Foodie: Jan 1- Spice it up!

The Foodie Column for January 1, 2015

By T. Myers

Happy New Year! The Ball has dropped on another year and what a year 2014 turned out to be.  Personal highlights include the birth of our newest family member, my Grandson Rhys, and the news that we will have another baby joining the family in August when my nephew and his wife will have their first. I have had an up and down end of the year with health concerns and thanks to support from friends and family I am weathering that little tornado. I completed a few personal projects, had some engaging work with several local organizations and speaking in general, accomplished some good things while I enjoyed being part of a booming year of changes in our community!

How do you follow a busy year with good food advice? Since it is time for resolutions and reflection as I begin 2015, I will throw out a couple of ideas for all of you and hope that they sit right on top of your lists of ideas to consider!

A FOODIE IS A PERSON WHO IS JUST AS ENAMORED ABOUT THE JOURNEY HE/SHE MAKES TO FIND GOOD FOOD TO EAT AS HAVING GOOD FOOD!

When I began to write the column, years ago, I was trying to teach about how we eat with our eyes first, setting an atmosphere for a good meal and providing ways to serve the unexpected on a budget. After ten years, it seems that we are all pretty good at saving money (what with food prices going up and cautionary tales about how to be safe when we eat) and serving up food that we love to eat and being satisfied with different choices in our everyday menus. For me though, it is about sharing the meals that we serve with family and friends giving weight to the meal and a sense of importance to those we dine with. It is also about dining. The difference between grabbing a plate of food and dining is enormous and it is the one thing that we can do consistently to make a difference in our daily lives. Consider the following:

A dinner comprised of a protein, a carb and vegetables is a complete meal. If you are a salad eater, just switching up the variety of things you serve on a particular salad can make the meal special. (My dad loved salad. It was iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing on it. And it went on the plate with a baked potato and sour cream and some kind of burnt flesh- especially offerings of the bovine variety- the man was in hog heaven.) Using the different lettuces and a few unusual chopped veggies or fruits on a salad and serving that with a good homemade dressing- or blue cheese- will make the entire meal exciting- and it is easy to do!

What if you just change up the protein? Beef, pork, chicken, fish, lentils, eggs, cottage cheese, Spam, or a pasta variation would be precisely the ticket to greatness as far as the family is concerned- especially if they don’t expect what they get!.

I love a baked potato, but how about trying a nice baked spud topped with two lovely over easy eggs and some bacon crumbles with a side salad for dinner? Make up a batch of rice pilaf by using the several of the many varieties of rice available and adding some dried spice mix. Use cumin, cardamom, garlic, lemon, black pepper, curry powder and a touch of cinnamon for a middle eastern rice mix with a piece of chicken or white fish. Add a bunch of grapes and a few favorite vegetables that are cooked in the rice and voila! A new experience will unfold for your family over a regular meal turned “Foodie”

Arab Spice Mix:                                                        Norwegian Spice Mix:

2 T Cardamom                                                                        (not an oxymoron!)

2 T Garlic powder                                                       2 T Dill weed                                                 

2 T Curry powder                                                        1 T caraway (crushed)

2 T Cumin                                                                   1 T White Pepper

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper                                            2 T coarse Salt

1 T Salt                                                                                    2 T dried lemon peel (crushed)

½ teas. Cinnamon                                                       Mix and Sprinkle on meats and veggies

Lemon peel. Mix and sprinkle

 

Enjoy your food journey in 2015 Bon Appetit!

 


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