Recent tweets @RamblingEpicure and @SwissFoodies, 27 March 2010
Food and health
News for real foodies: recent tweets @RamblingEpicure and @SwissFoodies:
Food topics and trends 18 March 2010
SeattleTallPopp Waaa?!? Forget goat or cow milk cheese. NYC Chef Angerer makes breast milk cheese. Milk source? His wife! Recipe.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE How To Never Look Fat Again: Dressing Thinner. Time Magazine.
guardianfood Is molecular gastronomy dead? by @TimHayward
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Time Magazine: study says women who drink tend to be thinner. What’s all that about?
Now on Tablet Talk: Food writer & cultural historian Josh Ozersky lays out his burger purist’s manifesto.
Atlantic_Food Egg-less mayo: A travesty or treasure? Introducing milk mayo — the Portuguese take on the mother of all French sauces.
goodandbadfoods Meryl Streep: A veteran green activist.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Swiss and international food news.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE 15 chocolate-covered stowaways arrested, found buried in more than 20 tons of cocoa powder.
goodandbadfoods 18% tax on soda equals 5 pounds weight loss, study finds.
davidlebovitz At the Palais de Tokyo cafeteria drinking jus de tomate, and the cashier gave me specific instructions on how to drink it.
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Learn baking at the Sainsbury’s baking college!
KyFarmersMatter Every State needs this! Indiana, UROCK! Connecting communities 2 freezer beef farmers ~Easy oppy 2buy local beef
LocavoreBlog Should Farmers Speak at a Govt Hearing on Farming?: This week marks the first of a series of antitrust “workshops…
THE RAMBLING EPICURE Mindful Eating for weight loss.
I’ve been talking a lot about Mindful Eating lately. It’s a term that came to me out of the blue, and only weeks later did I realize that I picked up the word “mindful” in my many years of studying Buddhism and Hinduism. I studied these for so long that the vocabulary has become somewhat incorporated into my way of expressing myself and my subconscious. I am mindful; I live mindfully.
As a result, before publishing my own Mindful Eating Manifesto–a practical approach to my favorite subject of food–I only thought it fair to publish the somewhat more philosophical article by Buddhist thinker and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
Traditional Buddhist and Hindu teachings urge us to be mindful about every act, at every moment, every day of our lives. The word “mindful” is not a trademark. It is a way of being. Mindfulness gives meaning to every action, and creates a sharper awareness and a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things.
What does mindfulness have to do with the way I eat?
This may not seem to have anything to do with how you eat, but indeed it does. It’s the current food trend in the developed world, and I feel confident that it will spread at a rapid pace. Eating is not just about filling your belly.
Mindful Eating is about love and care from A to Z in the eating process, from the ingredients you buy, and how they were grown and processed, and whether you prepare them with TLC, to filling your belly and providing your body with the nutrients they need. To eat mindfully, you have to be aware of every step in the process, which by definition connects you, either directly or indirectly, with everyone involved: the butcher, the baker, the farmer, the fertilizer manufacturer, the seed seller, the cook, the chocolate maker (I do live in Switzerland, after all), etc.
This week’s foodie overview
I spend a lot of time reading, researching and tweeting about food and restaurants these days, so I thought I’d jot down my tweets from the last few days. These are from both The Rambling Epicure and Swiss Foodies and should give you an overview of what’s going on in the foodie world this week, in Switzerland and around the world.
Sometimes I couldn’t resist writing about the snow and skiing conditions, because that determines how a lot of us in Switzerland plan our weekends, and therefore what restaurants we go to or what recipes we cook up. And of course occasionally, watches and wine . . . and this week, the Vancouver Winter Olympics and those cute wooly pigs you see in the photo.
Creative ways to use vinegar in cooking, in place of fats
I’m a vinegar collector. I have orange vinegar, walnut vinegar, grapefruit vinegar, a long list of Balsamic vinegars of various origins and ages, and lots of other more common ones.
