The Iron Dinner Party

Most people probably decide on a dinner party menu by selecting dishes that they’re comfortable making or would be crowd-pleasingly practical.  It is less likely that social dinners are designed solely around one health benefit; however, that is what we did. When several family members developed significant iron deficiencies, we thought it would be helpful and fun to focus on iron-rich foods at family gatherings.  In the most recent dinner party, we kicked into iron chef mode with our best feast yet. Our iron-powerhouse meal included:

Baked Kale Chips – Kale has loads of calcium and vitamin K.
Liverwurst with rice crackers – Pork liver is a good source of vitamin A, D, B and C but also zinc.
Panko-Crusted Fried Oysters – Oysters are high in zinc, good for immunity, protein and Omega 3’s.
Steamed Mussels with gluten-free beer – Mussels are high in minerals.
Marinated Octopus – High in selenium, an antioxidant and vitamin B12 good for energy.
Grilled Asparagus with Spinach salad – Asparagus is high in B vitamins, good for nervous system. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K and Omega 3.
Baked Yam Fries – High in antioxidants like beta carotene, great for eyes.
Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle – Beets and spelt flour adds iron to this dessert.

All deliciously healthy but easy and fun to make! We’ve included Kake’s dessert recipe and Kale’s directions for preparing the oysters and octopus.  Enjoy! {Kake} & {Kale}

iron dinner 1

Panko Crusted Oysters serves 4-6 as an appetizer

Directions:

  • Rinse raw oysters (18-20 medium size) and drain on paper towel.
  • Coat each oyster with flour then dip in egg mixture (1-2 beaten) followed by a dip in panko (Japanese style bread crumbs). Make sure the oyster is fully covered.
  • Pan fry the oysters in hot oil until they are golden brown and cooked through.  Lay on paper towel to drain oil.

Marinated Octopus serves 4-6 as an appetizer

Directions:

  • Simmer fresh Octopus (2 lbs) in hot water for about 40 minutes until tender (pinch with fork).
  • Let cool a bit and lay tentacles over an upside down bowl or hang them over the ridge of a bowl.
  • Place in fridge for 2 hours.
  • Cut octopus into slices.  Make a marinade by mixing pressed garlic with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon (approximate amounts by taste).
  • Toss octopus in marinade and add cut parsley. Place in fridge for another 30 minutes prior to serving.

iron dinner 2

Grilled Asparagus with Spinach Salad & Baked Yam Fries

iron dinner 4

Kale Chips & Steamed Mussels

iron dinner 3

Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle Serves 10

  • 1 1/4 cups light spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 398 ml can beets drained
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  •  2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 T. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 T. Chocolate syrup
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Puree the beets.
  • With an electric mixer beat the sugar with the oil in a medium sized bowl for 2 minutes, then add the egg and vanilla.  Then add the beets.
  • Gradually beat in 1/3 dry ingredients, till just blended. (Don’t over do it, or cake will be tough)  Then 1/2 of buttermilk, keep alternating and end with dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into pan till 3/4 full, if you have more batter, make cupcakes.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted in the center, if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs it is ready.
  • While cake is cooling whip the cream until it is partly whipped, then add the Bailey’s and chocolate syrup. Continue to beat until cream is fully whipped. (Coconut cream may be substituted, just make sure the beaters and the coconut cream is chilled prior to whipping.  Buttermilk has very low lactose so if coconut cream is used, this dessert is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.)
  • Once cake is completely cooled, cut into squares and place half of the cake chunks in a serving bowl (a glass one is pretty) dollop half of the cream over top, and repeat, then sprinkle the raspberries over the top.  Chill for a couple of hours, then serve to oohs and ahhs!!

You don’t even have to let on that this dessert is nutritious, I even had some for breakfast the next day and did not feel the slightest guilt, now that’s having your cake and eating it too!  {Kake}

From the Culinary Trail – Finding Oysters & Bouillabaisse at Edgewater Lodge

One of the many advantages of living in Vancouver is the easy proximity to the mountains, and specifically to the popular resort of Whistler. I recently took a mini-getaway there and stayed at the charming Edgewater Lodge, which I highly recommend. Aside from enjoying some R&R and panoramic views, I also had an amazing dinner of fresh oysters and bouillabaisse. Normally, I would enjoy these foods simply because of their delectable flavours; however, from a superfoods perspective, I’m happy to share that there is more to love with oysters and bouillabaisse!

When I went online to do some research, I was surprised to find that oysters are one of the top superfoods, packed with healthy benefits. They are an astounding source of lean protein and essential nutrients, including vitamins A, E, C, D, B12, calcium, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The research indicates that oysters contain more zinc (promotes healing) than any other food. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and iron. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they are also low in calories and fat, plus can help lower your cholesterol.

Bouillabaisse, a traditional French fish stew, is a powerhouse dish of superfoods. The version I had was filled with a lobster, scallops, clams, shrimps, salmon, fennel and other vegetables.  Scallops, clams, shrimp and salmon are great lean proteins, similar to oysters. Scallops are an excellent source of B12, magnesium and potassium – all great for cardiovascular health.   Clams top the list as a source of B12 but they are also an Omega-3 and iron-rich food. Lobster is a good source of vitamin E.  Shrimp is loaded with Vitamin D, B3, zinc and many other nutrients.  Salmon contains a range of great B vitamins and is high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  Who knew there was so much goodness in a bowl of bouillabaisse?

I hope you enjoyed my first ‘tasty travel tidbit’ for our blog. – {Kale}

Edgewater Lodge Kake2kale

Edgewater Lodge Kake2kale