DASH Meal: Tortilla Española with Leek & Shallot

DASH Recipe Tortilla Española with Shallot & LeeksWe are frequent patrons of craft beer bars. What that entails, aside from the potential of beer bellies, is leftover French fries. They are such a ubiquitous side dish at pubs and bars they are difficult to avoid. We usually try to limit our fat intake by one of us subbing the fries with a side salad and sharing the two sides, but subbing isn’t always possible. (We don’t always behave rationally, either, lol.) Anyhow, I often have leftover fries in the fridge. I could crisp them up in the toaster, but reheated fries are never as good as right out of the frier. Enters tortilla Española.

Authentic recipes slow-cook sliced potatoes in olive oil, which gives the potato tortilla a beautifully creamy texture and satisfying heft. This version with French fries has a less creamy, fluffier texture, but the richness of the fries does make for an easy yet indulgent breakfast. I usually use onion, but here, I’m using two onion relatives, leek and shallot, for an extra flavorful twist.

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DASH Meal: Tortilla Española with Leek & Shallot
DASH considerations: Tortilla Española with leek and shallot is on the indulgent side. Pair it with a side of cut-up vegetable or fruit to balance out the higher fat content, and go easy on oil for other meals of the day. In summer, this would make an awesome lunch with chilled gazpacho and a hunk of country bread.

DASH servings:
1.5 vegetables & fruits (2 if you count fries as a vegetable serving...)
1 meats & fish
1.5 fat & oil
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven (I use a toaster oven) to 400 F.
  2. In an oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.
  3. Add the leek and shallot and sauté until they are translucent throughout and brown on the edges.
  4. Add the French fries and saute, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  5. Scrape the thyme leaves off the stem and add them to the skillet. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix the eggs and milk.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Give it a good stir to combine with the other ingredients.
  8. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the egg is set. (This happens pretty fast in my little toaster oven; it may take longer in a full-sized oven.)
Recipe Notes

We had this allium-packed tortilla Española with a cheese-topped toast and apple for a filling breakfast.

DASH Menu: Jamaican Curry Soup with Cod and Cauliflower

Jamaican Curry Soup with Cod IngredientsSoups and chowders often taste better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, but sometimes I don’t want to eat the same thing twice within a span of a few days. Adding curry powder to creamy chowders is a trick I use often to liven up a leftover in those cases. Here, I added a generous amount of Jamaican curry powder to the milk-based cod and cauliflower chowder from a few days ago, and served it as a soupy curry with basmati rice. It was warm, aromatic, savory and filling; just what I needed on a cold winter night after a day of work!

I also made a quick vinegar-based coleslaw and sliced up some tomatoes (not in the recipe below) to up the vegetable intake. The cool, crunchy vegetables were definitely a nice contrast to the warm, tender veggies in the curry soup.

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DASH Menu: Jamaican Curry Soup with Cod and Cauliflower
DASH benefit: The same benefits as those for the original cauliflower cod chowder applies here: The curry gives you loads of vegetables and lean protein in an aromatic Jamaican curry sauce without the fat of heavy cream. Many recipes for basmati rice call for salt, but it really isn't necessary here, either, as it soaks up the tasty curry sauce in the bowl.

DASH servings:
2 grains
4 vegetables & fruits
0.25 dairy
2 meats & fish
0.75 fat & oil
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For the curry soup and rice
For the coleslow
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For the curry soup and rice
For the coleslow
Instructions
  1. Rinse the basmati rice in a few changes of water. Add the rice and water in a small saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil on high. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it bubble and simmer until all the liquid is gone, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. While the rice cooks, toss the shredded cabbage with a pinch of salt. Let it marinate for a few minutes.
  3. Squeeze out the moisture from the cabbage. Add the scallion, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar and freshly ground black pepper to the cabbage. Toss to combine.
  4. Reheat the cauliflower cod chowder on medium low. Once heated through, add the Jamaican curry powder. Stir to combine thoroughly. Taste, and add more curry powder if needed.
  5. Fluff the rice. Divide between two bowls and top with the curry.

