Soup’s On!

Acid-Alkaline Diet

Tuesday we had another nutrition lecture and we discussed the topic of acid-alkaline balance in the body and using nutrition to maintain that balance. Radhia gave us pH strips to test our saliva and urine (testing took place in the privacy of our homes, thankfully :) ).

The basic idea is that certain foods tend to make your body more acidic and other foods tend to make it more alkaline. The theory’s proponents contend that bodies which are constantly acidic or fighting to reduce acidity tend to be sicker. Therefore, striving for alkalinity is desirable and guess what – healthy foods produce alkalinity: vegetables, most fruits, oats, tea, and other healthy foods. The baddies? Processed oils, dairy foods, meats, refined sugar and salts, etc. There are some unexpected foods — carrots and cranberries produce acidity, rice syrup (fairly sweet) produces alkalinity — but mostly it’s intuitive.

In the body’s fight to maintain homeostasis, it will become weakened and susceptible to a number of disease states.

Below: pH paper roll for testing your pH levels.

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Soups Lab

We made a variety of soups today, which was great for me because I haven’t had a lot of experience in soup production.

Below: One team made it’s own chapati from scratch, as shown encircling the bowl below.

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Below: Mint-melon soup.

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Below: A mock clam chowder made with sauteed oyster mushrooms. The team made a scratch version of Old Bay seasoning to lend a classic seafood soup flavor.

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Below: Brian Henderson, who’s in charge of procuring the stock we cook with and who also provides us with helpful coaching during our cooking labs, showed me how to quickly break down an avocado using a technique you probably haven’t seen before…

Below: Corn and quinoa chowder. I made and garnished this one. It had a very good corn flavor and the key was, I think, scraping the corn “milk” out of the cob after cutting off the kernels.

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Weird Observation of the Day

In the cooking lab, anytime you touch your face or hair, you have to wash your hands again before touching food. You learn to delay scratching your nose, or at least find alternative ways of accomplishing the goal. Now, even when I am at home, I have strange feelings about touching my face — I’m beginning to think twice before scratching!