Eat Like Shalane Month: Week 2

image-uploaded-from-ios-14In case you missed it, I’m embarking on a month of preparing and eating the recipes from Shalane Flanagan’s book Run Fast. Eat Slow. This is week two of my experiment.

One recipe I prepared last week, the mashed yams with sage brown butter, tasted great but the texture was not a favorite with any of my family, leaving me with a big pan of leftovers and no one to eat them. Additionally, we loved the roasted chicken and ended up with a carcass begging to be used for something.

With many of the ingredients new to me and more expensive than what I normally buy, and using those two recipes as inspiration, this week I set out to avoid wastefulness and overspending as I planned out the next set of recipes.

24 hours to go!

Classic Chicken Bone Broth

Although I’ve read about making my own broth before and saved many a video on Facebook on how to do it, I never took the plunge … until now! The ease of this recipe plus the delicious, still-stuffed carcass sitting in my fridge made me finally go for it. I plopped the carcass, some veggies and water in my slow cooker and let it go for 24 hours on low. I strained out the chunks after a day, and voila! Amazing tasting, non-processed soup base.

With the theme of reducing kitchen waste, I think that I’m going to do this a little differently next time. Namely, rather than using new whole veggies only as called for in the cookbook, I am going to save all the tops, skins, and trimmed ends of the veggies I use on a daily basis in the freezer and once that container is full, make the chicken so I can boil up another batch of broth with essentially 100% leftovers.

Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A,  Taste: B+Family-Friendly: N/A (I won’t serve it solo)

image-uploaded-from-ios-12Flu-Fighter Chicken and Rice Stew

After making the broth, I took the next step and made this chicken and rice stew. This is a great weeknight meal because the recipe is fast to make as written or you can throw it all in a slow-cooker before work in the morning. I added celery and black pepper and used quite a bit more salt than called for as well. This leaves a good amount of leftovers for lunches, so between the use of cheap chicken thighs and all the other ingredients being inexpensive as well, this recipe is a winner.

Cost: A+, Ease of Recipe: A,  Taste: AFamily-Friendly: A

Messy, “no fillers!” first batch.

Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes

I’ve been making salmon cakes using a well-loved Ina Garten recipe for the last seven years so I had high hopes. Salmon cakes are time-intensive and messy: lots of chopping and dicing, forming the patties by hand, and then frying them. The RF/ES salmon cakes include a sweet potato puree and I used the left-over brown butter mashed yams (scraping the cheese and seeds off first) in place of making a new puree.

This recipe calls for you to get your salmon chopped by “your local butcher” and then you’re supposed to make the patties with the raw, chopped salmon. Well, I don’t have a local butcher. (First world problems?) And I’ve always lightly precooked the salmon, so that’s what I did again. I wrapped the fillets in foil and baked them at 350° for 20 minutes. This makes getting the skin off easy and the salmon flakes with a fork, so no chopping raw salmon. Making sure to get all the bones out took time, but is necessary.

Shalane flaunts that this recipe has no unnecessary fillers, like bread crumbs, as it uses almond meal instead. **Note to everyone: salmon cakes NEED some breadcrumbs to hold them together, especially when you mix the salmon with really moist ingredients like yam puree and eggs. A little almond meal does not do the trick. The first small batch of cakes quickly fell apart into mush in the frying pan. The mush tasted great, but I wanted CAKES. I ended up adding just over a cup of regular ol’ seasoned bread crumbs to get the mixture to a consistency that I could form patties and successfully fry them.

image-uploaded-from-ios-11
Salmon cake success with Avocado Cream and Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette kale salad.

Final family verdict? Really, really awesome (my son ate five), but as mentioned before, time-intensive and messy. I’d suggest making the mixture/patties on a Sunday night and then frying them up for dinner on Monday. In addition to the cup of seasoned breadcrumbs, I’ll add diced celery and red bell pepper next time and a tablespoon of capers because we like our cakes to have more varied veggie texture.

Cost: C (several key ingredients are very spendy), Ease of Recipe: D-,  Taste: AFamily-Friendly: A+

Avocado Cream (served in a dollop on the salmon cakes)

This is an easy and wonderfully delicious non-cream creamy condiment that perfectly pairs with the salmon cakes. Two thumbs up!

Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A,  Taste: A+Family-Friendly: A+

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Three ingredients shaken in a jar that only need a three-word description: simple, satisfying, and adaptable. Used with my regular kale and quinoa salad recipe.

Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A,  Taste: AFamily-Friendly: A

image-uploaded-from-ios-15Blueberry-Lemon Cornmeal Scones

Historically, scones are not my favorite thing: in my experience they are often dry, bland, crumbly, and then loaded with fat and calories that you know is basically saturated fat, white flour, and granulated sugar. Not worth it. I’d rather save my empty, nutrition-less calories for a glass or three of a nice Old Vine Zinfandel. These 11-ingredient beauties intrigued me with the addition of cornmeal and Greek yogurt. I tossed everything together, rolled out the log of dough and used that pastry cutter thingy that I rarely use, and in 20 minutes had light, flaky, lovely textured scones.

The only change I made was using the fat-free plain Greek yogurt I had on hand instead of the full-fat kind called for. Husband and both kids rolled their eyes fully into the back of their heads when I asked how they were, patting their stomachs in sheer enjoyment. For shits and giggles, I put the recipe into my food-tracker that I am not actually using at the moment. Just under 200 calories each with only nine grams of fat, if you look at that kind of thing. Shalane leaves out all calorie and nutrient facts in her cookbook on purpose, but I got curious! Definitely making these for a potluck brunch some time soon!

Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: B,  Taste: B (really good fresh, a little meh the second day), Family-Friendly: A-

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So ends another week of eating like Shalane, but not breaking the bank on the grocery bill this week by shopping the bulk section, using substitutes I had on hand, and using leftovers from previous recipes!

Click here to benefit Salty Running with your purchase of Run Fast. Eat Slow.

Are there any recipes in Run Fast. Eat Slow. you’d like me to try that you’re scared to? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

I'm an elementary P.E. teacher with a long-term, ongoing marathon addiction.The next big goal? Keeping up my BQ streak while aiming for a 3:10! I write about the not-so-glamorous side of running and fitting in serious training with a family while staying sane(ish).

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10 comments

  1. I’m with you on scones – they’re usually kind of bland and crumbly. But these were good.

    Oh! and I have two hacks for the chicken and rice stew. One, it’s basically Cantonese rice congee – so if you stick to the 1 cup rice: 6 cups broth or water ratio, you can sub in whatever veggies and meat you like; just saute the veggies and spices and brown the meat first. Use 1 cup rice to 8 cups water for thinner congee. And two, it’s even easier to make in an Instant Pot or similar pressure cooker. I tossed in veggies and meat to brown, then added rice, broth, and soy sauce and cooked it all on high pressure for 15 minutes.

  2. Could you add how long it takes you to prep the meals? It’s nice to know how much work goes into each recipe when deciding if I would actually want to make it 🙂

  3. The Chicken and rice soup looks like one I already make but definitely want to try the RFES version too. Also, thanks Mango- I basically went from having an instant pot on my “wish list” for eventually and not actually browsing them on Amazon. Heard such good things!

    With the Salmon cakes- regular or Panko breadcrumbs? I use panko a lot more than regular for the little extra crunch factor, but wouldn’t want to ruin the cakes either.

    1. I used just regular seasoned breadcrumbs, BUT give the recipe a try as written (I used the left-over mashed yams & precooked the salmon = might’ve contributed to the too-moist situation.)

      1. I’m going to admit I’m not really a salmon cakes person … which is what happens when you’ve lived your life in a land-locked state, I think. But, I’ve seen a lot of recipes that use high-end canned salmon, which would definitely save some time and work!

        1. As a lifelong Oregonian who eats salmon (from raw to smoked to all the cooked recipes in between) once a week during salmon season and 1-2 times per month when it isn’t, and who only eats wild-caught (not farmed) never Atlantic salmon, using canned salmon is near blasphemy! LOL. I think the issue here was the yams weren’t straight sweet potato; they had all the ingredients that added extra moisture, plus raw chopped might need less filler than cooked.

  4. Great idea to save all of your veggies pieces from the week to make stock, instead of wasting the time and money to chop up new ones. I will definitely start doing that!
    I’m with Chicory- I use canned salmon for my salmon cakes! Much quicker!