Did you know that QVC, the popular shopping channel, frequently features home cooking and lifestyle shows? My husband and I love to cook and entertain at home, so when we saw that the QVC Food Channel was hosting a show called “Eat This, Not That!” with David O’Neal, we were really excited about learning how to make a few simple foods that we could adapt and enjoy at home.
The episode opened with O’Neal sitting at a table with 4 small food carts. Each one was covered in dishes featuring a different type of cuisine. He began by explaining the purpose of the show and how the guests would learn how to make a few dishes that they could enjoy at home. He also mentioned that some of the foods didn’t fit into their diets due to allergies or dietary restrictions, so they would have to find alternatives.
We Love Chinese Food!
One of the foods that we were immediately drawn to was Chinese food, mostly because it’s one of our husband’s favorite cuisines. At first, we considered making a peanut butter soup recipe due to our familiarity with the flavor and texture. Sadly, however, we learned that he has a severe peanut allergy and would have to avoid this particular recipe if we wanted to keep him happy. We really wanted to try out the mandarin orange chicken, so we began looking for alternatives. After some searching, we found that this particular dish is often made with fish sauce instead of anchovy sauce, which is what most people think when they think of Chinese food.
Since our Shenanigans Market order was supposed to arrive today, we decided to make the switch and see how it tasted. We weren’t sure what kind of rice wine to use, so we went with what we had on hand: Marsala wine, which is a wine from Italy. We found that it wasn’t half bad, but it didn’t have the same sweet, rich flavor that we were looking for either. We ended up making some substitutions that we thought might help improve the flavor. We used chicken broth and substituted the Marsala wine with a mixture of white wine and orange juice. The flavor was a little bit different, but it was better than the original recipe.
What About Ice Cream?
Another food that we were really excited about trying was ice cream. Our favorite ice cream brand is Ben & Jerry’s, and we thought that it would be a great way to start experimenting with some new flavors. Unfortunately, we learned that it was highly unlikely that we would be able to find a suitable alternative to Ben & Jerry’s. Most of the ice creams that we found had a very short list of ingredients, so we decided to move on to the next food on our list.
A Pizza Bistro?
Next up was a pizza bistro. We were really looking forward to trying this out, mostly because my husband is a huge fan of American cuisine, especially when it comes to pizza. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like it would be possible to find a suitable alternative either. We didn’t want to give up just yet, however, and so we began searching for a way to replicate the pizza bistro experience at home. It wasn’t long before we found a recipe that we thought might work. We made a few adjustments to fit our personal preferences. The end result was pretty perfect: juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes, creamy basil pesto, and melty mozarella.
While these are all great options, they don’t exactly fit the description of “healthy recipes.” We wanted to stay away from the butter and the cheese, as much as possible. This was especially difficult with the pesto, since it requires cheese for its flavor to develop. We weren’t sure how the Marsala wine would taste in the recipe, so we left it out, as well. In its place, we used a combination of balsamic vinegar and tomato juice to replicate the flavor. It was a simple adjustment, but it made a huge difference.
Next on our list was fries. It’s no secret that we are both big fans of French cuisine, so we were excited about trying out some of their frozen snacks. Unfortunately, we learned that most of the items that we were interested in weren’t exactly vegan, and we wouldn’t be able to make them at home without some major adaptations. One of the items on our list was haricots verts, which are green beans. We were able to make them into a dip for crudités, by simply blanching and shocking them. Since we couldn’t have raw onions or garlic, we used lemons instead. The resulting dip was light yet tangy, and it went perfectly with the crisp, fresh vegetables.
The next item on our list was onion rings. These were actually a lot easier to make than we expected, and we were really pleased with the results. We used a combination of rice bran oil and canola oil to give them a nice, creamy texture. Then, we topped them with our favorite chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder, and we were good to go.
Pasta, Ragu And Veggie Risotto
Speaking of creamy textures, we decided to make some linguine pasta with marinara sauce, ragu and peas, and veggie risotto. We were really excited about making the pasta, as it is one of our husband’s favorite dishes. We used a combination of almond and corn flours, instead of regular all-purpose flour, to give the pasta a subtle nuttiness and added texture. The ragu and the veggie risotto were both really easy to make, and they turned out perfectly. The ragu was a twist on traditional Italian flavors, using chilies and cocoa instead of tomato and basil, and it was really good.
One of the items on our list, which wasn’t especially related to diets, was chocolate pots de creme. It’s not that we don’t like chocolate, it’s just that we feel that it is very overrated as a flavor. It’s common knowledge that chocolate contains a lot of sugar, which we don’t need in our diets. Despite this, our tastes have evolved and we have grown to love a good dark chocolate with some sea salt on top, or maybe even in the center, if it’s a square. This particular dessert didn’t require much adaptation to make it compatible with our diets. It is, in fact, the same recipe that we use for my husband’s birthday cake every year.
Ridiculously Ritzy Recipes
Finally, we have some recipes that are so unbelievably Ritzy that we had to make them. These are the recipes that make your jaw drop and your eyes pop out: lobster burgers, chicken tikka samosas, and chocolate brownie sundaes, all of which were featured on the show.
The main issue that we had with all of these recipes was that, for the most part, they required a special tool that we didn’t have. The chocolate brownie sundae required a special pan and the chicken tikka samosas called for special mandolin cutters. This is definitely a recipe that you don’t want to try out at home unless you have all of the required equipment.
Our favorite recipe of the day was the lobster burgers. We loved the flavor of the lobster and thought that it would be a great addition to our salads, but we had no idea how to cook it. We finally found a way to make it work for us, by taking out some of the lobster meat, mixing it with a little bit of mayonnaise, and then putting it on a bun with pickles and tomato. It was so easy to make and so delicious that we might actually do it again, even though it doesn’t fit into our diet plans.
The meal that we prepared was only 4 days apart from our wedding anniversary, and it felt like it had been years. Since we had already tried out some of the recipes, we decided to make one more meal, just to celebrate the occasion. We were in the mood for something light and decided to try out some of the items from our list. It turned out that some of them were easier to make than others, so we started out by trying to make the lobster burgers, but we only had crabmeat on hand, so we used that instead. We also used ground chicken, since that was all that we had in the freezer. The result was delicious, yet not something that we had envisioned for our anniversary dinner.