In Switzerland and France, there is such an impressive variety of artisanal vinegars (a well as oils) that it is easy to build up quite a collection and use it in creative ways to liven up winter vegetables, bland grilled meats, or salads. The beauty of it is that you can often use vinegar to add flavor, and thereby avoid the more traditional use of butter or meat bases, which contain fat. It is a good way to reduce fat in your general cooking habits.
A tasty, good quality vinegar is an easy way to add flavor to an otherwise unappetizing vegetable or meat. After cooking meat or fish, I often deglaze the frying pan with a nice vinegar, then pour the glaze over the beast in question, along with a drizzle of good quality olive oil. It makes for a much healthier sauce than cream or butter and adds flare to the dish.
With magret de canard, or duck breast, which can have quite a fatty taste, I pour off most of the fat, and then deglaze the drippings with Balsamic or sherry vinegar. Raspberry also works well with duck, and you can add a few crushed raspberries to the sauce as well. The vinegar helps cut the fatty film you often feel in your mouth after eating. Raspberry vinegar is also a perfect compliment to calves’ liver.
Invention through sloth: a recipe for lazy people who really would like to eat a healthy breakfast but can’t manage it
We don’t stop hearing about oats — they’re full of fiber so they’re good for your digestion and your bowels, they contain beta-glucans that help cut cholesterol and spread the rise in blood sugar over a long period of time, they make you feel full for longer so they encourage weight loss, they are anticarcinogenic thanks to their phytochemicals — and the list goes on.
Confession to my mother and request for forgiveness
I try and eat my oats every day, really I do. It has always been one of my mother’s Golden Rules of Healthy Eating. But Mom, I have to tell you: sometimes I just don’t, because I’m absolutely, unequivocally not a morning person and I just can’t get it together to cook the oats the good old-fashioned Scottish way we might all prefer.
So Mom, to relieve this deep guilt I have lived with my entire adult life, I found the solution, though I admit more by sloth than by wit. It was one of those days when no one was to speak to me before noon. I decided to pour some dry steel-cut oats into a bowl and eat them dry, in order to avoid the risk of pouring milk all over the stovetop instead of into the pan it was meant for, and then adding oats and other necessary ingredients into the milk that was already running down the front of the kitchen cabinets (I have already experienced this and it is not a good way to start the day). I was absolutely incapable of giving them the loving care they so deserve.
Great info on everything to do with cooking: Cooking Up A Story
Tips on cooking up fresh pumpkin and how to choose just the right pumpkin. As Americans and Canadians probably already know from experience, the water content of European pumpkins is often quite different from that of the North American varieties, which becomes a real problem when you’re using North American recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Fortunately, farmers markets in the Lake Geneva region offer a wide variety of pumpkins, so you should be able to find the right variety so you can still make your family recipes. But I do forewarn you: pumpkin pie can be tricky, so it’s best to do a trial run before the Big Day.
And don’t forget to save the seeds. Larita’s pumpkin seed recipe is a bit too American, in that we tend to use more natural ingredients in Switzerland, but one could perhaps use Migros or Coop “Country Potatoes” seasoning and simply skip her American smoke flavouring. In this case, it would be best to leave out the other spices, since this seasoning is in fact a mixture of some of the same spices.
To launch the chasse or hunting season: Wild River Review – Wild Table
Warren Bobrow’s new blog is full of old-fashioned and traditional recipes with a modern edge, as well as tips on how to live the gentleman’s life in general. Try his pumpkin-filled pasta recipe.
For manifestos on the importance of buying local food, as well as traditional recipes and food ideas: The Slow Cook
Ed Bruske is really just a foodie who engages in the concerns of a hungry planet, so you will find a variety of food-related topics, as well as recipes. I particularly like his “I’m an Elitest” post, in which he addresses the “ravings of James McWilliams, the writer who argues that there’s something sinister about the local food movement,” because it gives you both sides of the story: Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry vs. James McWilliams.
