Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Eat, Therefore I Cook

Disregarding any potentially fallacious logic inherent to the title of this post :), something that I enjoy doing nearly every day is cooking. I think that I learned to cook fried and scrambled eggs when I was six or seven years old. Bacon followed soon afterward! Since then, I have tried cooking many things with reasonable degrees of success. I usually don't go to a lot of trouble, preferring to throw a collection of vegetables, seasonings, and some type of meat (usually chicken) into a pot and let it stew. However, I occasionally go to a bit more trouble. I sometimes eat fish, which I bake with different vegetables and seasonings. I can also make some pretty good chili and stir-fry. As I have gotten a bit older, I have become a lot more health conscious. Consequently, I have greatly reduced my intake of cholesterol (no more egg yolks!) and sodium. Also, I try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Most recently, I have attempted to reduce my intake of trans fats (partially and fully hydrogenated oils) to zero. I do not subscribe to any particular diet fads, however, I think that I am pretty well in tune with many aspects of the Mediterranean diet. I do eat a fair amount of fat, but I try to consume mostly monounsaturated fats, which are the healthiest. Olive oil and nuts like walnuts and almonds contain mostly this type of fat. I have stopped eating beef (no, I did not become a Hindu, although I have known some pretty cool Hindus :) ) because it is very high in saturated fat. The cattle disease BSE is pretty scary too! As previously mentioned, I eat a lot of chicken and some fish, but I also eat turkey and lean ham. When I was a kid I loved to eat fried pork rinds, which is basically just fried slabs of solid fat! I do love chocolate, cookies, cakes, etc., but I have cut way back on my processed sugar intake. When I bake, I now substitute honey and molasses for sugar when a sweetener is called for. If a recipe calls for margarine or vegetable grease, I always substitute olive oil. Also, instead of using all white flour, I use part whole wheat flour. Whole wheat items, like breads, tend to be digested more slowly than things like white bread (do you remember Wonder Bread?) and are thus less likely to make the consuming party obese! Anyway, with all the substituting that I make in my quest for greater health through selective gastronomics, I have developed some of my own recipes. I have listed two below that are really quite good. When I make them for friends or relatives, there is never any left over. I know that some of my visitors like to cook, so I hope that you will try these recipes and more importantly, I hope that you will enjoy them! :)

Apple Walnut Muffins

Mix together:

2 egg whites
1/6 cup honey
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
1 pealed and finely chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
dash of cinnamon
dash of ginger

In a separate bowl, sift together:

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients and slowly add milk while mixing until a thick batter results. Approximately 3/4 cup milk should be about right if you want to measure.

For baking, use a non-stick muffin pan. However, even "non-stick" cookware often sticks anyway (so much for truth in advertising!), so spraying it with a non-stick vegetable spray like "Pam" is a good idea. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 25 minutes. A 12" by 12" baking pan can also be used to make a cake, however, the cooking time will need to be increased to 35 or 40 minutes. A good test for doneness is to stick a toothpick or a sharp knife into the muffin/cake. If it pulls out clean, then it is done.

Banana Nut Bread

Mix together:

2 or 3 mashed ripe bananas
3 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
dash of cinnamon
dash of ginger

In a separate bowl, sift together:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients and mix well until a thick batter results. Pour into a non-stick bread pan. Here again, a non-stick vegetable spray is a good idea. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 to 70 minutes.

21 Comments:

Anonymous koozeh said...

Hi David,

Although I have been negligent recently but at least for this post I am the first one (so far!) to comment. The recipes seem very delicious. If I find the time to try them I will let you know. I am very busy these days. You know, postdoc is a temporary position. Therefore I am actively searching for jobs. Also, I have to limit my search to north east because that's where I want to live and where my boyfriend is now. I have to also make sure that I do all my duties as a post doc. All of these said, I was very very sick for the past two weeks, I still don't know what was wrong with me, but it was certaily one of the worst in my life! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you why I have not been writing or visiting as often as I would like to.
I always enjoy your emails though... Thanks for keeping in touch.

Take care for now,

Kabeh

9/28/2005 8:44 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Kabeh,
Thank you for being my first visitor. :) I am familiar with postdocs, so I understand what you are saying. Good luck with your job search! It sounds like you have recovered now from your illness. I am glad to hear that! :) You are welcome, I am always happy to keep in touch with a good friend. :)

9/29/2005 3:11 AM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

when it comes to eating I guess anyone with an Iranian flavor is not to avoid any kind of food ;-) Frankly I don't say no to any kind of food. A fan of Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese... food but still Ghormesabzi... can't describe it completely :-)

Recently due to diet I have found myself & also due to my tight schedual I have lost the opportunity to eat properly. There is nth better than a good meal.

