Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wijvenweek/What's Cooking Wednesday: The Ideal Man


To see other wijvenweek blogs, (especially if you speak Flemish), please visit the Wijvenblogs page.

And please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

As you can probably tell by the title of my blog, I enjoy cooking and food. (Too much, but that's another story).

Today's theme for Wijvenweek is "The Ideal Man." It's also, however, What's Cooking Wednesday and I couldn't miss that. So I tried to think of what I'd want the ideal man to eat.

Okay... so maybe I'm stretching a bit... but here goes.

Well, I'm lucky, because I'm married to my ideal man. He's loving, has a great sense of humor, loves many of the same things I do, is a great dad, and so, I'm lucky that way. Another of his inestimable charms, however, is that he eats just as my ideal man should.

Before I met D, he ate a lot of this:

and this:

and this:

By the time I met D, his tastes had changed (thankfully). In fact, on our first date, he made me this:

No... I'm not kidding. How could I not have fallen in love with him?

Today, we're both in mid-life and we both care about healthy eating. So in honor of D (my ideal man), and What's Cooking Wednesday, I give you a couple of his favorite recipes:

Cucumbers in Sour Cream adapted from A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality by Darra Goldstein


2 cucumbers
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (I prefer Breakstone)
2 TBS cider vinegar (white balsamic works well, too)
4 TBS snipped fresh chives (or equivalent number of dried teaspoons)
2 TBS snipped fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried dill)
pepper to taste
2 tsp salt

Nutritional Info

Fat: 2.6g
Carbohydrates: 4.5g
Protein: 1.7g

If the cucumbers have been waxed, peel them; otherwise, washt them well but leave the peel on. Slice the cucumbers very thin and pat them dry with paper towels. Mix together the remaining ingredients, adding vinegar to taste. Stir in cucumbers. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before refrigerating. Serve well-chilled.

Serves 6.

Number of Servings: 6

Lowfat Cornbread


1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 TBS maple syrup

Nutritional Info

Fat: 1.0g
Carbohydrates: 13.4g
Protein: 2.4g

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8X8 cooking dish with butter-flavored cooking spray.

2.Combine dry ingredients; add beaten egg, maple syrup and buttermilk, mixing well.

3. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Number of Servings: 12

Slow Cooker Mixed Chili


1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. lean ground beef
12 oz. of ground turkey breast
1 can of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 TBS chili powder
1 medium onion, chopped coursely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Nutritional Info

Fat: 6.8g
Carbohydrates: 24.1g
Protein: 18.6g

1. Heat olive oil on medium and add onions. Cook until they are soft - 5 - 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
2. Add meats, cook until meats are browned. Drain and blot with paper towels.
3. Place meat mixture and all other ingredients (except for the corn) in a slow cooker.
4. Cook on high for 1 hour, low for 4 - 6 hours after that.
5. 20 minutes before chili is ready, stir in corn.
6. Top with fresh cilantro, reduced fat sour cream and reduced fat cheddar, if desired.

Serves 6

Number of Servings: 6

As always, nutrition information supplied by the recipe calculator at Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

that cookbook -- "A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality" -- looks really interesting. What else have you made from it?

Jen said...

It's a wonderful book and I use it for EVERYTHING. I lived in the Soviet Union in 1987 and this is, by far the most authentic cookbook I've found. The version I have is "A La Russe: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality" but then the title was changed two years later.

The recipes I use over and over are this one (although she has a full fat version), her Moskovskii Borsch (although I adapt that one as well to make it vegetarian), the Schii recipe, Khachapuri, sirniki... the Georgian chicken, which is out of this world...

She's also just an excellent food writer. Her book on Georgian cooking is also fabulous. (As is Georgian cooking!)

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

That cookbook does sound fab! My grandmother used to make "creamed cucumbers" that I loved, but honestly I have no idea what was in them. You've inspired me to play around (I should mention that my grandfather was Lithuanian) ;)

anno said...

Mmmmm... cucumbers! Spring salads! Yum!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

These are all great recipes. Chili and cornbread are a great combo. Yum.

Jen said...

Michelle, if your grandfather was Lithuanian, it's probably pretty much the same salad.

Anno - yes, now all we need is spring, lol!

NYC - we love that combo - I make those two together or a chicken/sausage chili with the cornbread.

April said...

