Tag Archives: taste buds

cooking energy

26 Jun

6835168360_2805c66ff0“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet van Horne

Try this experiment:

1. Cook a meal after an argument you had, a broken tire, commuting delays, or after a general bad day.

2. Cook a meal after you just finished a project you are proud of, just came back from an inspiring exercise session, snuggled with your kids, husband/wife, pets, took a leisurely stroll, or after a general good day.

In each case, what do you think your food will taste like?

The energy that we put into making our meals is incredibly important. When we are in a negative state of mind, the end result of our meal won’t taste very vibrant. When we are in a positive state of mind, our food will sing with good energy, taste, texture and overall appeal.

We teach this fundamental concept to our cooking class students and summer campers. Learning how our energy affects our food (and countless other aspects of our lives) at a young age will help solidify good cooking habits for the future.

The next time you cook, think about what mood you are in. If you are in a bad mood, try simply smiling while sautéing, prepping, assembling – maybe put on some music. Even these little steps can cause a major shift in your energy.

Your taste buds will thank you!

Photo courtesy of Summer Skyes 11

easy green salad with goodies

23 Jan

photoNeed some veggie inspiration?

Here’s an easy green salad recipe which will help inspire your daily veggie intake.

Take this recipe with a grain of salt since we used what we had on hand. Feel free to use the ingredients available to you (don’t go to the store just to buy blue cheese).

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1.5 cups of pre-washed mixed greens
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 thin slice of red onion
  • 2 small mushrooms
  • 2-4 small slices of blue cheese
  • 3-4 cracked olives
  • Sprinkle of sunflower seeds

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • quarter size dollop of dijon mustard
  • dime size scoop of honey

Directions:

Prepare your salad:

Place pre-washed greens on your plate. Pull out your favorite cutting board and knife. Take out a carrot, rinse and cut into matchsticks. Slice a thin circle of red onion, cut in half and slice into bite sized pieces. Cut mushrooms in thin slices, then cut slices of cheese, add cracked olives, and finish with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Prepare your vinaigrette:

Add oil, vinegar, mustard and honey into a small cup. Either shake with a lid, or whisk with a fork until emulsified. Pour vinaigrette over your salad in a circular motion, and you have yourself a delicious salad featuring all sorts of nutritional powerhouses. Your taste buds, and body will thank you!

homage to herbs

18 Jun

1224527043_e132d2f026Herbs are a delicious and nutritious way to add flavor to lots of dishes. They taste magical in various outlets; omelets, spritzers, on all sorts of meats, seafood, tofu, in ice cream, vegetables, pasta sauce, salad dressings, marinades and rubs, and in creative desserts.

As wonderful as they are as accompaniments to many dishes, have you considered using them to make an herb salad, containing only herbs?  Yes, it can be done, and the results will leave your taste buds as happy as ever!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of the following herbs: parsley, basil, chives, taragon, dill
  • 1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Wash all herbs in cold water and pat dry. Tear off the leaves and combine in a large bowl. Cut chives into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the rest of the herbs. To make the vinaigrette, mix the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper together, then slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture gets thick. Toss the salad with enough dressing to lightly coat each leaf. It is also fun, and pretty to add edible flowers (like nasturtiums) as a garnish, or serve as is.

Herbs not only taste great, but are also packed with important nutrients. We used the following herbs in our salad:

  • Parsley: Derives its name from the greek word for “rock celery,” parsley is packed with vitamins B, A, C, K, E, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Basil: Prized in many cultures as the “holy herb,” basil is a great source of vitamins A + C, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Chives: Containing the most vitamin A of all of their allium family members, chives are rich in vitamins K, C, B and minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and calcium.
  • Tarragon: Used to treat toothaches in Ancient Greece, tarragon is full of vitamins A, B, C, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Dill: Native to Southern Russia, this fernlike herb is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A.
Photo courtesy of Denise Defreyne

homemade fruit soda

14 Jun

64080481_8decafc3baDoes all of this talk about soda leave you feeling thirsty for something more homemade?  Try making a delicious berry spritzer to enliven your taste buds! Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of berries
  • 4 cups of seltzer
  • 4 slices of lemon
  • 1 sprig of mint

Directions: 

Rinse your berries, place in a bowl or a tall glass, and smash them up with a muddler or mortar and pestle, until there are no more large pieces. Split berries up evenly into 4 glasses, add seltzer water. Mix it up with a spoon so that the berries mingle with the seltzer, then finish it off with a squeeze of lemon and a few mint leaves. Makes 4 delectable drinks.

Curious to know how to brew your own soda, with roots, yeast and all? Check out this link, a fun food experiment for the whole family!

Photo courtesy of dano