9/29/2005 8:57 AM  
Blogger Jamak said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/29/2005 2:48 PM  
Blogger Jamak said...

Like the recipes David and I knew about the Banana nut bread one before.
There's no greater feeling than eating healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately North Amercians especially Americans are still in the experimental stage of good food vs. bad and many fad diets.
Eat what you want, excercise like crazy, and be happy and you will live a long healthy life.

9/29/2005 2:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

Dr O2, I like to eat different kinds of food too. I enjoy Mexican, Italian, and Chinese. I had Indian only once and decided that I didn't care much for curry flavor. Some years back, I had a very good friend from South Korea. I even went to Korea with him. The food there was really good. Everything I tried was excellent! I think that it is probably true that any ethnic cuisine is best when sampled in its country of origin. I have never tried Persian food. I hope some day that I can.

Jamak, I'm glad that you like my recipies. :) Maybe I'll post some more sometime. I think that America, and probably Canada also, has always been a huge eating experiment, with so many immigrants from the far corners of the world. Variety does make life more interesting! Still, I have to eat in moderation, because I certainly don't get as much exercise as I should! :)

9/30/2005 12:22 AM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

You gotta try some Iranian food David. The taste is truely different. Yet it is equally important to taste them made by an expert Iranian. Ghormesabzi, Abgusht & the famous Kabab are the most recomendable.

I like spicy food. Thats the real reason behind my tendency towards Indian & Mexican food.

9/30/2005 2:38 AM  
Blogger Jamak said...

I wasn't referring to the ecclectic nature of the food but more so to the non-existing nutritional value in the American diet.

9/30/2005 11:08 AM  
Blogger David said...

Dr O2, I have seen pictures of Kababs that I really wanted to bite into! Unfortunately, there are no Persian restaurants in Indianapolis. :(

Jamak, I think that many people in America are trying to eat a more balanced and healthy diet, but there is still lots of junk food to be had. I think that a big part of the problem is giant food corporations who heavily advertise and market their crappy food items. Soft drink companies are especially insidious. They are selling tiny cans of their sugar and caffeine laced concoctions that are just the right size for toddlers! It seems that everywhere I look, little kids are almost all obese. Now I am hearing that the rate of teenage type 2 diabetes is soaring. This is so totally preventable. Its really disgusting!

10/01/2005 4:54 PM  
Blogger Jamak said...

David,
Try this Persian Restaurant in your area:
http://cityguide.aol.com/indianapolis/dining/venue.adp?town=1758&cat=vt%5f45%5fst%5f1351&page=detailSummary&id=190832&back=search%252eadp%253ftown%253d1758%2526cat%253dvt%25255f45%25255fst%25255f1351%2526page%253dlistingsLong%2526layer%253dvenues&layer=venues
Sorry about the long link.

10/01/2005 9:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

Jamak, I am very impressed with your restaurant finding ability! I found the "Taste of Persia" on the map provided by the link. I am familiar with that suburb of Indianapolis. In fact, one of my cousins lives not far from the restaurant. I will try to eat there sometime soon. I hope they have really good Joojeh Kabab. :) Thanks!

10/02/2005 2:12 AM  
Blogger Jamak said...

Dude, "Google" is a handy tool.

You're welcome and I'm sure their joojeh kabab is outstanding

10/02/2005 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's 10:49am and all this discussion about Persian food made me crave for one...I have to go running class so even for American food I have to wait at least until 2pm...not fair!

Pantea

10/04/2005 9:50 AM  
Blogger David said...

Pantea, I hope you found something really tasty to eat! :)

10/04/2005 8:32 PM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

impressing. Joojeh Kababs are also one of my faves. Wish U a tastey dish & a good cook to provide you with the best. Iranian food are so cook-dependent :-D

10/05/2005 3:44 AM  
Blogger maas said...

Salam David ,nice to see you that write a comment in my blig ,
you post is nice and the food taste very nice ,I will try to make it ,because I like cookung soo much ,in the vacation i made very kinds of food

10/11/2005 10:26 AM  
Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

Man, that post made me hungry..lol

10/11/2005 3:40 PM  
Blogger David said...

Salam Maas, I am always happy to comment at your blog. :) I'm glad that you liked my post and I hope that you will enjoy eating one or both of my recipes! :)

HC, nice to see you again! Happy munching! :)

10/12/2005 2:13 AM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

David, awaiting your next post :-)

10/14/2005 12:39 AM  
Blogger Lavinia said...

Wow a man that cooks? I better stand in line and take a number huh David?

My favourite foods are Indian, Chinese, Thai and chocs lol

Post more recipes

10/18/2005 8:55 AM  
Blogger نیکی said...

Thanks for the visits and comments on my blog, david. And thanks for this recipe too.

10/30/2005 2:36 PM  

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