MY February 2012 : Page 54
MY | healthy eating Simply Nutritious and Delicious Healthy Cooking 101 by Dawn Bause I recently watched an interview with Chef Emeril Lagasse on the Dr. Oz Show regarding healthy food. The topic of discussion was the idea that healthy dishes aren’t very tasty. I realized many people believe that healthy eating can be pretty bland—especially if it means consuming low fat and low sodium meals. fatigue. They have been known to raise your HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and even control your weight. The answer isn’t cutting out the fat—it’s learning to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that promote health and well-being. I’m a huge advocate of extra virgin olive oil. Besides being a healthy monounsaturated fat, it makes everything taste better. It’s the primary oil that I use in my kitchen. I cook with it and use it as a condiment to finish my dishes. I conduct tours of olive groves in Italy, perform olive oil tastings, and teach classes on how to buy and cook with it. I use extra virgin olive oil on everything: veggies, pasta, salad, fish, meat, chicken, soup, bread, and even fresh mozzarella cheese. One thing to remember about olive oil is that it tastes best when it’s consumed young. It has a shelf life of 18 months maximum, and that’s when it is stored away from light and heat. Buy extra virgin olive oil in smaller bottles (one quart or smaller), and always make sure there is a harvest date or expiration date on the bottle. Olive oils are like wines—the flavors are very different depending on the variety of olive, the climate it’s grown in, and how and when it is processed. When cooking with olive oil, remember that it has a low burning point. Therefore, when sautéing or pan frying, it is best to cook over medium heat. Another cooking staple for me is fresh cracked pepper. Because peppercorns get old and lose their flavor and freshness, I only buy them in small bottles; I also prefer to use smaller pepper grinders so that I can use the peppercorns before they get too old. Until next month, as they say in Italy where all food tastes better, Buon Appetito! Dawn Bause is a cooking instructor, cookbook author, and owner of Cooking with Dawn Tours, LLC, from Commerce Twp. www.cookingwithdawn.com; AskDawnNow@aol.com I am going to show you, each month, that this does not have to be true. I will be introducing you to simple, nutritious, and delicious ideas and recipes that will make a difference in your health and the health of your family. Most Americans are addicted to fat and sodium. As a cooking instructor and eternal seeker of “good food,” I will show you how flavorful a dish can be with just a little bit of both in moderation. You can ruin a dish with too much salt, but the same holds true if you don’t include enough salt. Salt brings out the flavor and stimulates our taste buds. Our bodies need salt to live; it helps the cells retain water and essential minerals, and helps the nerves and muscles to function. If you eat a lot of fast food, processed, or packaged foods, odds are you’re getting too much salt in your diet. However, if you eat whole foods, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy salt without the negative side effects. My preferred salts for cooking are kosher and sea salts, and I always use coarse granules. They are tastier and you don’t have to use as much. Fine table salt, in the culinary world, is used primarily for baking. Fat offers similar benefits. Despite what you may have been told, all fat isn’t bad. Saturated fats and trans fats are the ones guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats, such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. As a matter of fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, and fight 54 | MY Magazine www.mymetroyou.com
Simply Nutritious and Delicious
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