We brought a new pet into the house. Recently kid#2 and I went to Gardens By The Bay and after the walkabout, we could not resist going into the Gardens Shop. I absolutely adore plants and I’ve always dreamed of a herbarium on my balcony. The problem is that I was born with purple and not green thumbs. Most plants die with me, even cacti which are supposed to be ineffably hardy. Still, when we stumbled across a Venus fly trap plant, we couldn’t resist bringing it home.
Adopting a carnivorous plant wasn’t as straighforward as it seemed at the beginning. According to the Internet, Hub’s suggestion to feed it steak apparently would have killed the plant. Fortunately we have been having an ant infestation in the house and the plant has been reasonably happy and well fed. We had also visited a friend recently who gave us 2 large flying ants which we fed to the plant.
Feed me Seymour!
So at least for the past week or so the plant has been growing well and I am hopeful that it should beat the survival odds (maybe till Christmas?). It has actually put out new shoots and traps, which is pretty promising.
So I am rather carnivorous, a little like my little Venus fly trap. I do like a picture a friend tagged me on recently (with all the hoo ha on processed meats).
But although the rebel in me immediately went out to buy 2 packs of bacon after the WHO decreed processed meat as dangerous as cigarette smoking, there is a compliant part of me that keeps to really fresh and unprocessed fresh meat and vegetables, which is the reason for this salad recipe (look Ma, no bacon!).
I’ve made a lot of salads in my time and of late I’ve gotten really lazy and the salads I make are really bare bones with some greens and tomatoes thrown together with EVOO. But once in a while (usually when company comes) I will dig up a more complex and hearty salad recipe. I personally adore seafood – clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops…and I would be as happy as a pig in mud if I had seafood everyday. But notice that for this post I didn’t really claim it to be low carb. So for people wanting a truly low carb salad, please don’t eat the orange wedges in the salad – they are in there for color and also because I’m a frugal Chinese (that usually cooks everything from nose to tail) – since I was using orange peel in the poaching liquid, it made absolute sense to me to throw the orange into the salad. Also a warning that certain types of seafood is not really that low carb – cuttlefish and oysters and clams actually have way more carbs than fish, so be good and eat more of the greens than the seafood in this salad! Ok I confess that in making this salad I was more interested in being happy than healthy! 😝
- 500 g fresh prawns, shelled and deveined
- 2 cuttlefish, cleaned and pink membrane removed, and cut into rings
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onions (green parts only)
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 200g young asparagus spears
- 1 bag of mesclun salad greens (200-300g)
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 ripe avocados, cut into cubes
- Flesh of 1 large navel orange, cut into segments
- 1 tsp crushed red peppers
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Skin of 1 large navel orange
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- White part of spring onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp chopped spring onions (green part only)
- 1 tsp chopped cilantro
- Heat up a pot of water, about 2-2.5 L
- Remove the skin of the orange. Cut the orange into segments and set apart in fridge.
- Add the fennel seeds, black peppercorns, orange peel, Old Bay seasoning and salt to the water and boil for about 10 minutes.
- Poach the asparagus spears in the poaching liquid for about 2 minutes, then remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When cooled, remove the asparagus and cut into 2 inch lengths and set apart in th fridge.
- Poach the prawns till pink, about 1-2 minutes. Remove and set apart to cool. When cooled sufficiently, slice the prawns lengthwise into half.
- Poach the cuttlefish about 1-2 minutes until just cooked, making sure not to over-cook the cuttlefish which can become rubbery. Remove and set aside.
- Mix the juice of a whole lemon with 2 tbsp cilantro and 2 tbsp spring onions. Mix in the prawns and cuttlefish thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Refrigerate at least 3 hours till overnight.
- Wash the salad and dry thoroughly. Mix in cherries, avocados and asparagus pieces. Lightly drizzle with the salad dressing.
- Top the salad with the refrigerated seafood mix.
- Scatter the orange wedges on top. Serve alone or with low carb bread.