Thursday, September 29, 2016

All the Ways to Eat Cauliflower

Many people claim they don’t enjoy the taste of cauliflower — that it’s too bland or too crumbly, especially when served raw. If you’ve only encountered the firm white bundles as a component on a crudite platter, we can’t argue with you there. Maybe you’ve tried it boiled; sadly, this does nothing to enhance the flavor either. But roasted, pureed or worked through a ricer? The cream-white florets take on a whole new identity. Thanks to their mild taste, they’re an excellent canvas for all varieties of sauces and spices. Now that cauliflower is abundant at the farmers market, there’s even more incentive to use this nutritional powerhouse as the base for hearty fall meals. Here are a few of our healthiest ideas.

Roast It
Even meat eaters will flock to the table for a taste of these roasted cauliflower bundles. The Dijon mustard rub concentrates in flavor as it roasts, resulting in a heady dose of umami. In order to really lock in the flavor, prep and brush your cauliflower ahead of time, then let it sit at room temperature until you’re ready to cook.

Rice It
Did you know that you can use your food processor to turn cauliflower into “rice”? Pulse it in short spurts until the mixture resembles couscous. This version has only about one-quarter of the carbohydrates in regular rice. With the olive oil and browned onions, the cauliflower has enough flavor to satisfy by itself, and it can also be a base for stir-fries, beans and rice, or anything else you would eat with rice.

Coat It
The chefs in Food Network Kitchen have reimagined cauliflower yet again — this time as a substitute for crisp Buffalo chicken wings. Whisk together your Buffalo sauce, then use it to coat the florets before baking them. For authenticity, serve the dish with a blue cheese dip — but be sure to use skim milk and nonfat sour cream, to keep the calories in check.

Mash It
This creamy batch of mashed cauliflower doesn’t actually require a masher — just your trusty food processor yet again. Simply fill the bowl with boiled florets, and top them with sauteed garlic and thyme, a little bit of nonfat Greek yogurt and grated Parmesan. Pulse the mixture until a smooth and creamy mash comes into being.

Puree It
This low-fat, dairy-free version of an American classic certainly has the right look, with its creamy orange sauce, thanks to pureed cauliflower, vegan cheddar and turmeric. Umami-packed miso paste and nutritional yeast are also hidden in the sauce to evoke the savory, nutty quality of cheese.

Turn It Into Tots
Seriously, though, is there anything cauliflower can’t do? It’s delicious as a puree, makes a great meaty steak and now can be enjoyed as the ultimate finger food — a crunchy tot. The chefs in Food Network Kitchen recommend using crispy rice cereal as a gluten-free breading. A hot oven (and a little cooking spray) gets you a crackling exterior without deep-frying.

For more creative takes on in-season cauliflower, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Crusted Cauliflower Steaks
Hey Grill Hey: Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Burst Tomato Salad
Devour: 4 Sneaky Ways to Replace Carbs with Cauliflower
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Curried Cauliflower “Risotto” with Apples
Taste with the Eyes: Not Your Average Crudités Platter
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Turmeric & Ginger Roasted Cauliflower
The Mom 100: Sauteed and Braised Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds and Green Peppercorns
Swing Eats: Cauliflower Fritters With Cheese, Jalapeño And Cilantro (Gluten-Free)
Creative Culinary: Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting
FN Dish: 7 Cauliflower Recipes That Aren’t Quite What They Seem



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7 Ways to Deal with Food Anxiety

7-Ways-to-Overcome-Food-Anxiety-320x240People frequently wax sentimental for what they call “simpler” days—presumably times when the rules were fewer and clearer, when choices weren’t so overwhelming, when demands were less and common sense was more prevalent. Eating, of course, is no exception to this. If you listen to the dominant voices in the social-media-marketing-medical culture, it’s enough to ruin your dinner and make you feel guilty for skipping breakfast (Don’t buy the guilt trip). We’re fed contradictory studies, warned of the latest threats lurking in our food supply, told every bite squashes the life out of another ecosystem, and led through fluorescent-lit warehouses filled with more food options and label claims than one person should ever be reasonably expected to handle. It’s exhausting, frustrating and on certain days defeating. So what’s a reasonable approach in an age when anxiety too often overtakes enjoyment of eating?

