Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Dinner at Del Campo

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday.

I have it confess that I haven't been cooking much lately due to a busy schedule. I'm hoping that will change soon but in the meantime, I'm going to post about a celebratory dinner at Del Campo in the Gallery Place neighborhood of DC. Now, this was by no means a healthy meal, and it wasn't meant to be as we were celebrating paying off student loans.  But, it gave me some ideas for healthy meals to try out at home.

We shared a burata salad to start, Mike had the Peruvian chicken with yucca fries and I had the kale pot pie.  For dessert we shared tres leches "twinkies" with mango sorbet.

Everything we had was amazingly delicious, even the salad. The base was a good quality cheese (burata) with grilled artichokes, shaved fennel, and greens.  The lessons I'm taking home from this dish are that trying vegetables prepared in a different manner can make them taste completely different and that a little bit of high quality cheese goes a long way, allowing something to taste decadent without being too unhealthy. The burata was the star here but the grilled artichokes were a pleasant surprise.  I had no idea artichokes could taste like this and I can't wait to try to replicate them, as well as the shaved fennel.

Del Campo is known for their meat dishes but their vegetarian entree was unbelievably tasty and unique.  It certainly didn't seem like an after thought thrown together by the chef at the last minute.  It was swiss chard, spinach, kale and a rich bechamel sauce cooked in a buttery pot pie crust.  It was topped with a fried egg and a blizzard of parmesan.  It was so rich I was only able to eat half of it.  But I think this would also be delicious at home as sautéed kale topped with a poached egg and a sprinkling of parmesan. And a vinaigrette could be a good option instead of the rich sauce.  It would taste very different from the pot pie but I bet it would still be good.

Now there is probably no way the tres leches cake can be converted to something healthy. But the mango sorbet was tart and refreshing and would probably be a great summertime dessert on its own.

I love having special meals out but I know that there is no way I could eat like this on a regular basis if I want either my waistline or wallet to be healthy.  But I do love getting ideas from our restaurant meals of new things that we can try to do at home.  And of course, I try to include a lot of activity on days with rich meals like this.  I had gone for a run in the morning, walked around downtown all afternoon, and went to a NBA game that evening where there was lots of cheering and jumping up and down.

Pre-game warm up.

Anyone else ever tried to recreate a restaurant meal for healthier home eating?