries. Lineups were long for most of the veggie places, especially this one tomato stand. The only bread place for this bread fanatic was A Bread Apart, who, for 3 markets in a row, had out that fruity cranberry loaf. I found squash blossoms again, and I got some but they were a bit more expensive (50 cents each) than the farm that sold them at the Steveston market (6 for 50 cents). The ones with the zucchini attached were for a buck each. Yikes.
 

Apricots

Apricots

 

Greens

Greens


 

Of course, the best, BEST thing about this Kits Farmer’s Market is La Boheme Creperie:
 

La Boheme

La Boheme

They make these awesome buckwheat crepes in their little purple van, in many many savoury and sweet varieties. The one I tried and pictured above was the Forestiere – a cheese, mushroom and spinach crepe. It was sooooo good, and the lineups get a little long here too. Basically everybody I saw at the market was having their giant crepes. I think they also visit the Trout Lake farmer’s market, anyway, definitely check them out, they are awesome.

Lima bean “humous”

 

lima bean "humous"

lima bean "humous"

 

If you can make humous out of chickpeas, you can make it from any other bean. I haven’t attempted the edamame puree that has been rather popular with foodies, though I probably should since there are always bags of edamame in the freezer. I like to snack on them as is though. So I resorted to killing some other beans. I tried making a lima bean puree (since I couldn’t see making a snack of of lima beans). 

This is a low-fat version, though I guess you could always add a spoonful of olive oil to help the pureeing process. I found a bit of water was enough, but the texture is for sure a bit more coarse without oil. I used this as a spread on crackers and it was OK. It didn’t lack flavor but I think it was slightly on the bland side, then again, adding more stuff to it would definitely make it too complex. I think this would be best suited for crackers that are flavored.

 

Lima Bean “Humous”

1 can lima beans

2 cloves garlic

1t cumin

1/2t salt

 

Blend all in food processor. Serve immediately or refrigerate in air tight container (should last a few days).

Quick Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

 

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

It is summer! And strawberries!

I think of parfaits as breakfast food, typically because all its ingredients (yogurt, granola, fruit) are associated with breakfast. But this was a nice, super quick dessert on a hot night. I love yogurty desserts like this: crunchy granola, sweet fruit, cold gooey yogurt. It is so healthy, yet desserty at the same time! Of course, if you wanted to indulge you could sub the yogurt with ice cream. And you can layer it with whatever fruit or granola or cereal you desire. Though berries are the best choice. I just happened to have some fresh local strawberries from W&A Farms on hand, and some yogurt and granola. Just layer, and repeat. 

Parfaits are fun to make! You can dress it up pretty fancy Gourmet-cover-shot style, but I think it will turn out pretty decent looking even if you’re just throwing things together randomly and messily like I did here. Just find a pretty glass. You can’t really go wrong. Great for entertaining when time (and skill) are limiting! 😉

Steveston Series III: Cimona Cafe

If you are feeling like a casual, down-to-earth meal, and pretty generous-sized, value-for-money deals, this is the place to go. Cimona Cafe makes the kind of food you can probably make in your own kitchen, so don’t expect anything fancy, but the quality will not disappoint. This place is like a homey diner. It is in a second floor/elevated log house, with a patio where you can watch the Steveston hustle bustle on Bayview Street from above. They’re really friendly here, and it feels like it is a family owned and operated little cafe, but don’t count on super speedy service, and on weekends they tend to be quite busy during brunch/lunch and there tends to be lineups. Have a little patience.

Many healthy options are offered on the menu: whole wheat wraps and breads, low fat dressings, egg white omelets, vegetarian dishes. It’s a casual spot with casual food but there are a lot of more “exotic” options too, and for a good price – Veal. Lamb. Sole. Halibut. Salmon. I’ve come here for dinner which I have enjoyed, but definitely find that it’s an awesome lunch/brunch place. Probably because breakfast is served till 3pm.

W and I came here for lunch recently, so I figured I will throw this post into my Steveston Series. We grabbed a menu and luckily found a table outside in the patio, which was almost full, and had a nice, relaxing time watching the …er… action… on Bayview:

cimona view

cimona view

Looking around I noticed that many people order the wraps here. W chose the chicken wrap with pineapple curry sauce. I tried a bit of it. It was pretty big and stuffed with tons of lettuce. The sauce was good too (you can choose from 3 different ones) – It wasn’t so heavy that W ate the whole thing (when usually she can only eat half a big wrap).

 

Cimona chicken wrap

Cimona chicken wrap

 
 

I was feeling like a lighter lunch so I had the tzatziki and grilled pita:

Pita and Tzatziki

Pita and Tzatziki

 

With a green salad:

 

Green salad

Green salad

I thought this was a pretty big size for the “small” portion. Veggies were quite fresh and crisp. The pita bread I liked – it didn’t seem like crappy quality packaged pita thrown in a toaster (though I am not sure exactly what type it was). The tzatziki was pretty standard tasting, but not bad. Couldn’t tell if it was homemade. You can also get hummous if you wanted.

Overall, both W and I were happy with our lunch. I still have to try a lot of the other stuff on their menu so I am going to keep coming back (on days when I have time to spare and relax though)!

Oh, and I’m not sure if this is an “issue” for anyone, it is for me on thirsty days when I down literally gallons of pop, because I would go to restaurants and get refills until my server gives me funny looks and offers me a jug since they get so tired of coming back every few minutes to refill my glass. Since this place is a cafe/diner, the pop you order will come in a can, and you won’t get refills.

 

Cimona Cafe and Catering

#201-3791 Bayview Street, Steveston

604-275-3753

Asparagus dressed with Sole

Pretty, pretty. I love asparagus. I love Spring.


This is pretty simple. Bought some fresh sole fillets, wrap asparagus along with some sliced white mushrooms inside. S and P. Bake. Yummy.

It’s all in the yolk.

A buzz in health news headlines of the past few days has been this recent study, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that eating more than 7 eggs per week causes increased risk of heart disease. This was a 20 year long study done on over 20 000 “Harvard-educated male physicians” who like to eat more than one egg a day. There are flaws in the study, and I am not about to do a critical review on it, but the authors did point out an important thing, which is that eating more saturated and trans fats does worse for your blood cholesterol than does actually eating more cholesterol. But obviously, eating more than 7 eggs a week does seem a bit much.

Another recent buzz may get a lot of people confused (or rolling their eyes at scientific research) – which is that eating more eggs can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent. The study was actually online before print in January and will be published in the June issue of the FASEB Journal. It is supported by previous findings that eating an egg a day or at least 6 eggs a week leads to a significant reduced risk of breast cancer. This is thanks to choline, present only in egg yolks (which also happens to be the cholesterol culprit. Ah, where is the happy medium?).

The good news is, if you want your choline and are worried about cholesterol, or are vegan, whatever, choline can also be found in coffee, skim milk, cauliflower, liver, and wheat germ (egg yolks provide about 25% of the daily supply).

And depending on whether you are an egg-lover or egg-hater, you can use either of these studies to back you up when you are in an argument. This is why I love being a research scientist.