Of course, the problem here isn’t the intention for healthy eating itself. In our primal ancestors’ time, healthy eating was a thoroughly mindless endeavor. No one knew anything about nutritional science in the Paleolithic Era, but it didn’t matter. Their consideration never wandered past the straightforward (albeit dramatic) question, “Is it poisonous?” Beyond that single inquiry (which usually offered quick feedback), bad choices didn’t exist.

Unfortunately for us modern folks, we don’t have the luxury of tapping into the food of our immediate environs without at least some degree of reflection.

We have the burden of choice and the burden of (often conflicting) information. From here, reflection can turn to chronic, tiring, or even oppressive deliberation—hence, the anxiety, the excessive worry or unease about the outcome or impact of what should just be a simple food choice.

Is it any wonder we may feel so much apprehension with the call to make every choice smart, informed (and then re-informed), socially-conscious, environmentally conscious, fair trade provided, humanely sourced, forward-thinking, allergy-friendly, coupon savvy, good fat proportioned, antioxidant rich, and lean tissue supporting, pesticide-, hormone-, and additive-free, etc.? Unless we’re farming, raising and foraging our own with Grok standards in mind, we’re bound to screw it up on at least a few levels.

So, what then would sanity look like in this scenario? How do we recover enough mental space to feel some degree of ease, not to mention pleasure in eating again? Try on a few of these modest proposals.

1. Reclaim eating for sustenance

It’s common to talk about “eating to lose weight,” “eating to fight illness,” “eating to gain muscle,” “eating to prevent aging.” Let’s put the truth back in that, shall we?

You’re eating to live—to survive, to allow your body enough nutrient and energy input to keep you alive and functioning. Each day, that is your main goal. Very simple in fact. That said, you can eat toward nourishing ongoing physical vitality as your primary goal. You can eat with a nutritional emphasis on building muscle mass. You can eat in such a way that prioritizes optimum metabolic functioning and fat burning.

And, no, it’s not just semantics. It’s mindset, which makes all the difference when you’re talking about emotional perception.

If you’ve been feeling wrapped around the goal of eating “for” anything but living, take a step back and reframe the picture. Each morning, each meal, make a point of telling yourself you’re eating to live, to enjoy time on this earth. The rest is Primal gravy.

2. Don’t politicize every choice you make

The morality of eating these days can careen a decently sensitive and conscientious person off a cliff. How many labels and certifications does it take to satisfy a Portlandia standard? From what I can tell, the number keeps growing.

Do I understand the usefulness of these standards? You bet. Organic and pastured offer in most cases substantive health benefit. Heritage breeds of produce and livestock may be more nutrient-rich. And I believe, as I’ve said before, prioritizing environmentally sustainable, humane farming practices wherever it’s practical. I make personal and business choices in keeping with that principle whenever I reasonably can.

But I don’t get wrapped up in questions of morality every time I put a bite of food in my mouth. I don’t deal in guilt or play a game of self-reproach. I view social, environmental and humane choices around food as interests and not inviolable prerequisites.

3. Dump the idea of perfection

I came up with the 80/20 rule long ago because I didn’t want the Primal Blueprint to ever be seen as a pursuit of perfectionism. Food is important. Good food choices can help you claim good health and lifelong vitality, but parsing out those exact choices, structuring intakes with precision, giving yourself no room for choice in the moment, adhering to the principles with exactitude sounds like a miserable way to live.

A short-term bout of Primal rigor can gain you momentum in your fat loss or energy reclamation, but there’s no need to equate Primal eating with meticulousness. I consider it one of the best attributes of the PB that it’s a simple, adaptable blueprint that offers plenty of space for everyday living and regular imperfection.

4. Don’t dramatize your missteps

In truth, some days people leave the “20” of the 80/20 principle in the dust. Maybe it started out as a well-intentioned gesture toward moderation. Or maybe it was always going to be a dive off the deep end. Whatever led to the “misstep,” there’s no reason to dramatize it. It happened. Don’t give more energy to it by moaning in regret or bewailing the slip.

