Week Five started with a lecture and discussion on converting traditional recipes to healthier and/or vegetarian versions. We discussed definitions of health and how food intersects with health and healing. We talked about the trends in healthier eating and then planned a week-long menu of vegetarian lunches for a hypothetical children’s camp. Making a vegetarian menu for a school would be much harder because of nutritional requirements and it would have taken all day just to do the nutritional analysis. :) It was fun planning a menu and seeing how the other people on my team think – working in a group can definitely produce better results than working alone.
Lab – Vegetables I
We’ve been through Grains, Beans, Stocks, and Sauces. Time to love our vegetables!
Below: My cutting board (left) has the orange zest, which I am learning to always capture in case its needed for garnish, and garlic. Chioggia beets are red and striated; you can see them on the cutting board to the right.
Below: Grating himalayan pink sea salt into an orange ginger dressing for our chioggia beets.
Below: A really good vegetable ceviche created by a classmate. This was another example of a dish that was created outside of our assigned recipes.
Below: My team’s orange-ginger beet salad.
Below: A carrot salad with parsley and mint.
Below: A warm carrot chipotle saute with apricots and pistachios. Yum!
Below: Braised butternut squash.
Below: A beet salad with parsley, mint, and cilantro. I really liked this salad. Beets are really good – spread the word!
A Bit About Beets
Beets are crazy good for you! And fresh beets cooked well taste really good. You can dress them with a sweet or herby dressing and make them even better.
Beets are loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Dr. Oz calls beets a super food because they are loaded with inflammation-stopping antioxidants, which are common in deeply-colored foods like orange potatoes and red beets. Like many root vegetables such as carrots, beets have natural sugars with are enhanced with cooking. It’s not like eating candy, but as Chef Alex told us, root vegetables are often called “dirt candy” because they do have that subtle sweet flavor, which can round out your meal. Once you get off soda, fake sweeteners, and processed sugars, you will be in a better position to enjoy their health-promoting sweetness!