Archive for ‘vegetable’

October 11th, 2011

Reasons to eat salad (not a lecture to eat healthy)

Eating salad isn’t always about health.  Actually, to be honest, sometimes it’s about the complete opposite of health.  No, I’m not talking about one of those ‘salads‘ loaded with cheese and bacon masquerading as health food…After a nice lunch at our new favorite cafe, Natas Pastries, we brought home this delectable dessert.  It has a really nice flaky shortbread-like crust with a tasty custard AND whipped cream inside.  You’d think from looking at it, that it would be on the sweet side, but it wasn’t overly sugared at all and its big plus: it tasted fresh!  Have you ever noticed that some pastry shops have great looking stuff, but after one bite, all you taste is the refrigerator that it was stored in?  That’s one of my biggest pet peeves, and sadly, there’s almost no way to predict its occurrence when trying a new place.  When my husband first surprised me with something sweet from Nata’s, I was worried about the potential for ‘fridge contamination’.  After my first bite, I didn’t care that I was wrong…all I could concentrate on was, ‘mmmmmmm’.  Somehow, the pastries at Natas’ always taste as if they were just made an hour ago.  It’s some sort of restaurant ‘magic’ that they can consistently produce that fresh taste, considering that Nata’s is a small cafe with a large pastry case!  Could you pass a place like that without picking up a couple of treats?  If you can, you’re better than I am!

When you know you’re going to eat sweets, you have to plan ahead.  So, I ordered Delicias do Mar, a seafood salad for lunch.  I consider this ‘spending calories consciously’.  Save a few by eating a salad, and then you can splurge those savings on dessert! The Delicias do Mar salad comes with big shrimp and includes crab salad.  Unfortunately, the “Crab” in “Crab salad” should have been spelled “Krab”, but the big shrimp and fresh and crispy romaine lettuce made up for it.

My second reason for ordering a salad?  If I save my calories, I can also splurge on sampling my husband’s typically heartier selection.  I’m not alone on this, as I know women around the world fool themselves into thinking they’re eating healthy by ordering salad and then stealing half their dinner companion’s fries.  Men probably fear hearing “Can I have a fry?” as much as they dread a conversation that begins with, “We need to talk.” On this day, my husband too, lost his manly battle as the French panini with brie and caramelized onions just looked too good to resist.  My husband actually lost two battles that day, as my ‘taste’ of his sandwich, that I’m now obsessed with, turned out to be half of his portion, AND, his chance to have the favor returned by sharing my dish was canceled out by the fact that he hates seafood.  Sounds like I planned it out in advance, doesn’t it?  Shhhh…maybe he won’t figure it out!


July 20th, 2011

Corn is good

These days, corn is getting a bad rap.  ‘Corn fed’ is not good, corn syrup is bad, and corn bread is fattening.  These claims may be true, but there is nothing like fresh corn in the summer.  My husband agrees so wholeheartedly, he proudly lists corn on his “favorite vegetable” list.  Isn’t it cute?
One of my favorite things to cook is a hearty American soup, but there is a little something preventing me from cooking soup all year.  During the summer months, my husband complains that soup is either too hot, but then when I prepare a cold soup, he complains that soup is supposed to be hot.  Rather than argue in circles, I thought, ‘he loves corn’… so I tried making him a chilled corn soup.  And surprise, he loved it!  I knew he was being genuine when he got mad when I reached over to his half eaten soup, assuming he was done.  He explained that he wasn’t done–he was just saving it for later while finishing his salad and baguette.  Knowing that a baguette is at the top of his favorite food list, I was convinced that he truly appreciated my efforts.  And more importantly, I helped change my husband’s opinion on cold soup.  Isn’t that really the victory?  Don’t believe me?  Try it for yourself with my delicious corn soup recipe.

In the words of the great philosopher, country singer Luke Bryan, “Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey.  Whiskey makes my baby, feel a little frisky”.  Brilliant!  Maybe corn is a good thing after all.