Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve Dinner

We stayed home, too many drunks out there on New Year's, and you know what they say : "Amateur night".

I made a lovely French meal from a book David bought called The Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris, Everyday Recipes from the Real Paris by Daniel Young.

The meal was light, satisfying, healthy and so delicious.

We love France; the food, the people, the country and traditions are so much as we like to live.

To start we had Steamed Whole Artichokes with Poached Egg and Vinaigrette.

This is a cooked large artichoke, that has had the center leaves and choke removed after cooking, then a poached egg is placed in the center. The yolk is warm and runny.

You pull off the artichoke leaves from the center, which have the warm yolk clinging to them, and dip them in the herb vinaigrette.

Then once you have eaten all the leaves, you have the white of the egg resting on the heart of the artichoke, with some yolk still there. I loved it!

While the vinaigrette has olive oil in it, which is a fat and thus has more calories than a protein or carbohydrate, it is a monounsaturated fat, and it is important to include some in your diet everyday.

Then we had Garlic Soup with Mussels.

You saute garlic in olive oil and the cook mussels in water and white wine. Once the mussels open, the cooking liquid is added to the olive oil/garlic mixture then simmered. Although this soup appears to be creamy, there is no cream. One egg yolk (for 4 servings) is whisked into the soup at the last minute to add richness.

The mussels are removed from their shells. Small toasted rounds of baguette are placed in a shallow bowl, some Gruyere cheese, the mussels and then topped with the hot soup and a sprinkle of Piment d' Espelette, a mild pepper from the Basque region of France.

A wonderful bistro meal, with a little sparkling wine and then a glass of Chateau La Canorgue. If you ever saw the movie "A Good Year" with Russel Crowe, it is the property that he "inherits".

We visited the winery a few years ago, I highly recommend it if you are in that area of France!

I digress. The meal was delicious, healthy and perfectly acceptable for any dietary goals (OK, not if you are prepping for a competition, but then you cannot eat anything!)

Remember, meals can be delicious and healthy, there is no need to suffer just to maintain a healthy body weight and low body fat. 

I went to bed at 8:45 (always thinking about the next day) and was set for a long sleep, the gym didn't open until 7:00 am!  The wind and the cat woke me at 5:30, I was full of energy and feeling good.

It was leg day, but I tweaked my right spinal erector on Friday and it was still a little tight, so I changed it to shoulder day. I had a fantastic workout! Heavy sets, jump rope in between each set, for an hour and 45 minutes. A great long steam and off to tackle the day.

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