As the weather gets warmer, thoughts of soups and stews sound less appealing, and salad and sandwich meals sound more like it. Be sure to listen to what sounds good to you. If you keep eating those cold weather meals when you don't really feel like eating them, you'll start feeling deprived or bored. And that will just lead to ice cream...
Today was another beautiful sunny day in the 70's. Leftover chicken chili certainly didn't sound good to me, so my husband popped that in the freezer. I decided corned beef and cabbage sounded fun and perfect for St. Patrick's day. But a traditional dinner of hot corned beef, steamed cabbage and boiled potatoes wouldn't cut it on a day like today. Grilled Reuben sandwiches and a cabbage salad sounded more like it! Before we hit the grocery store, I grabbed Ellie Krieger's cookbook Comfort Food Fix and found her recipe for Colorful Coleslaw that Cindy, a MM Groupie, provided rave reviews for. Then I took a quick look at the recipe for Grilled Turkey Reuben's.
A great place to go for some lean corned beef is the deli counter where you can order exactly the amount you need. Since meats such as corned beef are loaded with sodium, getting just enough for one meal provides great portion control. I love the Boars' Head brand that is available around here. Two ounces of this corned beef is only 60 calories and 2 1/2 grams of fat. But it also brings with it 490 mg of sodium. Since the recommendation is to stay under 2300 mg each day, this meal was a bit of a splurge and not one to partake in too often.
As I often do, I did alter the recipes a bit. Our Reuben sandwiches were made on Pepperidge Farms' whole grain rye bread, since that's the only rye or pumpernickel I could find that is made with whole grain flour listed as its first ingredient. Rinsing the sauerkraut and draining it well before patting it dry helps to get rid of some of the sodium there. We also used a bottled light Thousand Island dressing since I had it on hand already, using just 1/2 tablespoon per sandwich. Easy. I guess Ellie's recipe was more of a guideline!
For the coleslaw, Cindy suggested just using the bagged pre-grated coleslaw mix which already has carrots in it. That was a great time saver. Since I failed to buy fennel, our salad just had that much more slaw mix in it. The only chopping was a little cilantro and slicing up a little red onion (we used half the amount of onion, since a little raw onion goes a long way for my tastebuds!)
And the results? Amazing! The cold salad was simply wonderful with all the colors and fun flavors. And the sandwich was just perfect. The only thing missing was the grease dripping down your fingers and chin from the fatty version of the sandwich I've had in restaurants before. Which is a good thing!
It's important to really enjoy eating healthy foods that taste good. Trying at least one new recipe each week can really help prevent that boring food rut. If you don't have one yet, be sure to pick up a copy of Comfort Food Fix at the library, bookstore, or order it from the My Favorites list in the left hand column of this blog page where you'll find it listed. Enjoy!