Cheats (if we’re going to call them that) aren’t catastrophic. Long-term, repetitive behaviors are.

5. Scrutinize your motives

I’ve seen plenty of people over the years lose themselves in anxiety over their eating because they put their identities in their choices. Maybe they feel invested in a self-righteousness or perfectionistic compulsion that goes back psychic decades. Or maybe they’re distracting themselves from other behaviors or unhappiness they don’t want to own. They impose excessive control and experience emotional anxiety with food while some other part of life feels wholly overwhelming. It’s a coping mechanism, a grounding means to feel security or authority in their lives.

This is no way to live. Clean eating is a great action step, and real vitality feels great. That said, health isn’t a panacea, and it won’t ever cover for a life that doesn’t serve you.

6. Get back to the actual experience

Stop telling a story about what you’re eating and start feeling yourself eating it. It sounds so obvious, and yet this obsessive story-telling, script running, relentless monologuing is exactly what we do.

Forget the health story of what’s in front of you. Forget its sourcing. Forget how somebody on Food Network would judge it. Forget what your coworkers or mother-in-law would say about it. Cut off all language, and just be with your food the way a young child is.

Exchange words for sensation. Forgo judgment for mindfulness. Give yourself over to the sensory experience of what you are putting in your body. Smell it. Feel the texture. Take it in visually. Get in your own body’s responses to it.

7. Be grateful for every bite you take

It’s not a huge step from mindfully experiencing your food to being grateful for it in the moment. When we drop the story about something, we can finally be present with it. There’s a lightness to the moment. We’re open to enjoyment of it. How could we not be grateful for the chance to nourish our bodies?

If anxiety is fear of outcomes or impact, it has us in the future. If it’s unease about where something comes from, it has us in the past. Gratitude flows most strongly from the present. When we’re here in the now, when our minds are in the same time as the meal in front of us, we can at last enjoy that meal in peace.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Has this kind of anxiety ever been part of your story? What changes helped you? I’d love to hear your comments and additions here. Have a great end to the week.

The post 7 Ways to Deal with Food Anxiety appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Pumpernickel Salmon Red Pepper Sandwiches

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When I was little every Christmas Day, after the presents were all unwrapped, we drove from my grandmother’s house in Lakewood, New Jersey down to my other grandparents’ house in Towson, Maryland for Christmas dinner. For lunch we often stopped at a bagel shop that split the three-hour drive in half. And every single time I got a pumpernickel bagel with cream cheese. Both of my grandparents served excellent sandwich bars with delicious pumpernickel bread – it has always been a favorite of mine.

I still think that Great Harvest bread is the healthiest and freshest tasting bread around, but I have been having fun branching out a bit now that I don’t have unlimited loaves at my fingertips. Pitas, english muffins, pumpernickel!

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This sandwich is the bridge between two of my favorite dishes: smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, and cream cheese smothered in red pepper jelly. I love the sweet-spicy combo! Red peppers and spinach add some healthy veggies to the mix.

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For this recipe I used a whipped cream cheese so I could slather it on thick!

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Nestle the red peppers into the cream cheese so they don’t fall out.

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Serves 2!

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Pumpernickel Salmon Red Pepper Sandwiches

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Ingredients (2 sandwiches)

  • 4 slices pumpernickel bread
  • 4 tbsp whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp red pepper jelly or chutney
  • 1/4 cup chopped red peppers
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 4 ounces smoked sockeye salmon

Instructions

Spread 2 tbsp cream cheese and 1 tbsp of red pepper jelly on the two sides of sandwich.

Press red peppers into cream cheese.

Layer salmon onto red pepper jelly.

Top with spinach and press together.

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Pumpernickel Salmon Pepper Sandwiches

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Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup – Chicken Dinners

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup - Chicken Dinners

Meat is very often the main course at the dinner table and many clean eaters turn to the old, traditional chicken recipes they’ve made over and over again. And yes, it can get boring.

Even I’m… Read more →



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