Wednesday, 17 June 2015

BBC Good Food 7-Day Summer Diet Plan - Day Six

Dee – Day Six introduces a promising sounding vegetarian lunch, and a simple fish dish for tea.  As we’re nearly at the end of the seven-day dietary period, I’m now starting to check the contents of the fridge, in order to ascertain what will be left over after tomorrow’s final meals, and then to work out the best uses for them.

Breakfast: Date & Buckwheat Granola with Pecans & Seeds
This morning’s breakfast saw the fourth and final serving of the granola, which we served with yoghurt and blueberries which had been left over from day five’s tea.  The granola had become a little soggy by this point, perhaps because of the plastic container which we had kept it in, but I think next time we make it we will make a smaller quantity to keep it fresher.  We also make our own muesli, but as that only contains dry ingredients, it retains its texture a lot better.

Lunch: Asparagus & Lentil Salad with Cranberries & Crumbled Feta
I must apologise for the lack of photograph of this dish.  I forgot to take a picture before lunch and there was only enough for the two specified servings, so I will just have to describe it as best I can.
First on the plate were the lentils.  They were the green variety, into which were stirred a dressing made from chopped cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, spring onions, cider vinegar and olive oil.
On top of this mixture was placed asparagus tips which had been blanched for a few minutes in the same pan as the lentils as they finished cooking.  Normally we char our asparagus in a frying pan before serving it but this time we decided to follow the recipe and leave it as it was.
Finally, a little feta cheese was crumbled over the top as a final garnish.
This turned out to be a delicious lunch.  We missed the charred quality of the asparagus but the blanched version was still tasty and made for a nice change. 
This is another dish that we are likely to make again as it is well suited to be made in a larger quantity and enjoyed the next day, but we may vary the blanching and charring of the asparagus.  Maybe we could even make half and half.  Now there’s a thought…

Tea: Lemon Pollock with Sweet Potato Chips & Broccoli Mash
We weren’t able to obtain Pollock fillets, and to be honest I didn’t expect to, so we opted for cod instead.
I was a bit nervous about the broccoli mash as it sounded too much like one of my least favourite foods: mushy peas.  I know a lot of people love them but I can’t abide the look and colour of them.  I tried some pea puree once and that had the same effect:  I couldn’t manage more than a tiny mouthful.  However, I persevered and prepared the broccoli mash recipe as directed.  There were peas in it that needed blitzing, but there were also leeks and broccoli, which I like.  The finished product had quite a rich colour and didn’t have the sloppy consistency that turns me off mushy peas, so I didn’t mind tasting it.  Thankfully I liked it.  Even though the vegetables had been cooked, the mash had kept a certain freshness.  The broccoli, leeks and peas had all kept their flavours, and the hint of mint gave it a pleasant finish, so I was happy to have it as a side portion on my plate.  Quantity-wise, it was another one that yielded far more than the specified two servings.  We had generous portions with our meals but there was still enough for another two servings, so we froze it for later use.
The fish was treated very simply, being cooked in the oven with a little lemon zest and pepper, then garnished with a dressing of capers, olive oil and a little lemon juice.
Similarly the potatoes were cut into chips and baked in the oven with a dusting of paprika. 
There should have been garlic added to the dressing for the fish, but we decided to leave it out as the recipe called for it to be added raw, which we’re not so keen on, and we didn’t feel like cooking just one chopped up clove on its own.
This was a simple but enjoyable tea, which allowed each ingredient to present its flavour without being overwhelmed by sauce.  I will be keeping a look out for Pollock to see how it compares with the cod.

Tomorrow is Day Seven, the final day of the diet.  We’ve enjoyed it so far, and are looking forward to seeing what the final few meals have in store.

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