Cooking for Health Success!

May 27, 2019 (Health) There is a thing about diets. We all dread the magic D word. “You need to lose weight. You should cut this and that food.” However, there is a secret to this, and one that takes some skill. You will be pleased with the results though, both for your wallet and your waist.

First off, one thing you should try to cut down or out of your life, are processed foods. Cookies, pastries, chips and other things are not that satisfying. We know that you will eat more calories, yes they actually did a study on this. Most of us probably knew it. And some of the things in them are not that good for you. Can you say Corn syrup?

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Swiss Chard son the stove, personal photo

One rule of thumb is to avoid the center aisles in the supermarket, where most of the processed foods are sold. I tend to do just the edges, where veggies, fruits, dairy, and other stuff is.

However, this leads to the eternal question. What should I eat? I mean, I like the convenience of prepared foods, and trust me, you are not alone. Don’t go nuts. Fads are not conducive to long term success, truly. What you need to do though is learn to cook, and to embrace veggies. They do not have to be the boring sliced tomato. Carrot sticks can get old fast. I do not care if you do hummus with them, or something else. After some time, tomatoes and carrots, and celery sticks do get old. Why they have a reputation. Though I still eat them and like them. They are good for you and do make good snacks, or sides with certain things. What is yummier than a burger with some sliced tomato, onions, pickles and good quality lettuce?

Also, celery, onions, and carrots are the basis for a lot of dishes in higher-end cooking. They are known as aromatics and are great in stir fries and soups.

Celebrate your veggies, make them interesting and appealing. First off, make sure you own a nice sharp knife, and that you learn how to sharpen it, or get it done every so often. I say this because dull knives are a danger to your fingers. Then go cook yourself some wonderful, tasty, healthy sides. Remember, we do not eat enough veggies as a culture, and delicious veggies do not need to be swimming in cheese sauces, or other things. They taste good…on their own with simple recipes.

The other day we did Swiss chard at home. (Incidentally, it is good in a salad too) for the first time ever. It was the same exact recipe I use for asparagus spears. So you can try both.

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Asparagus, ready for the plate

Dice a medium onion fine. (I use red, but you could use white, and if in Hawaii, try with Maui Onions.)

Two garlic teeth, alternatively you could just use the pre-cut at the store for both. They are a tad more expensive, but if your knife skills are not there yet, or you want to save some time.

After you wash them, cut the two bunches of Swiss Chard fine, or take the end of the asparagus spears off and add them to the pan. For the chard, I did not use the ends either.

Heat a good sized pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, I use good quality olive oil and its good for you. The amount of oil is not that high once you realize the amount you are cooking,

Add the onions and garlic and let them caramelize. The pan has to be hot though.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and make sure the onion and garlic are mixed.

Cover for five to seven minutes on lower heat, stir from time to time to make sure it does not stick.

Serve as a side and enjoy.

these are a favorite at this home. They are fast and easy to make, and they are filling. I serve this with either chicken or meat.

If you want to be healthier learning how to cook and avoid restaurants is important. Also, cooking can have its own rewards for you and your wallet, and you know what you put in your food. And I will make one caveat about diet fads. There is one diet you could follow and we know it is good for you. This is the Mediterranean diet. We have long term studies that show it does have definite health benefits. The above two recipes fit in that like a glove.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

It is one rich in vegetables, oils like olive oil, nuts and fish.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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