YUM - these are all things I love. My dad's not Russian, but I swear he makes this Cucumber Salad, too!
And I think he uses that same chili recipe. Now, I have to have cornbread at lunch :)

Flower Child said...

our Hungarian aunt made a similar cucumber salad too - it was sooooo good. brings back memories.

the chili and cornbread look good too - will plan on that this week. thanks for the ideas!

what a man what a man what a mighty good man

Goofball said...

you're very inventive in combining your usual themes with Wijvenweek :)

Wow, the cucumber is really really simple to make, no. good to remember that. I just feel more like a very hot cup of winter soup right now still, so it'll have to wait.

Jen said...

April and Flower Child - I think the cucumber recipe is one that is adapted throughout most Northern Europe/Eastern Europe cooking. It's a gem. The most important step is salting the cukes ahead of time and then rinsing them. It makes a HUGE difference.

Goofball, it's been fun combining the two. That was part of what I thought the challenge might be. ;-)

The cucumber salad is just great. I often have it alone with some bread for dinner during the summer.

janey jay said...

And now I have yet one more item in my Amazon shopping cart... cookbooks are my greatest (OK, one of my greatest) weaknesses. This one looks interesting and the fact that you've endorsed it makes it all that necessary to have.

Love that chili recipe -- may just have to try that one out this weekend.

Jen said...

I love cookbooks, too, Jane. Russian food is rich and filling. Some of her recipes may seem unusual, but I certainly enjoy reliving my friends' hospitality through so many of her recipes.

Alex Elliot said...

I love how you combined the two themes! Ironically we are having slow cooker chili for dinner tomorrow.

Momisodes said...

I have never tried cucumbers in sour cream, but wow does that sound good! Hubby and I also love chili and cornbread. Maybe I will try this this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing these :)

Jen said...

Alex, all kinds of lowfat slow cooker chilis are my mainstay in the winter. I love them.

Sandy, the salad really is wonderful. It's better in small doses, though, as it can be rich. And we love the chili and cornbread thing, too!

glamah16 said...

Both recipes sound great and like my type of cooking and eating. I would have married him too if he cooked a big spread like that. Impressive. Question. Does he cook now? Or was it a rare occurance :-)

Jen said...

Hey Coco! That was particularly an Indonesian Riitstafel (I know I'm butchering the spelling), and that was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. He is/was a really good cook, but it just takes him so darned long that I do pretty much all of the cooking these days.

Anonymous said...

mmmm sounds so good! :) I don't think I have ever tried Russian food. I wouldn't mind though!

A Man Among Mommies said...

Will have to try that chili... Mmmmm
Doing a little Blog Hopping Early while Bouncing a Cranky Baby...

Susan @ SGCC said...

My husband is Hungarian and he loves that kind of cucumber salad. I just bought some fresh cukes and I'm going to make this for him tonight!

He is also a chili fanatic, but that's another story. ;)

I will definitely have to look into that cookbook. It sounds great!

Liz Dwyer said...

I read that the guy who invented the egg mcmuffin died yesterday. :(

I want to make that cornbread. I absolutely love cornbread but get shocked by the calorie and fat counts. I wonder if I could use the Trader Joe's cornbread mix and just put in the buttermilk and maple syrup instead of the boatload of oil it asks for.

Heather said...

Oh, Jen. I've been craving homemade chili lately, and this clenches it: I will break out the Dutch oven this weekend. Love the sour cream cukes, too - one of my favorites with salmon and blini.

Anonymous said...

yummy! I bet my ideal man would like this, too!

Jen said...

Capitolady - there are a lot of similarities with other Eastern European foods, if you've tried those. I think it's wonderful. And as always, the fresher the ingredients, the better.

Man among Mommies - one of the nice things about the chili and cornbread are they're EASY - nice when you have a cranky baby. ;-)

StickyGooey - definitely recommend the cookbook! And I wish we had really good cukes this time of year.

Jen said...

Los A - you definitely could do that. You can always play around with mixes like that, but just know that with the buttermilk instead of the oil, (you won't need the maple syrup - that's for sweetening - use egg whites instead if the mix calls for eggs - 2 eggwhites to 1 egg) the texture will be a bit different. But then use up that mix and make this stuff - it's less sweet and so easy! ;-)

Jen said...

Oooooo.... Heather! I didn't think about this salad with salmon and blini - what a great idea!

Rebecca, then make it for him! ;-)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

My ideal man would eat all this wonderful lower in fat content food as well with ground turkey, etc:D The cookbook sounds amazing.I will have to browse a bit more to see if you have the Moskovskii Borscht recipe here:D

Grimm said...

You know, I really should have started reading your What's Cooking Wednesday soon...

I just got my results from my physical and all in all I am healthy but have about 30-40 pounds to lose.