Breaking the boundaries of food

Always I hear that eating healthy isn’t easy. It isn’t fun, and it isn’t delicious. However, there are plenty of great recipes out there that are just as wonderful as your favorite 1000 calorie meal. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of opening your perspective up and sometimes you have to … *GASP* try something new. Here are some of my favorite foods that have gotten a bad rep in the past. All the ways of preparing I’ve included here are easy enough for even me to complete them!

Asparagus

For too long, asparagus was presented to the public as sad, limpy masses of grey-green mush that we get from a can. With an overbearing level of salt and acrid flavor, it is no wonder that children grew up ‘knowing they hate asparagus’. Recentely, this wonderful vegetable is growing in popularity because of how beautifully packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and anti-oxidents they are. On top of that, fresh asparagus is downright tasty.

Instead of popping open a can of asparagus, buy it fresh! (If you can get it from a local market, that’s even better) My favorite way to cook asparagus takes three simple steps: Put on foil. Add a dash of sea salt & extra virgin olive oil. Put on grill. The result is a bright green, crunchy, sexy side dish.

Yams

Also known as ‘sweet potatoes’ (though the two are different… want to know how and why? Visit The Library of Congress for the answer), this is a seriously misunderstood tuber. Most people think of this food stuff as covered in sugar, syrup and marshmallow. However, I come to you with a different option.

Thanks to the health revolution, there have been more sweet potato fries and mash popping up in main stream food. Take your yams and slice them up (make sure you have a good, strong knife) and bake them. Put them in a glass pan with some olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Cover with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until crispy. Everyone likes their fries to different levels of done-ness, so this ones on you.

Or, sautee them: use some olive oil, some sea salt. If you like the sweetness of your holiday yams, do discs of sweet potatoes. Begin by cooking them in olive oil. After they are not quite brown, flip them. Sprinkle some sea salt or herbs on this side. When the other side of the discs are browned properly, flip them again. On this side, sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar! Flip them again, just long enough to get that brown sugar to melt in. You have salty and sweet and healthy!

(Look at all that Vitamin K!)

 

Ground Turkey/Chicken

NOOO!!! NOT MY HAMBURGER!

Let’s face it, for as much as good ground beef burger really hits the spot now and again, they are simply bad for us. No matter how hard we try to justify it, the calorie, fat and bad cholesterol count is just too much for a healthy body. However, subbing in ground turkey or chicken is a great way to get the textural quality of ground beef without the all bad stuff.

The hardest part about working with these products is that they do dry out quickly, because they are low in fat. When you cook it, make sure you cover your pans so that the moisture stays trapped. When making meatballs or burgers, use egg whites to help bind the meat together (yes, I know, the yolk… the fat.. is the binder. Trust me, the whites work pretty well too).

Use the ground beef in tacos, on salads or mixed into sauces. You’ll boost your protein without denting your saturated fat.

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