Food Find: Salata

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Healthy lunch options can be few and far between in North Austin, especially if you’re adhering to phase 1 of the Atkin’s diet. (It’s working great! I can fit into things I thought I’d never be able to wear again!) It was just my luck, rambling about my diet at a fancy party near downtown, that I ran into the owner of Salata, a fresh, healthy restaurant that lets customers completely customize their salads just minutes from where I work.  Continue reading “Food Find: Salata”

Recipe: Cajun-Spiced Poached Egg Over Sautéed Mushrooms

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As a pescatarian on the Atkins diet, I have to cook a LOT of eggs. In fact, if I ever see an omelette again, I will scream. Given my extremely limited diet, I have become a Food Network star in the kitchen. (Most of the time. There was an unfortunate incident involving fish, but we won’t talk about that.) The cajun-spiced poached eggs that I made this weekend were truly one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished, and my partner can vouch for it. (He’s already requested that I make them again.) If you’re looking for something low-carb, low-cal, vegetarian-friendly, and exceptionally delicious – look no further than this recipe:

1 egg

oil (enough to cook with)

white vinegar and salt (just enough to poach the egg)

1T of veganaisse or mayonnaise

cayenne pepper

freshly cracked black pepper (don’t you dare use pre-ground pepper)

creole seasoning (Tony Chachere’s is the only brand you can use. I’m Cajun, trust me.)

handful of each of the following 3 ingredients:

arugula

mushrooms (sliced)

shredded romano cheese

If you don’t know how to poach an egg, don’t worry. I’m a complete screw-up, and if I can do it – you can do it. Get a pot of water boiling over medium-high heat. You don’t want it to be a violent rumble, like a crazy witch’s cauldron. You want just a gentle boil. Make sure that you add in a healthy splash of white vinegar and salt. I don’t know why vinegar makes the egg stay together, but it does. I’m not Neil deGrasse Tyson, so we’re just going to assume that vinegar is magic.

While you’re waiting for this, and if you feel like multi-tasking, go ahead and put some oil in a pan. On medium heat, sauté your sliced mushrooms, adding in the arugula and romano cheese once the mushrooms look almost done. Is that water boiling in the other pan yet? Okay. Time to poach the egg.

This is the moment of truth. Crack your egg into a bowl, and generously shake the creole seasoning onto it. Take a spoon, and stir the boiling water. Really stir it. Make a swirl. If you don’t get the water swirling, then you don’t get your poached eggs, so focus! Once the swirl is going strong, slowly pour your egg from the bowl into the center of the cyclone. Now turn that burner off. Don’t ask questions. Don’t touch anything, don’t move the pot, don’t mess with the egg. Just turn the burner off, and LEAVE IT ALONE for 4-5 minutes. This is a pretty exact science, so you better look at the clock.

Plate your mushroom mixture, and feel free to add salt or pepper if you haven’t already. This is all to your taste. Once the egg has been sitting for the 4-5 minutes, gently remove it with a slotted spoon. Let me stress this again: GENTLY. Lay the egg atop your vegetables, and add a dollop of veganaisse (I swear I think I’m misspelling this) on the side. Feel free to cover it all in cayenne and even more black pepper, because that’s how I roll, and pepper is delicious. The end. Enjoy your egg. 🙂

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