Taste of life Essay

TASTE OF LIFE I am not on the list of the world’s greatest chefs, nor am I astudent of the famous Cordon Bleu cooking schools. My cooking abilityand my recipe collection are newly acquired after much research intodiet and health. Not until my husband was diagnosed with cancer at theage of 30 did I begin my research into the relationship between diet anddisease. The questions I wanted answered were: Was I bringing about my own early downfall with the foodstuffs Iwas eating? If the answer to the above was yes, then where should I start inplanning a diet that would satisfy me as well as offer me all the truenutrients for good health? If I was already in a poor state of health, was it possible torestore my body by changing my diet? Could the power of my mind, by expressing only positive thoughts,help the diet work? Is exercise a necessary ingredient for overall good health? My research has shown me that the answer to all these questions isyes.

It became obvious to me that many people were also looking foranswers to the same questions. Unfortunately, not until disease of somesort had affected them did they begin to search –as pointed out to mein the case histories documented by Nathan Pritikin in a book, NathanPritikin Diet and Exercise. Pritikin is the man who has revolutionizedthe thoughts behind “diet linked with disease’ and”treatment without drugs.’ His diet appeared to me as such acommonsensical approach to eating that I couldn’t understand whymore people hadn’t converted to it. I have based my recipe planning around Pritikin’s concepts.

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Although I have broken some of his golden rules slightly, I trulybelieve that if you walk the straight and narrow most of your life, yoursystem will be so well in tune that it can occasionally cope with a few,small luxury items. The medical profession has had mixed views on my diet’sstrengths and weaknesses. Some doctors had no time to read another”fad diet’ book.

Others believed that I would surely die fromthe lack of protein. Some, after reading the book, were prepared toadmit that they did not have all the answers and, after trying the diet,became converts themselves. Health cookbooks in general have ignored the salt, sugar,cholesterol, fats and food-additives issues related to health.

Mostbooks emphasize cutting down for slimming rather than for overall goodhealth. Vegetarian cookbooks, although they emphasize vegetable andfruit content, seem to use an abundance of butter, oils, fullcream milk,salt, sugar, eggs and food additives. The following recipes are not strictly vegetarian. Nor are theyhealth-food recipes that one would find in a typical health-foodrestaurant.

They are a positive approach toward adopting a moresensible, down-to-earth way of eating. Food is a source of energy; it should not only sustain but alsosatisfy. It should keep us fit as well as alive. It should be fillingwithout fattening. It should provide for easy preparation and anenjoyable experience in the eating. Gazpacho (Cold Summer Soup) (Serves 4-6) One pound ripe, juicy tomatoes, skinned, seeded, sliced 1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped 1 small green pepper, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/2 cup dry white wine 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice Black pepper 1 small can tomato juice (optional) Cucumber slices Blend all ingredients except the last four. Add the lemon juiceand black pepper to taste.

Dilute the soup if necessary with the tomatojuice. Chill well in the refrigerator before serving. Garnish withslices of cucumber, parsley or shallot curls. Tomato Sorbet (Serves 6-8) 2 cups fresh tomato puree (tomatoes skinned, seeded) 1 cup unsweetened orange juice or grapefruit juice 1 cup chicken stock Few drops Tabasco sauce 1 tablespoon dry sherry 1 teaspoon orange rind, finely grated 1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated 1 egg white 6 small oranges for serving or goblets and a garnish of cucumber Puree first 7 ingredients until well combined. Pour ingredientsinto metal freezer tray.

Freeze until mushy and stir occasionally witha fork. Transfer to a bowl. Beat the egg white until stiff and foldinto the tomato mixture. Return immediately to freezer tray and freezeuntil firm. If using oranges, cut a top off each orange and removeflesh.

Chill in freezer until required. Scoop out spoonfuls of tomatosorbet and fill oranges or goblets, garnish and serve. Spaghetti and Meatballs (Serves 8) 1 quantity whole-meal spaghetti to serve 8 Tomato Sauce: 1 onion, diced 1/2 green pepper, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/2 teaspoon basil 1/2 teaspoon oregano Black pepper to taste Fresh parsley, chopped Stir-fry onion, green pepper and celery in 2 tablespoons water for3 minutes.

Add all other ingredients and simmer 40 minutes. Meatballs: 1/2 pound fat-free ground beef 1 onion, finely minced 1 banana, mashed 1 apple, finely grated Black pepper to taste Combine all ingredients and roll into very small balls. Place in afrying pan in an inch of water that has been boiled and is justsimmering. Cook for 8 minutes and turn once. Remove from pan and drainwell. Keep hot. Place hot, whole-wheat spaghetti on serving plates in amountsuggested on package, divide the meatballs evenly and pour the tomatosauce over the other ingredients. Chicken Macaroni (Serves 6) 3 cups whole-meal macaroni, cooked 2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped 1 can (16 oz.

) tomatoes, chopped, and juice 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup green pepper, chopped 1 cup carrots, grated 1/4 cup chives, chopped 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (optional) Black pepper to taste 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock Combine all ingredients in an ovenproof dish. Cover and cook in amoderate oven for 30-40 minutes or until well heated all the waythrough. Strawberry Ice Cream Cake (Serves 8-10) 4 1/2 cups Vanilla Royale Ice Cream (see recipe below) 3 pints strawberries, washed and hulled 1/2 cup toasted almond flakes Whole, fresh strawberries Make vanilla ice cream, but do not freeze in the final step. Pour1/3 of the ice cream into a foil-lined round tin. Slice strawberriesfine and use half in a layer on top of the ice-cream mixture. Pouranother layer of strawberries over 1/2 of remaining ice-cream mixture,then the remaining ice cream.

Freeze. To serve, turn out of tin,remove foil and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted, flakedalmonds and decorate the edge of the cake with strawberries. Vanilla Royale Ice Cream (Serves 4) 1 can evaporated low-fat milk 6 tablespoons skim-milk powder 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla 4 egg whites Combine the first four ingredients and beat until thick and creamy.Place in the freezer for 40 minutes. Remove from freezer and rebeat for3 minutes.

Beat egg whites until fluffy and peaks form. Fold egg whitesthrough milk mixture. Pour into ice-cream trays and freeze. Photo: A healthful treat for spaghetti lovers, this deliciousItalian dish is made without fattening oils and served over wholesome,whole-meal pasta. Photo: Prime your appetite with a tangy Tomato Sorbet; then fill upon a crispy casserole made with chicken, celery, carrots, peppers andwhole wheat macaroni.

Photo: Who could turn down a dessert that looks like this?Fortunately, nobody has to, because Julie’s Strawberry Ice CreamCake is a low-fat, low-calorie treat.


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