Eating healthy

I have mentioned before that I am trying to eat healthier.  For the most part, this is something that I know how to do, but find that it takes a lot of effort for me to actually accomplish.  Granted, I am obviously succeeding in some ways since I am losing weight.  I would prefer to make it a more deliberate process, though.  Timing being good right now, I have access to weekly organic fruit and veggie deliveries.  So I and one of my best friends are going to get together this weekend and do a bunch of cooking.  This way we both get a good variety of foods to take for our lunches and dinners for the following week.  I have a hard time cooking small amounts anyway, but he also cooks differently than I do.  I am definitely looking forward to it.

I have mentioned before that I enjoy cooking.  I read cooking magazines and everything.  I might not necessarily cook the recipes in the magazine, but I do retain some of the ideas and concepts.  I was talking to my friend and he had never heard of a cheesy root vegetable mash.  I haven’t eaten one, but I have heard of mashing turnips, potatoes, and carrots all together with cheese.  I couldn’t tell you where or pick up the recipe, though.  As well, we’ll have peaches, which I will not eat whole, but I should be fine cooking with them.  So I mentioned we could do something with either pork or chicken with the peaches.  Personally, I prefer pork if it’s going to be sweet, but I have had chicken with sweet flavors before.  So I am trying to think of what flavors to mix with the syrupy sweetness of fresh peaches.  Ooooh…My friend almost always has Tahini on hand.  Mixing a half a peach and that in a blender with some garlic, a small amount of ginger, and soy sauce should make a great sauce for almost any type of pork.  And should work on chicken as well.

Now I am definitely in the cooking mode of thought.  I sometimes try new flavors, and sometimes I go for the old tried and true.  I use garlic in almost everything, but I should try to broaden my horizons more.  I do use chipotle pepper powder more often than I used to.  I also used smoked paprika and roasted ginger.  I would use ginger more often if I weren’t allergic to it.  I am learning that sometimes flavors will work together you don’t expect.  I am almost tempted to try a peach and chipotle pepper sauce of some sort…  I think it is just a matter of thinking about the flavor mixtures we already love and breaking them down into something more basic.  For example: sweet and salty, sweet and tangy, sweet and tart, tangy and smokey, sweet and smokey, smokey and bitter, spicy and smokey… I could go on and I am sure you could as well.  When you break down what you like into these essential tastes, then you can start thinking of new ways to make a similar flavor.  You’ll make mistakes, but…you’ll also have really neat new successes.

I would be neglecting the art of cooking, though, if I didn’t bring up the concept of texture.  For me, texture is a huge part of a dish.  And it may sound odd, but texture can, quite literally, make or break a dish for me.  I have actually had to stop eating something that I adored if the texture was off for me.  So texture is also something I keep in mind when I am trying new things.  The stew I made a while back was very much a feast in the sense of taste, but it also had food of similar textures mixed with different textures that blended well.  Also , as the stew cooked longer, the texture actually got better.  Granted that is my personal opinion.  😉

So I am thinking about what to do with what my friend and I will be working with come Saturday.  And getting hungry, lol.  Working with lots of veggies, a little fruit, beans, rice, and whatever meats we might come up with lends to a lot of options.  I am definitely looking forward to it.

Sorry for not posting yesterday.  I started a post, but it became a very emotional post incredibly quickly.  I have to decide whether I am going to post it next or not.  It will be posted at some point, I’m just not sure exactly when.  And I have the allergy testing tomorrow, so we will have to see how I recover from that.  Business is sometimes a good thing.  Hard, but good.

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on May 1, 2012.

9 Responses to “Eating healthy”

  1. If you go with the peaches and chipotle idea, try finely chopping the canned chipotle in adobo. It’s fantastic stuff. I usually use one or two from the can and freeze the rest into a flat square-ish patty in a baggy. That way you can just break off a bit the next time you need it. I think the peach-chipotle sauce would be outstanding on a braised pork shoulder. You can do pretty much anything with it, including my favorite–tacos.

    • I haven’t tried the chipotle in adobo, but now I’ll have to. I bet the peaches and just that would make a really interesting barbecue-type sauce. Thanks for the idea! I definitely need to play with flavors more often.

    • I puree the chipotle in adobo with an immersion blender and then use it as an additive for whatever suits. It’s a little bit like harissa, so I can toss a bit in soup or a cornbread recipe and spice it up. And it’ll keep in the fridge for quite awhile.

      I also agree, peach-chipotle sauce would be fantastic. I think the ginger-peach sauce you were describing would also be good, but I’d skip the garlic in that.

      And I’d never heard of roasted ginger before – now I have to go look that up! I met smoked paprika for the first time when making salsa verde, and it’s a fantastic seasoning. I also like smoked sea salt, especially on my popcorn. 🙂

  2. This post sounds reminds me that you and your brother are, in fact, related. Luckily, with him out of the house for a work thing, there is nothing here to gorge myself on after reading about all the delicious flavors and I have nobody to cook for me. It really is for the best.

    • I know that it is rare for my brother and I to have much in common, but cooking…yeah. We both got that gene. Mom’s right when she says he leans more toward gourmet than I do, though. I am all about soups, stews, casseroles and the like. I like easy and flavorful. My Crockpot and I are really good friends. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back up there and he and I can do some cooking together. 🙂 One of my best memories of my trip in December was the lunch before the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit. Salted caramel milkshake, figs and…camembert? on his burger for bro and you had the candied bacon and bourbon shake. I don’t remember your burger, though. I know…can’t remember his name, he sat across from me…had the duck burger…I think. I just remember that and the displays really well. I also remember the dinner that bro cooked and it was sooo delicious. Remembering such different tastes and the way they went together, though, has really made me think more about how flavors mesh when I am cooking.

      So not only smells, but tastes can trigger some pretty strong memories.

  3. You keep up that good healthy eating–and inspire all of us to do what we should. Your peach-tachini mixture sounds exquisite.

  4. you know, I think it is so great that you like to cook and cook healthy at that. I cooked because I had to back when I had a husband and then I had kids to raise. I can’t stand the thought of it now. Plus I have this silly obsession with eating the same things all the time. But if I were rich and if I were I would be more conserned with my eating habits, I would definitely hire someone like you as a personal chief. You might like that field if you ever get tired of editing lol. Maybe you’d be someone famous’ personal cook! I envy you though, girly girly you! lol.

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