Though it's vice that's most often appealing -- think sex, drugs, and overpriced designer baubles -- it's virtue that kicked off my year. When a week passed between Christmas and New Year's Eve and not a single pair of pants I'd taken east still fit, the truth was undeniable: I'd put on some pudge.
After a few days alternately denying and wailing about it (e.g. dashing from mirror to mirror to find the one that might present me with a suitable reflection, sucking in my tummy, blaming it on PMS, and/or pretending that it was all the damn dry cleaners' fault) I had to face facts. Luckily, thanks to the English goddess and her understanding that the body can do with a bit of so-called "templefood" from time to time, I've turned over a new leaf. A mustard leaf, in fact, which last night I sautéed in garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil alongside a few baby shitakes and a creamy but tastefully-sized portion of wild Coho salmon. Another few weeks of this kind of eating and I'll be ready to trot out a vice or two for old times' sake...along with my favorite pair of Hudsons.
Salmon with Shitake Mushrooms & Wilted Greens
adapted from Nigella Bites
3/4 lb. salmon fillets, skinned and divided in two
cooking spray (or olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch mustard greens (or bok choy or kale)
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1. Preheat the broiler and prep the fish: spray each fillet with cooking spray, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Prep the mustard greens by separating the stems from the leaves, and chop both roughly.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Fry garlic ever so slightly until it releases its fragrance, about 1-2 minutes. Add stems and mushrooms and give it a quick stir. Then throw the top on and let it steam away for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, lay the fish in a broiling pan and stick it in the oven about 5 inches beneath the broiler.
5. Once the stems and 'shrooms have steamed about 5 minutes, add the leaves, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook until the leaves have wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, the fillets should be ready by now. Eat and repeat your new 2006 mantra: "templefood."