Movie Inspired Food : 21st Century Chef Salad with Oil and Vinegar on the Side

Are you a movie fan? If you answered yes, you’re probably watching the Oscars on Sunday, February 24, and maybe even having a party. (Thirty nine million people watched last year.) In honor of the Oscars, the Recipe Redux has challenged us to create a healthful recipe that was inspired by a favorite food scene or featured dish from ANY movie.

Wow, that leaves things wide open!  So picking from the millions of movies that have been made for over a century, what pray tell is my favorite food scene? It comes from a  movie that was initially released July 12, 1989 . Talk about dating yourself!   This movie was nominated for one oscar: Best Original Screen Play,  but lost to Dead Poets Society. The movie stars Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal and poses the still unanswered, often awkward question, “Can men and women ever just be friends?”

You know the cliché, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, so instead of me explaining the food scene, here is a clip from the actual movie, When Harry Met Sally:

(note this video best viewed in Firefox or Chrome)

I am not going to touch that apple pie à la mode order! Instead, I am going to update the  of chef salad of 1989. The nutrition profile of a chef salad (like any other dish) varies depending on the ingredients used.  In 1989, most chef salads included the following ingredients: bed of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, turkey, cheese, and hard boiled eggs. My goal was to modify this traditional classic salad so it was recognizable, yet bring it closer to meeting modern day nutrition goals. My version changes the base of the salad to a combination of greens. It also swaps chicken for ham; keeps the hard cooked egg and uses a little less of the cheese.   Note this strategy: When a recipe calls for an ingredient such as cheddar cheese that is high in fat, instead of opting for a low fat version and compromising taste, consider  using a small amount of the  regular version. Finally, serve it Sally’s way, ‘oil and vinegar on the side’. I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember to check out all the links at the bottom of this post for more movie inspired food ideas!

What’s your favorite food scene from any movie?

 21st Century Chef Salad with Oil and Vinegar on the Side

 21st Century Chef Salad with Oil and Vinegar on the Side

    21st Century Chef Salad with Oil and Vinegar on the Side

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 2)

for the salad

  • 6 cups mixed salad greens such as Romaine, red leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula
  • 2 mini cucumbers
  • 4 baby sweet peppers
  • 12 grape tomatoes
  • 1 hard cooked egg
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 oz. shaved sharp or spicy cheese such as sharp cheddar or pepper Jack cheese

for the dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

for the salad

Combine salad greens into a large salad bowl. Add sliced cucumber, baby sweet peppers and grape tomatoes. Top with slices of hard cooked eggs, chicken and shaved cheese.

for the dressing

Combine oil , vinegar salt and pepper. Serve on the side.

Nutrition Profile for one serving (without oil and vinegar) : 139 calories, 15 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 128 mg cholesterol, 550 mg sodium, 4 grams fiber



Heat Things Up with This Recipe for 2 :Shrimp in a Skillet with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Shrimp in a Skillet with Creamy Tomato Sauce

The image of strolling together on the beach at sunset or cozying up by the fire in a ski lodge sounds wonderfully romantic. But that’s not what this post is about. Romance can start right in your own kitchen, with a meal you made yourself! This Valentine’s Day, heat things up with a bottle of chardonnay, a table for two, a delicious shrimp dinner, and 2 forks. I’m providing the recipe. The rest is up to you.

Now, before you tell me you don’t have time to cook, let me point out how simple this dish really is. You can make the sauce in 5 minutes (I like making it a day ahead). Then all there is to do is clean and devein the shrimp, sauté them and smoother them with creamy tomato sauce. I love this dish served over a bed of polenta or with a classic risotto.  Add a fresh salad with a vinaigrette dressing and voila,  you’re done. It’s a quick clean up too, so you have time for…well, more important things. You get the picture!

Because all meals should be enjoyed, and this one should be intimately memorable,  I recommend some romantic dinner music. Smooth jazz makes great background music  and there are lots of  romantic ballads that would also set a sensual relaxing mood. Here’s my pick for this year:  a mix of jazz and the sounds of a fireplace and rain drops.  Listen while you read through the recipe.

Oh, before I forget, for those of you who watch what you eat,…even on Valentine’s Day (you’re so good) I am providing the nutrition information:

Nutrition Profile: Shrimp in a Skillet with Creamy Tomato Sauce (one serving) :

303 calories, 27 grams protein , 21 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 185 mg cholesterol, 620 mg sodium, 26% DV vitamin C (based on 2000 calorie diet), 22% DV iron(based on 2000 calorie diet)

Keep the total meal around 500 calories by following this plan:

1 serving Skillet Shrimp in Creamy Tomato Sauce

1/3 cup cooked polenta

tossed salad with 1 Tablespoon vinaigrette dressing

White Wine Spritzer made with 4 oz.  Chardonnay, 2 oz. sparkling water and  garnished with fresh strawberries or raspberries

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How do you plan on making your food agenda irresistible but keeping it healthy this Valentine’s Day?

Shrimp in a Skillet with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Skillet Shrimp with Creamy Tomato Sauce

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 2 Tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen shrimp

Instructions

Clean and devein shrimp. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Melt butter in saucepan. Add chopped onion and sauté til soft. Add white wine and cook until wine is absorbed. Add tomato paste and clam juice. Cook one to two minutes over medium heat until combined. Remove from heat and pour sauce into container to refrigerate before adding nonfat Greek yogurt. (Cool for 15 minutes, or if you have time, leave overnight). Once cool, add nonfat Greek yogurt.

Spray a 6 inch iron skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp turns pink. Gently pour sauce over top shrimp and heat through. Serve immediately.

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