Cooking 101

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(my son Jack cutting fish compliments of Dock to Dish)

Do you watch the Food Network or Cooking Channel? Quite astonishing is America’s fascination with food TV—there is plenty of time to watch but no time to cook! I recently came across an old New York Times article by Michael Pollan, Out of the Kitchen and Onto the Couch. Commenting on the decline of cooking, Pollan offers this:

"That decline has several causes: women working outside the home; food companies persuading Americans to let them do the cooking; and advances in technology that made it easier for them to do so. Cooking is no longer obligatory, and for many people, women especially, that has been a blessing. But perhaps a mixed blessing, to judge by the culture’s continuing, if not deepening, fascination with the subject. It has been easier for us to give up cooking than it has been to give up talking about it — and watching it."

So rather than pontificate about the demise of the home cooked meal or write an essay on why you should cook, I want to challenge all of you to simply cook—get in the kitchen, roll up your sleeves and get chopping. I have planned a day of healthy eats for you below—something for breakfast, lunch dinner as well as a snack that you can nosh on throughout the day. Recipes are for multiple servings so don’t think about eating everything yourself! Food is about community so share with your friends and family.

C’mon, give these simple recipes a shot, take some pics and share your experience with me. I will happily post on Facebook. I want to know where nutritious meets delicious for YOU!

BREAKFAST

Vegetable Feta Cheese Omelet

Adapted from a recipe I wrote for Power Up by Dr. Woodson Merrell and Kathy Merrell

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs, yolk and white
2 egg whites
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1/4 cup scallions or leeks, thinly sliced
1/4 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets, finely chopped
2 ounces feta cheese fresh ground pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  1. In a medium bowl, crack and beat together eggs and egg whites. Add scallions (or leeks) and broccoli (or cauliflower) and mix well.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium.
  3. When pan is hot, pour in egg. As edges start to set, gently lift edges, tilting pan slightly to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath cooked edges.
  4. When most of the egg is set, sprinkle feta cheese over top of the omelet. Cook for another minute, until cooked entirely through.
  5. Fold omelet in half over itself, and slide onto plate.

LUNCH

Aduki Bean Salad

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

15 ounces aduki beans, 1 can drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

  1. Drain and rinse aduki beans in a fine mesh strainer; add to medium salad bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

DINNER

Bok Choy Cole Slaw

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 small head bok choy, shredded
1 carrots, shredded or julienned
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Dressing

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Trim top and bottom of bok choy. Holding bunch together, thinly slice. Place in large bowl. Add carrots and onions and toss.
  2. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.
  3. Toss dressing with vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

Black Rice with Shaved Scallions

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 cups black rice
2 cups water
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Add rice to pot with water and cook covered on medium until boiling, then reduce to simmer (still covered) and cook for about 20 minutes or until done.
  2. Remove from heat and mix with scallions, oil and season with salt.

Macadamia Baked Cod

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. cod fillet (or local white fish)
1 lemon, juiced (to clean fish)
1 teaspoon salt (to clean fish)
1/2 cup coconut milk, lite
2 cups macadamia nuts, ground
1  small bunch cilantro, rough chop

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. To clean fish, rub with lemon juice and salt, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Place in baking dish.
  3. In food processor (or with knife), combine nuts and cilantro and pulse until semi-fine.
  4. Add coconut milk to baking dish and cover fillets with nut mixture. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes then uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

SNACK

Energy Trail Mix

SERVINGS: 8

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds, raw
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, raw (aka pepitas)
2 ounce sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup currants or raisins, coarsley chopped

METHOD:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup serving into small plastic bags and store in cool dry place. Great for on the go eating.

And, don’t forget to tune in to Stirring the Pot on WPPB 88.3 FM Thursdays at 5:30pm (with an encore Saturdays at 5pm) for Cooking—Learning by Doing and surely check out the Weekly Yum Recipe.

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