Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yay for February!

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a few days, but this past weekend was opera weekend. So, all of last week and this past weekend was full of singing. It was an absolutely wonderful opera, but I'm happy that it's over with because even though it was fun, it was an incredibly depressing opera. But the one thing that helped to make it so much better was looking through cookbooks and talking about recipes with my friend, Catherine, while we got ready before the show. :)

But now, I can start posting on a regular basis again, or at least until next week when I have my senior recital.

A friend of mine asked me to give a presentation last night about eating healthy and easy cooking methods. I was giving this presentation to other seniors in my sorority as a part of a program to "prepare us for graduation and staying in touch with Kappa" and so on and so forth. I was more concerned with talking about cooking, really....

As I was preparing for this presentation, I was able to come up with 10 points that I really think a lot of people should know about or at least, pay attention to. I'll try to keep it short, or else it'll be a really long post; I could talk about this stuff for hours...

1. Prep work and Ziploc bags: most people don't think they have the time to cook, and it is hard to come home after 8, 9, 10 hours at work and prepare a meal. But the key is to do your prep work. When you do have time, on say a weekend or right after you go to the grocery store, do a little bit of prep work and store it in your 'fridge. This way, it's there waiting for you when you get home.
2. A crock pot is your best friend: I love crock pots; they're amazing. You can. quite literally, through something in there and let it sit for 4 to 8 hours. Then when you get home, you're greeted with a wonderful aroma and all you have to do is plate it up.
3. Eat lots of pretty colors and often: Okay, I cannot not honestly take credit for this phrase, it's from Alton Brown :) But he has the right idea. People don't eat enough veggies, and they come in more than just green. Vegetables also come in red, yellow, orange, even purple. Vegetables provide nutrients that we all need, so don't avoid them!!
4. If God made is grow at one specific time, it's best then: This gets back to the idea of eating seasonally. More people are trying to stress it, which I think it good. When you eat seasonally, one, you're getting better tasting food because that's when it's at its best. Two, you'll be saving money! When it's in season, there is more of it causing lower prices at the market. Especially when everyone's paying more attention to their wallets, keep in mind what's in season and you can save a few bucks.
5. Buying in bulk...and your freezer...can save you money: Sam's Club and BJ's can be great places. For certain meats, you can get a larger amount, use what you need and freeze the rest. Then when you need meat later, you can get it from your freezer rather than going to the store. Also, go for the less expensive cuts, like a brisket or a shank or a Boston Butt. You can get a lot of meat for less, and if you cook it right it's really good.
6. If it's processed, there are probably better things for you: Okay, processing can be good occasionally; it was invented for a reason. However, it's gotten a little out of hand. Have you ever tried to read the names of the ingredients in some products? That's right....you can't....you can hardly even pronounce it. In a case like that, your body is less likely to be able to break down the ingredients, so you store what little nutrients are in there, which probably aren't that great for you to begin with. Stick to things that God made naturally, like vegetables, fruit, etc. So, moral of the story....no Velveeta.
7. If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it: Seeing "cooking wine" on shelves always makes me laugh and then cringe. Have you ever tried that stuff? Well, I have, and it's nasty. If you want to cook with it, drink some first and then decide if it's good enough to be put into a meal because when you cook with alcohol, it concentrates the flavors, making good flavors taste better and bad ones, worse.
8. If your 'fridge is full of leftovers, make soup: Must- Go Soup that is. :) My mom would fix this when I was younger to try and get rid of leftovers in the kitchen. So, all of your leftover meats, vegetables, go into a pot with some tomato sauce, V8 is really good to use, some herbs or stock or whatever suits your fancy, and you have soup to last as long as you like. :)
9. Don't be scared of desserts: It's all about moderation. One slice is great, three or four isn't. Also, avoid the "diet" and "light" junk. It won't satisfy your sugar craving because it doesn't have the buttery, sugary sweet taste that you love, so you'll end going back to the box a few times and before you know it, the box is gone. So simply stated in the words of Alton Brown, " If you want a cookie, eat a damn cookie!"
10. Don't be afraid, be BOLD! Try new flavors, a new recipe, a new technique, and you won't get stuck in a rut. There is so much information available to you from places like Food Network, Epicurious, and so many more! Use the information they are freely giving to you!

So, I really hope you've learned something, even though this post was a little bit longer than I was expecting. Sorry.... :/ You don't have to stick to these points at all, feel free to make your own, but it's a good starting place. :)

1 comment:

Julie Robison said...

I love the line about, if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it. :) in vino veritas!!