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Monday, January 11, 2010

Cook for your life!

So, in the last few weeks we've really taken to cooking creatively. Eating healthy isn't a matter of cutting out meat, and eating tofu until you give up on life and begin wearing patchouli. It's a matter of just moderating, experimenting, and using good ingredients.

What have we been making?
Christmas Eve Dinner
  • Amuse Bouche - Seared Scallops on a potato pancake with a champagne cream sauce
  • Main Event - Cioppino with shrimp, crab, scallops, and littleneck clams, served with some toast points
  • Dessert - Don't remember one, doubt we had one
Christmas Dinner
  • Red Perch en papillote with asparagus tips
Random Dinners
  • Roast Chicken in a vermouth demi-glace and balsamic vinegar over ricotta gnocchi with arugula in brown butter sauce
  • Shepherd's Pie with beef
  • Curried Garbanzos with rice and coriander
Well, not every night is a culinary tour de force, but if you take the time to cook at home, you cut out a lot of the crap from restaurants, save money, and have fun. I think pictures are a must, and I'll put up recipes, mostly to keep me from forgetting how to make them all!

Some things I've picked up from my personal research, and from my nutrionist... fat is needed in food, it tells us we're full sooner. However, a balance can be cut between good and bad fats (fruit/ vegetal fats are generally preferable to animal based fats), as well as quantity. Also, a non-stick pan works wonders in reducing needed oil for cooking. We just got one (my first) and it's great!

Also, if you "have" to over eat, load up on the vegetables, use meat as an accompaniment, not as a focus, which is much different from how I was raised. Greens like mustard greens, or red chard are filling, and flavorful when properly cooked. (Properly cooked : Sautee in olive oil, and steam in a little chicken broth with salt and pepper.)

All these foods are potentially rich, and "diet" destroyers. How am I eating them in good conscience? Moderation, focusing on eating vegetables first, doubling the amount of time it takes to eat (due to good conversation), not going back for seconds, and using smaller bowls and smaller portions.

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