The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 05.29.07


Lifestyle catches up with our Gallivanting Gourmand

A penchant for putting butter on brownies has finally caught up with me.

Regular readers may notice a shift in focus for this column as I start to incorporate more frequent references to reducing calories, carbohydrate, cholesterol, and sugar counts. As the incidence of Type 2 diabetes continues to rise, I ,too, have joined the ranks of the affected.

For the past few years I somehow slipped furtively just under the glucose wire but the inevitable has occurred it seems. Blame it on a combination of heredity, a lack of portion control, and a poor exercise regime. Growing older doesn't help either.

At 46, I have enjoyed all manner of culinary delights and managed to try almost everything that can be classified as food. Some friends might dispute the latter as they have been subject to some of my concoctions.

Locally caught fiery-hot Jerk Bass comes to mind, as do smoked wild suckers (carp) that I plucked from the Tomifobia River one hot summer's day. These beasties were carefully prepared while I dressed in a kilt and clutched single malt. Those were good times, I tell you.

In a column from the past I expounded the virtues of recipe entitled "heart attack on a plate." You put a pound of butter atop juicy well-marbled rib steaks to melt while they grill for that one. Oh, for the good old days.

I'll be living a life where Becel replaces butter and Splenda becomes my friend.

As the planet goes green, my crisper is to be loaded with dark, leafy vegetables. Fruit finally takes its rightful place and fish will visit at least three times a week.

I'm saying bye-bye to hotdogs and hamburgers this summer (540 calories with the bun, don't you know) and replacing white rice with brown. In fact everything white is out the window for at least awhile.

Yogurt makes a comeback and whole grains and legumes will dominate.

I am allowed occasional indulgences and most likely will continue to share tried and true recipes. It's just that I will be eating quail-sized portions while you enjoy whole split chickens with potato and pasta salads deliciously smothered in mayonnaise dressing.

Wish my knees good luck as I try to relearn the art of skipping rope and say a prayer on my behalf as I explore the wonderful world of tofu.

It going to be a long summer methinks and I'll let you know how it's going each week.

Enjoy this light and refreshing seafood salad to revive you after a long day in the sun.

Grilled Cumin-Scallop Salad

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seeds
Salt and pepper
1-pound sea scallops
4 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 head Bibb lettuce (about 1/4 pound)

In a medium bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, vinegar, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and store in refrigerator until chilled.

Thread scallops on skewers; brush with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Place skewers in centre of cooking grate. Grill 6 to 8 minutes or until scallops are opaque, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Remove scallops from skewers; allow to cool. Add scallops, green onions, and tomato to chilled dressing; toss well. Serve on a bed of Bibb lettuce on individual plates.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: If using wooden skewers, soak in water thirty minutes before using so ends won't burn during grilling time.

Thanks to