Cooking Healthy Gourmet
Tandoori Chicken with Curried Vegetables and Grilled Cheese Naan Bread
Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy the Cooking Channel and the Food Channel. These networks have done so much to promote interest, appreciation, and even passion for great food and cooking.
My complaint against the Food and Cooking Channels is that they promote unhealthy eating on many of their shows. They depict people (Man vs. Food, for example) eating massive quantities of fried, fatty, greasy, often cheese covered foods as if eating like that is fun and entertainment. Even gourmet food shows have viewers drooling over dishers prepared with butter, cream, processed sugar, and lots of yummy, but unhealthful foods.
The other day one of our first time diners raved about our cuisine, saying that it is "healthy gourmet." What is that and how can you make delicious, healthy meals for your family and friends? You don't need to clog up your arteries to eat amazingly delicious foods. Hereare a few suggestions:
1. Use fresh foods, rather than frozen or canned. To cook veggies for the week, boil a large pot of water with a handful of kosher salt. When the water boils, add raw veggies like broccoli, asparagus, stringbeans and bring back to a boil for 3 minutes. Drain the veggies and immediately place in an ice bath. The veggies will retain their deep color and remain freshly cooked for several days.
2. Flavor meats, poultry and fish with reduction sauces. Use fresh juice from citrus fruits and slowly simmer until the sauce is syrupy. You can do the same with balsamic vinegar to create a simple, flavorful sauce.
3. Use herbs, garlic, shallots (a type of onion) to flavor foods instead of creamy sauces.
4. Lemon or lime zest add a quick burst of flavor to desserts and sauces.
5. Use hummus as a sandwich spread instead of mayonaise. Very tasty and healthy.
6. Grill fresh fruit and vegetables, brushing with a little extra virgin olive oil and salt, pepper.
7. Steam fish (and even chicken) in a pouch made from aluminum foil (papillote in French) with veggies. Bake for 15 minutes or so and serve with miso sauce (see my blog post with the recipe).
There are so many ways to eat rich, delicious, beautiful foods without the use of unhealthful ingredients. After all, if you're cooking, you want to taste the main ingredients, right? Let them shine with simple, clean preparations...and feel good!!!