*My favorite brand of Jamaican curry powder is Blue Mountain, which seems to be available at some chain grocery stores and Caribbean markets around here. I use the mild version in a yellow jar, not the hot one in a red jar. Other types of curry powder might also work (Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, etc.), but I think the garlic-thyme combo in the original cod chowder works best with the Jamaican flavors.

DASH Menu: Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing

Jerk Chicken Sweet Potato Salad IngredientsWhen I made jerk chicken in the oven the other day, I lined the baking pan with rounds of sweet potato and carrots before placing the jerk-marinated chicken on top. I added some extra jerk marinade dollops on the vegetables, then roasted the whole assembly for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. This gave me a good amount of ready-to-go veggies for the next few days.

This salad uses some of that sweet potato. A quick, creamy and tangy dressing made with remaining jerk marinade and some coconut flakes on top complete the picture. If you don’t have jerk chicken or jerk-roasted sweet potato, I think plain grilled chicken and roasted sweet potato would work just fine in this salad.  Sprinkling a bit of jerk spice mix might be a good idea if you are using plain ingredients. The jerk dressing and coconut flakes really livens up the otherwise workaday autumn/winter salad (not that there’s anything wrong with that, either)!

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Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing
DASH benefits: It’s a salad. Well. Okay. It’s full of lean protein from the leftover jerk chicken breast and the egg, and loaded with vegetables. (And it used up what I needed to use up!)

DASH servings:
3.25 vegetables & fruits
2 meats & fish
1 fat & oil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl that can accommodate the entire salad, place the jerk marinade, sour cream and lime juice. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  2. Add the jerk chicken, egg, arugula, sweet potato and cucumber in the bowl. Toss to mix.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Top with the coconut flakes.

Since I was bringing the salad to work for lunch, I didn’t dress it. I just made the dressing, packed the salad, and brought them separately so that the arugula wouldn’t get soggy. For the dressing, I used one of those tiny jam jars you see at hotel breakfasts–it works great. 😀

DASH Menu: Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

For a quick weeknight dinner, I coupled a skirt steak wrap with a hearty and nutrient-packed roasted carrot and arugula salad, and made an earthy yet refreshingly bright lemon tahini dressing to complete the vaguely Middle Eastern feel of the menu. The hummus works so well as a sandwich or wrap spread–this wrap is otherwise pretty bland, but the cumin kick and creamy body of the hummus really make it into a satisfying meal.

Two regrets: I would have added toasted cumin to the lemon tahini dressing, if cumin wasn’t in the hummus-skirt steak wrap. Sprinkling the skirt steak with za’atar or sumac might have made the wrap even more interesting, with their floral zing. Next time!

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Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
DASH considerations: This skirt steak wrap and roasted carrot salad combo violates a few DASH meal guidelines. First, I used skirt steak, because that’s what I had on hand, but it’s not one of the leaner meat options. You could easily substitute it with grilled chicken breast to make the protein part leaner. Second, it has a higher fat/oil content than many DASH recipes on this site, about half the daily limit for that category. You can probably skip the extra virgin olive oil in the lemon tahini dressing and rely entirely on the sesame oil contained in the tahini paste. This would cut down the fat & oil amount a bit (by about 0.25 serving). Or, you could opt for lower-fat meals for the other meals of the day.

DASH servings:
2 grains
1.75 vegetables & fruits
1 meats & fish
1.5 fat & oil
0.25 beans & nuts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips.
  2. When the pepper pieces start to brown, place the skirt steak pieces on top to reheat.
  3. While the pepper and beef cook, make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, tahini, EVOO, scallions and red chili flakes in a bowl large enough to toss the salad in.
  4. Add the roasted carrots and arugula to the bowl and toss it well so the dressing evenly coats the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the peppers are cooked through, turn the heat off.
  6. If using pita, separate the two sides to make a pocket. Spread the hummus, stuff the pepper and steak, and top with cilantro.
  7. If using tortilla, spread the hummus and place the pepper and steak all the way down the middle. Top with cilantro and roll up the whole tortilla.