I made the Country Cabbage soup on Sunday. The first problem was I cut the recipe in half because it was just Kim and me eating and I didn't want to be eating cabbage soup for a month. I did that once on the cabbage soup diet but that is another story. Unfortunately I forgot to half the last ingredient which was the salt and the soup came out very salty. The second problem is I don't eat cooked cabbage. I don't know why. I love cole slaw and even red cabbage shredded into a toss salad. I don't eat a lot of vegetables cooked. Just the basics, green beans, corn (if you count it as a vegetable and not a starch), peas (are peas vegetables or legumes?)and that's about it. Oh yea onions, peppers and tomaotoes but that is more about flavor and I don't eat them by themselves. But I remember that Mom use to make a vegetable soup that I loved with lots of vegetables including cabbage. I remember liking the flavor of the cabbage. But this cabbage seemed to have no flavor to it. Maybe it was the extra salt. The third problem I had was that the recipe called for ground round. Ground round is lower in fat there for supposedly healthier and less weight watcher points than normal ground beef. But it had no flavor either. The flavor in meat comes from it's fat. What I am finding with this diet is that if I can't use the more fatty flavorful meat why add meat at all? I might as well go vegetarian. I'd save a lot of calories that way. But Kim liked soup and ate two bowls so maybe it's just me.
Thinking about the ground round I began to wonder if you can brine it. I decided to use the greatest invention since saran wrap and Googled "can you brine ground round?" I didn't find the answer exactly but I found a discussion about whether or not you could brine ground bison. The general consensus was no. Someone suggested adding lard or other fat to keep it moist. (Isn't that defeating the purpose?) The most helpful suggestion was to dry brine. A day before you are going to use the bison (or in my case the ground round) you salt and pepper it. Two thirds teaspoon kosher salt per pound. Hand mix to distribute it well and then of course refrigerate it until the next day. That might be an idea. I was listening to The Splendid Table the other day other day and the guest chef was explaining that salt brings out flavor and spices add flavor. Perhaps when dry brining the meat you could also add what ever spices you are going to use in the recipe. Something I will have to try the next time I make chili.
I also made something called Black Bean Spinners on Sunday. Turns out that Women of Great Taste has more weight watcher friendly recipes than I would have imagined. Perhaps I have simply been drawn to the more high calorie affairs. There are three kinds of spinners in the book: black bean, chicken and beef. I did the black bean because I had all the ingredients on hand amazingly enough and it was the least caloric. Very simple. Mash the black beans, add the spices and green onions, heat, thin with the black bean liquid, spread on a flour tortilla, roll it up and slice cross ways. The taste reminded me of the bean burritos I use to make for Rachel. . I dipped them in salsa as suggested. A very tasty, very easy appetizer and much less fattening than the butter laced phyllo dough ones we made at Christmas. These might be a nice accompaniment to a southwestern salad.