Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back to Basics

There are so many theories on what to eat, what not to eat. So many diets -- I won't even go there. If you ever have been to my cooking classes or presentations you've heard me say it many of times.  I believe, at the end of the day, we are over-thinking food. We've made eating and preparing food way too complicated.

So, I've called for a return to the basics. Simple food made without a lot of fuss, but instead with love. Peasant dishes are great examples of using the bare essentials to create simple, delicious meals. Many peasant recipes have lived on to be a part of today's cuisines. One of my favorites is the Italian soup -- Pasta e Fagioli.

There I was in the kitchen, yesterday, creating a very basic garden salad. Relishing in just how simple it was to make. No kidding, it took me all of two minutes from start to finish to make this beautiful salad. I used romaine lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, and roma tomatoes. I chopped the romaine lettuce, sliced the cucumbers leaving the peel on(since they were organic), and sliced the tomatoes and mushrooms. I put all the ingredients in the colander and rinsed it really well. Bam! Just like that. Just that simple. No bagged lettuce, no bagged produce. I topped my salad with sunflower seeds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette (no doubt, made from scratch).

Creating meals using real food, whole food doesn't have to be complicated with basic essentials on hand -- you can create and whip up meals in a cinch. Some very basics I suggest everyone have on stock.

Pantry: Kosher or Sea salt, a pepper mill, garlic, olive oil, vinegars, grains, beans, stocks (make your own and then freeze), tomatoes (jar or can them yourself).

Fresh produce:  Lemons and limes (no bottles!), romaine lettuce or spinach for salads, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and onions.  Be careful some items should be bought only organic. Check out the Dirty Dozen list.

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The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News