SMOKED SALMON & TORTELLINI TO MEND THE BODY AND SOUL
Smoked salmon or fresh, it is loaded with Omega-3’s. And pasta, what’s not to love?
This recipe is the first in a series of Mending+Healing=Comfort. M2, who is recovering from shoulder surgery is a typically active athlete, and expressed her desire to eat as healthfully as possible during her recovery time. I am obliging.
Common food becomes comfort food
Healthfully needs to be defined. Comfort is what it is all about. How do you make yourself feel better after surgery, a bad day, a tough life situation? Comfort food seemed like the best place to start for a post-operative healing journey. Smoked Salmon with Tortellini was asked for. It has been a requested food for anything from I had a bad day to a birthday celebration. Made with what are considered staple foods in the Bleuberet household, it can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. Years ago when pasta became an “it” food, I jumped on the bandwagon. As the resident non-carnivore, I was in heaven. When all the dietary recommendations began to ping-pong, I was befuddled. In a stark realization that I could not keep up with the rubber-necking changes that were taking place in the food world, I tried to find some neutral ground. Stuck in pasta, I made it a regular meal base and naturally my children find solace in it (Annie’s Cheddar is still a favorite-add some tiny broccoli florets and your kids will eat something green).
As promised all the meals that will eventually go into the e-Book of H+M=C (Mending+Healing=Comfort), will have a healthy component. Feeling better, comforted, is one of the most important aspects of healing whether that be mind, body or soul. We all have something that brings us comfort. And since this is a food blog, we are concentrating on food. Bring the Teddy Bear to the table, should you need extra support.
Finding comfort in food can be a blessing and a curse
If approached from a healthy angle-eat quality foods, eat in quantities that satiate rather than gorging, move (i.e. exercise), food can be a very enjoyable part of life. It is that which we stress. As a foodie family, and company, food is our paradigm. There are no nutritional charts, calorie counters or elimination of butter, cheese and cream in The Blog recipes. Why? Because the joy of eating good food has gotten lost on the hamster wheel of dietary restrictions.
On the flip side, eat empty calories, fried foods on a regular basis, fast foods-where the consumer is encouraged to buy and gorge on inhumane quantities-then the food becomes a curse. Live a sedentary life, and the problem exacerbates.
Good for you factor
Salmon is packed with omega-3s. There are many lists of superfoods, and sometimes there are 10, but the list can go up to 50 or more. In looking at several reliable sources, we settled one that listed superfood categories, LiveStrong (plus, chocolate was on the list, so what’s not to love!). Omega-3 is considered to be an essential component of cardiac health, cancer prevention, and an anti-inflammatory.
- 16oz/450g cheese tortellini
- 8oz/250g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion, small dice
- 2 Tbsp, herbed butter (or 1 teasp dried herbs added to butter)
- 3 slices Lorraine Swiss, havarti, or softer sliced cheese
- 1 teasp flour
- 4floz/120ml hot pasta water
Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
Chop smoked salmon.
Rip cheese into pieces (see photo above).
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Add onions and cook until translucent.
Add flour and blend into butter, eliminating the lumps.
Add pasta water and blend.
When it begins to bubble and is well-blended, add cheese.
After cheese melts, add the salmon to the cheese sauce.
Drain tortellini and cook in sauce for a couple of minutes to coat.
The technique of blending the butter and flour is called a roux. When combined with the water (milk or broth are used in the same way) it is called a béchamel.