30 day challenge, bell pepper, Campari, Eggplant sandwich, Grilled potatoes, healthy eating, Horseradish Aioli, Mustachio's, olives, picnic fare, recipe, smoked salmon, St. Lawrence Market, steak, stuffed Portobello mushrooms
If you’re going to “cheat,” cheat well.
Family continues their visit through the weekend, so we’re beginning first thing in the morning by writing off the healthy options. If you’re going to forego low fat, then there is no better option than heading into the basement of St. Lawrence Market on a busy Saturday morning and getting in line at Mustachio’s.
In the name of some kind of delusional moderation, my partner and I split their Classic breaded Eggplant sandwich on a kaiser – complete with 5 layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, grilled peppers, onions and jalapeño. It took us exactly a minute and a half to wolf it down.
1/2 a Classic Eggplant sandwich
Horseradish Aioli Potatoes
- 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes sliced lengthwise
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- salt to taste
Boil potatoes then grill with a little oil for crispiness
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients but oil then whisk while drizzling in the olive oil to create an emulsion from the egg yolk.
New York Strip Loin
I tried to eat just 4 oz – I was almost successful.
The only truly low fat and healthy addition to the meal was the side for the steak:
Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 4 tbsp oregano
- salt and peper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.
Carefully pull the stems from the mushroom caps; set stems aside. Arrange the caps, stem sides down, on the baking sheet and bake until they leak liquid, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the caps are baking, finely chop the stems. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the stem and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, shallot, and oregano and keep stirring until the bell pepper is tender (about 3 more minutes).
Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Turn mushroom caps over and load them up and top with shaved Parmesan.
SUNDAY: double post day!
Easy like Sunday morning, afternoon and evening. A wonderful day from beginning to end:
Pacific Smoked Salmon
Whole Wheat Baguette
Whipped cream cheese
Lunch: (Family Picnic)
Grilled Chicken skewers
Hummus & Baba ganouj
Variety of stuffed olives
Roasted Artichoke Hearts
Campari and Soda
Supper: (Left over night)
Sliced NY Strip Loin
Roasted Shallot and Pepper
9 Bean Mix
I might have been converted to Campari. I hadn’t tasted it before as the digestif/apertif offerings out of Italy number about a million different liqueurs and I haven’t ventured very much out of my comfort zones: Amaro Montenegro and London Dry or Bombay Sapphire Gins if I want herbal flavoured alcohol. Still, it didn’t take much to convince me to try Campari as I love exploring new flavours. Campari still has that signature “bitterness” that makes sense for something called “bitters” but it is much, much sweeter than everything else I’ve tried. I love the dry bite of gin, and the dull kind of medicinal aspects of Montenegro in the middle of winter with a hot Earl Grey Tea – but Campari is a party drink and screams for an afternoon of easy breezy fun. It mixes with club soda and a slice of orange according to its recommendations right on the bottle – I found it super refreshing and exactly the right accompaniment for a snacky family picnic.