With everyone around me getting healthy (and my diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes), I have turned over a slightly new leaf of necessity. I am, however, kicking and screaming. Since I was a kid, despite very active life and participation in every sport available, I’ve had a weight issue. I’ve tried every diet in the book and now Weight Watches again for the 10th time. I struggle with food. And I’ll say it again: I STRUGGLE WITH FOOD.
My Mom had a weight fetish and that was foisted on me at a young age. I was not allowed to eay anything I wanted to eat at home. Sometimes, my Auntie Annie took me out though, to places I dreamed about! Full of amazing foods and flavors! She taught me a thing or two about food that really stayed with me – allowing me to try all new things. So, when I moved out of my parent’s house, I tried every food I always wanted to try and then some. I made up for lost time.
I went to college to study Chemistry and Medicine in general, a field I loved at the time, and while there, I noticed myself beginning to change how I looked at food. Trips to the grocery became a daily event that I relished, reading all ingredients and fascinated by veggies and meats I had never seen before.
I loved Julia Child my entire life and had all of her books out at the time back in the early 80′s. I would come home from school and work and read her recipes. Then, one day I just started cooking. My first attempt was French Onion Soup, a complete disaster. I had a nurse friend (Donna) from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital, (where I worked) over for dinner. I never learned to make things I was comfortable with for company. Then, I didn’t even know how to make anything other than eggs and bacon. I had to start somewhere. I went to the store and bought the beef stock the consume’, onions and bread and cheese I needed. I stood at the stove and began what I thought was going to be a great dinner (cause Julia was my guide) I read and I stirred and I mixed and chopped.
When the broth was just right I added the onions and was ready for Donna. Problem was, I missed the part about cooking down the onions, so I had four kinds of onions floating in really pretty good broth at dinner time and there was no turning back. I also didn’t know wine as I know it today, but I served some anyway. I served a lot of it, I am sure it was Carlo Rossi Chablis because that was the biggest bottle in those days. Other mixed drinks followed to so we could at least laugh at the soup when I served it embarrassed and apologetic. The liquor worked and we got through dinner and on to the the pie I bought at Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery for dessert. We laughed and played a few fun games and had a good time in spite of the big soup failure. Ah to be 22 again and not give a care. From that day on I payed complete attention to the details and called my Sister when I had a cooking question. That paid off as well cause here I am today, a self taught chef!
So, in the last few months I have lost over 20 pounds and I am paying very close attention to even better foods and more veggies. I’m not eating much bread, (and thats kills me) and hardly any pasta (and that kills me more). But I’m motivated to stay healthy and avoid an insulin needle, and to make the things I have to eat work better and taste better. I know I’m not the only one in this situation and all of us out there want better tasting, healthy foods. Don’t get me wrong: I still splurge. And I will never give up wine, (nor do I have to). I just pay closer attention in between the splurges. It seems to be working. But I really hate these restrictions and I always will.
Three Bean Salad: Three bean salad is a lot healthier than potato salad. I did a couple of experiments and came up with this twist on the recipe. I hope you like it, I do.
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp local honey
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
s and p to taste
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside
1 cup edamame, I just use the frozen ones, thawed or shelled if fresh
1 can organic kidney beans, red or pink, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
1 ear of corn, roasted on the grill, kernels removed
2 tbsp Italian parsley, fresh, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 tbsp basil, fresh, chopped
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss gently until combined. Add the dressing and toss again and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. Toss gently again and serve. Serves 6-8 as a side
A Note from the Chef: There is so much selection now in the way of foods. You really can make better choices. If I can do it anybody can. Even if your in great shape – try this salad and let me know your thoughts. If you found something better to add or a different dressing, please let me know! I am always interested in food and always will be.