Airship Salad

Aeris and airshipCid: “Wow, what a ship!”

Setzer: “That landing really messed up the engine. It’ll take a while to fix.”

Cid: “I’ll help. No machine can stump me!”

Setzer: “Don’t touch anything!”

Cid: “Go kill time in the casino! I can speed this crate up!”

—FFVI

You can use any dressing you like with this recipe. Here are two suggestions: Trader Joe’s low-fat parmesan ranch dressing, or for a more indulgent choice, Russian dressing (first three ingredients of the linked recipe).

  • 7 oz. chopped butter lettuce (about 5 cups)
  • 8 oz. cooked chicken or turkey breast, cut into strips
  • 8 oz. smoked deli ham, cut into strips
  • 4 oz. crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 lb. Persian cucumbers, ends removed, cut in half, then quartered lengthwise
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, washed well and cut into wedges
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, warm (optional)
  • Watercress sprigs or microgreens, for garnish (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad dressing

Divide ingredients evenly between 4 bowls. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Per serving (does not include salad dressing): 509 calories, 27 g. fat, 17 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 47 g. protein, iron 12%

Sector 5 Flower Soup

Aeris Gainsborough in Midgar“They say you can’t grow grass and flowers in Midgar. But for some reason, the flowers have no trouble blooming here.”

—Aeris Gainsborough, FFVII

Nasturtiums are one of the easiest things you can grow in your garden — just scatter a handful of seeds and they’ll keep coming back every year like beautiful weeds. You can also buy fresh nasturtium flowers at Whole Foods.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 24 garlic cloves (about 2 bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 15-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch fresh kale (about 10 oz.)
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 10 oz.)
  • A handful of nasturtium flowers
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add leeks, half the garlic, and salt, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the garlic is browning too quickly.

Stir in quinoa. Add broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Meanwhile, rinse the kale and dandelion greens, then chop into bite-size pieces.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the kale and dandelion greens, nasturtiums, lemon juice, honey, and white pepper. Use a garlic press to add the remaining garlic to the pot. Stir well, divide into bowls, and serve immediately for best results.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 297 calories, 9.3 g. fat, 1.1 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 5.6 g. mono. fat, 673.1 mg. sodium, 100.4 mg. potassium, 44.1 g. carbohydrates, 9.7 g. fiber, 10.2 g. protein, vitamin A 121%, vitamin C 90%, calcium 17%, iron 25%

Cosmo Canyon Chicken and Rice

Cosmo Candle“Bonfires are funny, aren’t they? They make you remember all sorts of things.”

—Tifa Lockhart, FFVII

For the chicken:

  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 1 or 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup organic tamari soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon hot chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 4 skinless, boneless organic free-range chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup white wine

For the rice:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10½ oz. long-grain brown rice, jasmine or basmati (about 1½ cups)
  • 8 oz. raw tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Mix together lime juice, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, chili powder, olive oil, honey, and garlic in a shallow baking pan, stirring thoroughly. Lay the chicken breasts in, breast-side up, then flip to breast-side down. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, turning the breasts over halfway through.

While the chicken is marinating, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the rice and saute until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, and salt. Stir and continue cooking for about 10 more minutes, until onions are translucent.

Slowly pour in broth, bringing to a simmer. Continue cooking until all the broth has been absorbed. Lower heat to very low and cover for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Turn the chicken breasts to breast-side down and pour the white wine over them. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping the breasts after about 10 or 15 minutes. Check that the internal temperature has reached at least 160 degrees.

Arrange 4 plates. Put a half-cup scoop of rice on each plate and pat it down to make a nest for the chicken. (You’ll have rice left over; save it to serve at another meal with Ifrit’s Adobo-Achiote Chicken.) Place each breast on a plate and top with the pan juices. Serves 4.

Costa Del Sol Guacamole

Hojo on Costa Del Sol beach“Wait a minute. I’m going to look for my guidebook. It says, Costa del Sol is the gateway to the West. And has a prominent world renown resort, which has been around for ages.”

—a tourist in Costa del Sol, FFVII

When you’re done with this recipe, you’ll be left with half a tomato, half a chile pepper, and lots of onion and cilantro. Use them to make Costa Del Sol Sashimi Cocktail!

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tomato (about ½ small tomato)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • ½ serrano chile pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tortilla chips

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the insides into a large bowl. Add tomato, onion, chile pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice. Mash until combined and stir in black pepper. Serve with warm tortilla chips.

Meteor

Cloud and Aeris in the Temple of the Ancients“Here now. The way you’re running around here, you’d think Meteor fell or something.”

—the doctor in Mideel, FFVII

If you have a juicer, try using Vincent’s Red Juice instead of the bloody mary mixer.

  • 32-oz. bottle of Trader Joe’s bloody mary mixer (mostly tomato juice; includes clam juice, onion powder, and garlic powder)
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • Worcestershire sauce (regular or vegan)
  • Louisiana hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • Sea salt
  • Prepared horseradish
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 celery stalks, washed
  • Vodka (optional)
  • Pickled vegetables (optional)

Divide the bottle between two large glasses. Squeeze a lime wedge into each glass. Use the remaining 2 lime wedges to decorate the glasses. Add 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce and 4 dashes of hot sauce to each glass.

Add ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon prepared horseradish to each glass. Add a grind of black pepper and use the celery sticks to stir well.

Stir in vodka to taste, if desired. Garnish with pickled vegetables and serve.

7th Heaven Bar Burgers

7th Heaven“You have to go through the slum in Sector 6 to get to Tifa’s 7th Heaven.  I’ll take you there.  Come on!”

—Aeris Gainsborough, FFVII

  • 12 oz. ground chuck, 85% lean
  • ½ tbsp. onion powder
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 4 slices of whole-grain bread, or two hamburger buns
  • 2 1-oz. slices of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 onion, sliced thick
  • 1 tomato, washed and sliced thin
  • Lettuce, washed and torn into pieces

Remove the meat from the fridge and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  In a bowl, combine meat, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix lightly, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Shape into two patties, each approximately 4 inches across.  Using the back of a spoon, put a dimple into the center of each patty.  Spread light coat of olive oil on each side of the patties, and salt and pepper them to taste.  Butter the bread on one side.

Prepare a grill for high heat.  Place burgers directly over heat and cook for 3 minutes, covered.  Flip and cook for an additional 2½ minutes, covered.  Add a slice of cheese to each burger.  Cover and cook for 30 seconds.

Remove burgers to a plate and tent with aluminum foil, being careful not to let the foil touch the cheese to prevent sticking.  Let rest, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill onion and bread, about a minute on each side.  Continue cooking onion until golden and soft.

Arrange bread with the buttered side down and place each burger on a slice of bread.  Top with grilled onion, tomato, and lettuce.  Makes 2 cheeseburgers.