I’m just back from a week in Florida and the weekend before that in NYC so I’ve been on the road for the last ten days. I had to come home to stop eating and drinking, two great trips back to back. I’ll start with the finish.
The last night in Florida, Craig and I headed to Season’s 52. When we were in Palm Beach a year ago we tried to go there at the last minute but couldn’t get a reservation. I now see why. The food is delicious, fresh, and the menu focuses on local foods in season and here’s the real surprise, it’s healthy!! What an amazing concept. Food really can taste great without loads of heavy cream and butter. It is my new favorite restaurant. They have a great selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle. Each item on the menu is less than 475 calories and some are significantly less than that. The garden salad that I really enjoyed was 190 calories. I often cringe when I enjoy a really delicious salad thinking that there are so many hidden calories in the dressing alone. Craig had a great Greek salad and he followed it up with beautifully prepared swordfish on a bed of really lovely vegetables. I had Tasmanian trout on a bed of arugula, eggplant, mint, citrus and it was one of the best things I have tasted in a long time. Craig and I don’t often finish a meal with a desert but the deserts are little portions that are just enough so that you enjoy every bite and leave without feeling like you have over indulged, perhaps that why the deserts are called mini indulgences. I had a chocolate peanut butter mousse and Craig had Key lime. They are served in little glasses about the size of old fashioned juice glasses, a perfect finish to a perfect meal. The real surprise of the night though was the price, we had a great meal in a lovely setting, and then the bill came. It was so reasonable, the same price we usually pay for a meal at a run of the mill fish and chips/ burgers and fries type of establishment. I hope this concept spreads like wild fire, wow I was really impressed.
I’m including a few pictures of Florida including one of my Dad and his cousin Carol. We had a little cocktail party at our place, last year my Dad and his wife Karen hosted a great party at their place so that we could meet their friends. This year the plan was a party at their place again but Dad was just 2 weeks post open heart surgery, so thought we could host the party at our temporary lodging. That way, he could see his friends but didn’t have to feel bad that he might not be up to helping with the task of a party at his place. It worked out fine, we squeezed over a dozen people into our place (the time share I bought on EBay in 2009 for one dollar, one of my best buys ever). We had great weather, got to walk the beach each day and swim in the ocean, one of my very favorite activities. I took a picture of my side of the closet in Florida, here’s proof-not all of my clothing is black. Hey, when in Rome…….
So, it is meatless Monday and here’s something I made a few weeks ago and we really enjoyed.
This is a great meatless Monday meal. It has very little fat and lots of flavor. It’s vegan as well as vegetarian. Let’s just say you’re afraid of curry, well, add just a bit less curry and if you like the flavor toss in the rest. The flavor is pretty subtle. It’s the kind of dish that heat and reheats well. Think of freezing it in lunch size containers and having lots of health lunches ready to go at the touch of the microwave button.
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves of garlic
1 16 oz. can coconut milk
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 ½ cups dried chick peas, split if you can find them or two 16 oz. cans chick peas
1 cup dried and rinsed red lentils
1 medium onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
1 cup parsley, loosely chopped
In large sauté pan, over medium high heat, sauté onion, carrots, garlic and celery in olive oil until onions are soft and beginning to brown at the edges. Add contents of sauté pan to crock pot, add remainder of ingredients to crock pot, reserving spinach and parsley. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking add spinach and parsley.