{Combating stress with a four course dinner for one}

This week at work has been a busy one (and it’s only TUESDAY!?). In stressful times like these, I like to do one of two things:

sweat it out at the gym


cook at home

Today was my rest day, so cooking won 🙂

I had no idea what I was going to make, so I browsed around the Sunterra on the way home looking for inspiration. $2.40 later, I came home with this beauty…an oyster mushroom

Ordinarily, when I eat solo, its usually super simple and often quite boring. But tonight I thought it would be nice to treat myself to a special dinner. So after some rummaging in the fridge and pantry, I came up with this “Four course menu for one”.

First course: Shaved celery and gala apple with a curry ginger honey vinaigrette

I started by slicing a couple of stalks of celery as thinly as I could with my knife…I find the repetitive rocking rhythm of my knife kinda meditative..

A similar treatment to a small sweet and crisp gala apple into little half moons..

I tossed these in a light dressing consisting of olive oil, honey ginger white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and pepper…

Finished with a pinch of curry powder and whisper thin shavings of parmesan reggiano.

The fresh crisp flavours of this dish reminded me of summer. I love how slicing the apple and celery super thin elevated these two simple ingredients into a sophisticated yet simple dish. A nice balance between sweet and tart. A perfect way to wake up my appetite..

Second course: Beet and pesto ricotta napoleon with balsamic reduction

This was a super quick and easy appetizer. I simply used up a steamed whole beet I had leftover in the fridge (Cooked for 1/2 hour in a steaming basket over a pot of boiling water till fork tender). Sliced it up into uniform rounds and stacked into alternating layers with spoonfuls of the cheese mixture (light ricotta cheese mixed with a couple of tablespoons of homemade basil pesto, Noble Farms goat cheese, salt and pepper).  Drizzle a bit of the balsamic reduction onto the plate and voila! (You can make your own reduction or find it in easy to use squeeze bottles in specialty cooking stores).

Tender medallions beet sandwiched between layers of fluffy pillows of creamy cheese…I thoroughly enjoyed every bite..

Third course: Oyster mushroom 2 ways – Truffled mushroom risotto and mushroom white cheddar grilled cheese

I roughly chopped up the mushrooms..

..and sautéed them with a couple of cloves of minced garlic, salt, pepper, lemon thyme and herbs de provence..

I separated the mixture in two and placed half of it on a slice of buttered challah with a generous smear of creamy goat cheese, dijon mustard and large mound of shredded old white cheddar..Grill this in a pan till each side is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is nice and melty..

The other half was stirred into this risotto (basic recipe you can find here). When the risotto was done, I removed it from the heat and stirred in 1/4 cup of parmesan and MORE goat cheese (I’m officially obsessed with this stuff).

…Served in my fire engine red Le Creuset mini cocotte… and decorated with a dash of lemon thyme and a drizzle of black truffle oil..

Creamy and decadent…

..Making sure to get a piece of mushroom in every bite..

Together on a plate..

I LOVED this combo for grilled cheese.. I’ll definitely be making this again in the future. I imagine this would go great with a bowl of steaming creamy tomato soup..

For my fourth and final course: Black sesame soup with coconut milk

This one brought me straight back to my childhood. My grandpa used to make me a bowl of this charcoal coloured sweet soup on special occasions. It’s a traditional cantonese dessert that is made by crushing black sesame seeds and rice till it forms a flour and sweetened with chinese rock sugar. To prepare it you simply pour in some hot water and stir till it becomes a thick almost pudding-like texture. I topped this off with a couple spoonfuls of coconut cream and garnished with some whole sesame seeds on top.

As a bonus this dessert is vegan and gluten-free. Plus sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, protein, and essential fatty acids (EFA).

Stress officially alleviated 🙂

3 Responses to “{Combating stress with a four course dinner for one}”
  1. Wow. Found your blog thru Vincci’s not-a-food-blog (we went to uni together)… been following on my reader for a while but holy cow this looks awesome! Way to treat yourself!

    Love your posts and looking forward to seeing more!

    • eatrundesign says:

      Oh cool, yea, Vincci is a sweet girl 🙂

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I do this blog for my passion for eating and cooking and to hear that other people enjoy reading it is a great bonus 🙂

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  1. […] of the cream from the top of the can and melting it into my morning oatmeal and stirring it into my black sesame soup for an after dinner […]

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