a low carb dinner, featuring baby bok choy with garlic and roasted brussels sprouts

tilapia, baby bok choy, brussels sprouts, avocado-tomato salsa

It’s the day after the terrible snowstorm, named Nemo by the Weather Channel. I won’t say anything about clownfish because just about every other blogger is probably saying the same thing. I will say that I had thought I could get through this winter without a pair of rubber boots, but it looks like my Dansko clogs just aren’t high enough to wade through the slush at the curbs on Broadway. The wind was pretty high; walking uptown the wind was pushing me along the sidewalk. I didn’t think I was such a lightweight after all since my indulgences in Thailand are still lingering about my waist.

Tonight’s menu consisted of a lightly breaded grilled tilapia with tomato-avocado salsa, baby bok choy with garlic, and roasted brussels sprouts in balsamic vinaigrette. The whole meal required delicate orchestration because it cooked up so fast. I started with the brussels sprouts because it takes 20-25 minutes for my oven to reach 475˚F. The roasted brussels sprouts are definitely vegetarian, but with the substitution of vegetable broth, the baby bok choy can become vegan in an instant.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar (adapted from Kitchen Window)

1 pound Brussels sprouts, small to medium size
Olive oil
Salt
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (substitute Chinese black vinegar)
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.

Trim the stalk end of the Brussels sprouts. Chop the sprouts into thirds or quarters and put them in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste.

Spread the seasoned sprouts on the prepared baking tray. Cover tightly with another sheet of foil. Roast, covered, 10-15 minutes or until the sprouts turn yellow-green on the insides. Take off the foil.

Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Now, I didn’t have either balsamic vinegar or the Chinese black vinegar on hand (note: must go to Chinatown) so I used balsamic vinaigrette. It’s not as strong so I was generous.

Return the sprouts to the oven and roast uncovered 5 minutes. Check to see if the sprouts are browning. If not, give them an additional 5 minutes and up to 20 additional minutes. Serve with several twists of Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning–or fresh ground black pepper. Serve at once.

Well, I hadn’t counted on the sprouts cooking up so quickly so they had to sit out on the stove top while I finished up the baby bok choy. This is a recipe based on one I found on allrecipes.com.

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic

4 baby bok choy
5 large cloves garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons oil, plus a little more, if needed
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste (or fish sauce or white soy sauce)

Wash the baby bok choy well, especially the stem ends. Lightly trim the stem.

Heat the oil in a 10 inch skillet. Add the garlic and lightly brown. If the garlic sticks to the pan, add a little more oil. Pour in the chicken broth, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the bok choy and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the bok choy is tender and turns a bright green.

Salt and pepper to taste. Instead of salt and pepper, use a dash of fish sauce for flavor; white soy sauce is good too, as neither will color the bok choy like regular soy sauce.

Watch the bok choy, because it cooks up very quickly. Scoop up some of the garlic in the pan and spoon it over the bok choy. Serve at once.

Variation
• Zest a 1-inch piece of ginger (cut a 2 inch piece to save your fingers) and add it to the garlic in the pan.

Avocado-Tomato Salsa

2 ripe avocados
6 grape tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 scallion minced
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Scoop out the avocados into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the tomatoes, cilantro,  scallion, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served the salsa as an accompaniment to the tilapia.

Lightly Breaded Grilled Tilapia

2 tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 egg white
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (can be seasoned Italian style or make your own herb seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste

Dip each fillet in the egg white then dredge in the crumbs. I grilled these in my little George Foreman grill, about 5 minutes per fillet.

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