Crab and Avocado Salad

Take a look at that picture.  Does that look like “diet” food to you?  It sure doesn’t taste like “diet” food.

I need to reacquaint myself with some “diet” food.  The crush of buttery, sugary, fatty, and carby treats over the last twelve months has had a negative impact on my bottom line.  Seems like there are new jiggles daily.  I’ve started naming them.  So far my collection includes cinnamon roll, pumpkin spice muffins, butter, mac and cheese, and carnitas.  I need to stop the madness before I morph into someone unrecognizable.

I’m asking The Universe to give me the strength to avoid the devil of temptation that masquerades as cupcakes, french fries and boxes of wine.  Without some divine intervention, they are sure to be my downfall.

While I may be abstaining from these wonderful things for a while, I still have all kinds of tasty dishes lingering in the queue for your enjoyment.  So don’t be confused if I’m still talking about tarts, brownies, or pasta.  Most have been waiting to post for a while.  Others may be things I’ve made in moments of weakness.  But I vow never to say which is which.

Crab and Avocado Salad

Adapted from South Beach Quick and Easy

BAH Note: I suppose this could serve four people as an appetizer.  But The Mistah and I like to enjoy this as an entree and we can polish off the entire salad in one sitting.  Not that this recipe needs much streamlining but if you wanted to prep things ahead, get the crab meat and lettuce ready in a large bowl and have your dressing fixed up in a separate container in the fridge.  Then all you have to do is shake, pour, add the avocado, and serve.

Prefer to have your salad with some carby goodness? That’s easy.  Just reduce the amount of dressing you add to the salad so that it’s not “wet” before rolling it up in a soft tortilla , stuffing it into a pita, or piling it on some whole grain toast.

  • 1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 pound crab meat
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
  • 1 tomatillo, diced
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • kosher salt

Shred or cut the lettuce into bite sized pieces.  Combine the lettuce, crab, and avocado in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, tomatillo, lime zest, and juice until smooth.  Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt, additional lime juice, and mayo to taste.

Add the dressing to the crab mixture and carefully combine.  Serve immediately.

Pork Cutlets with Orange Sauce

During my last cookbook breakup, I left the South Beach cookbooks on the shelf.  While we don’t use them for our meals every day, I like having them around.  When we get tired of the same old, same old, I can open them up for some inspiration.  It’s funny how sometimes when I look at a recipe I have no desire to make it.  Then another time I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and start cooking.  That about describes how it came to be that we finally tried pork cutlets with orange sauce.

Pork Cutlets with Orange Sauce

Adapted From South Beach Quick and Easy

BAH Note: These would have been better if I had brined the chops for a few hours.  Pan frying can really do a number on the moistness of a chop.

  • 8 pork cutlets, approximately 3 ounces each, about 3/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • zest and juice from one small orange

Pat the pork dry and then season with salt, pepper, and the rosemary.  Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Working in batches, cook the pork until lightly browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the cooked chops to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to low and add remaining oil to the skillet.  Add the shallot and cook for one minute.  Raise the heat back to medium high and add the broth and orange juice and zest.  Cook until the liquid reduces by half and starts to just thicken.

Return the pork, and any accumulated juices, back to the skillet and cook 1 minute more, turning the chops to coat them in the sauce.

{printable recipe}

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

In my post cookbook breakup period, I’ve been looking for new inspiration.  So in addition to trolling the blogs for new recipe ideas, I’ve casually started buying cooking magazines again.  I figure if I can spend $29.99 on a cookbook that I only grab a few recipes from and then neglect on the bookshelf, why not spend $2.99 on a magazine that I can tear the pages from and then recycle?  The math might not add up but the space reclaimed on my bookshelf is priceless.

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, Bon Appetit January 2011

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces crab meat

BAH Note: You’ll want to be sure to pick through the crab meat for any small bits of shell or cartilage.  Even in the dead of winter, I was able to find crab at the grocery store.  I think I used Phillip’s lump and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven set over medium high heat.  Add onion and fennel and cook until softened.  Add tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes.

Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Add crab to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to warm through.  Serve immediately.

{printable recipe}