For a homely English slant: Yummy Homely Food
Laure Moyle took a 3-month holiday, but has finally returned just in time for chocolate week. She creates original, yet somewhat traditional recipes, using traditional British ingredients. Since she grew up in France, they often have a touch of the French, and use the local ingredients she finds near her home in Sussex. Sometimes it’s nice to have simple, unpretentious, yet good quality, comfort food.
She puts a particular emphasis on getting Kids in the Kitchen.
MarketView is published every week or so so you can take a look at our list before you go to the market. It should serve as a tool to help you make your grocery list and menus for the week before you go off to the market.
Amazingly, summer just left us a couple of days ago in the Lake Geneva region, so we still have an interesting mix of spring, summer, and fall fruit and vegetables. It is surprising what a variety of local fruit and vegetables are still available this late in the growing season.
Since we just skipped straight from summer to winter, we are still seeing a large variety of summer vegetables, so I’ve separated the list into categories.
Spring and summer fruit and vegetables
Aubergine/eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgette/zucchini, green beans, radishes, bell peppers of all colors.
Extra-sweet strawberries, corn, raspberries, blackberries (rarer than the other berries).
Rosemary, many varieties of basil, mint, dill, coriander, parsley, laurel, scallions.
Fall fruit and vegetables
Baby carrots, baby turnips, radishes of all types, new potatoes of all varieties, Swiss chard (blettes), Jerusalem artichokes (topinambur), parsnips (panais).
Rhubarb, grapes, apples, pears, plums, red peaches (pêches de vigne).
Wild greens of all types, mesclun (mixed wild salad greens), cabbage, beets, wild arugula rocket salad. Herbs of all types, but seeing the last of the mint.
Cepe mushrooms (bolets), truffles, and a wide variety of other wild mushrooms.
Leeks, pumpkin, squash of all types, cauliflower, broccoli.
Barbie’s secret to weight loss was “don’t eat”: Is that your teen’s philosophy?
The 1965 Slumber Party Barbie came with her very own “How to Lose Weight” book. The main message was “don’t eat.” Along with this book came a bathroom scale always set at 110 pounds/49.9 kilograms, says Teen Beauty Tips. According to Malisa Morsman, “Barbie is the plastic equivalent of a 5-foot, 9-inch (1.75 m) woman with a 36-inch (91.5 cm) bust, 33-inch (83.8 cm) hips, and an impossibly small 18-inch waist (45.7 cm).”
Ken, on the other hand, came with his own milk and cookies, and no scales.
Unhealthy message to teenage girls that has persisted
Unfortunately, women of all ages gradually started to perceive Barbie’s body as ideal, and teenagers often follow, even now, Barbie’s 1965 instructions on how to lose weight. Some purport that Barbie is even responsible for the increase in eating disorders.
In Europe, a correlation has also been made between women of all ages who smoke and have eating disorders. Smoking cuts the appetite, and is used as a way to keep from eating.
Ironically, the problem often becomes not only of a problem of getting your teenage girl to eat properly, but also a problem of eating at all.
As for the boys, is the message still that he can eat milk and cookies to his heart’s delight?
In a 6 October 2009 article, the Huffington Post says Americans have reason for their eternal, but ever-changing, plate fright. In the US, E. Coli, Salmonella, Norovirus and numerous other bacteria and viruses are found in food more often that we might think.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit, consumer advocacy group, often referred to as the “American food police”, says the leafy greens we are encouraged to eat every day can in fact be the most dangerous of all vegetables. Over the last 20 years, there has been some 363 outbreaks and 13,568 illnesses due to green leafy foods alone.
According to Dr. Steve Swanson of the US Centers for Disease Control, lettuce is only second to ground or minced beef in cases of E. Coli. Snopes gives a good explanation of how all this happens, and many suggest that we lay off pre-washed, bagged salads until more is know about exactly how greens are contaminated.
One thing is almost sure: one of the reasons salad is particularly more high risk than other vegetables is that we most often eat it raw. So wash your salad, and then wash it again. Don’t just spray it. Wash it in a basin or sink, and change the water several times.
The other high risk food is eggs, numbering 352 outbreaks in the US in the last 20 years, with 11,163 cases of illness reported.