There are so many different types of oils and fats to cook with these days, and for every one there’s a different opinion on which is healthier. Many fats that were previously considered categorically bad for us have now been proven to be acceptable and even beneficial for us. Below are some of the factors to keep in mind when choosing a fat, and my favorites for cooking.
Spices are a common staple in every household, but do you know the reasons behind why you’re using them? Yes, they make dishes taste delicious, but there’s much more to it. Throughout history, spices have been used in various cultures to treat illnesses and maladies, from cloves in ancient China for fresh breath, to ginger in 17th century England as an aphrodisiac. Today, many of the common spices we use have amazing health benefits, like increasing metabolism, taming inflammation and even preventing illness. Have we caught your attention yet? Here are just a few common spices and what they can do:
Coconut oil is all the rage these days. People are finding different uses for it each day from hair masks to skin moisturizers, but cooking remains the most popular and is on the rise. However, most people do not know just how many amazing benefits they are receiving from cooking with coconut oil rather than using other oils.
If you’re new to coconut oil, you’re probably a bit weirded out by its solid state. Yes, at room temperature coconut oil is a solid, and once it’s heated it melts into a liquid. It has a high smoke point and is better for cooking than alternative oils. This is due to its medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which do not break apart when heated to high temperatures. With an oil that has long chain triglycerides, like olive oil, these chains break apart and oxidize, which causes free radicals to form which can cause cancer.
Other than its enticing tropical smell and sweet taste, coconut oil is actually a superfood and can help prevent many illnesses and diseases. Take a look below to see how coconut oil can help your body.
Check out this interesting article on “The Zen of Cooking” in Eating Well magazine. With families gathering and cooking for Passover and Easter this week, this is a great way to stay present and enjoy the richness of the simple things like food!
While some women were beating egg whites, I was beating opponents in court. As an overworked public interest lawyer, the last thing I wanted to do when I dragged myself home, I claimed, was slice and dice and tap my toes until onions glowed translucent.
The truth was I didn’t know how to cook, but after years of eating takeout, I longed for home-cooked meals. So I decided to sign up for a five-day Cooking and Meditation retreat at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, six hours south of my home in Marin County, California. I was familiar with The Tassajara Bread Book—considered a bread bible in some circles—which celebrates the miracle of dough rising, the sweet fragrance of loaves baking. Plus, not only would I have a measurable goal—surely, I’d learn to cook something—it would be relaxing. The Zen monastery sits in the secluded Santa Lucia Mountains. In the natural hot springs there, I could soak away the stress of “real life,” I thought.
I tried out this recipe from epicurious.com the other day and it was delicious – flavorful and with a hint of an exotic (at least for me) middle eastern flavor. Without the Tahini sauce, this dish is naturally gluten, dairy and soy-free. I did have to make an unforeseen modification – thinking I had walnuts, I didn’t buy any at the store, but when I got home I found I only had pine nuts and pecans (pine nut + pecan = walnut, right?) so I used those instead. I’m actually glad I made the substitution, as walnuts tend to leave a bitter aftertaste. I also didn’t have any kitchen twine but that didn’t prove to be an issue – the two pieces of salmon stayed together very well in the oven 🙂 Paired with some roasted broccoli with garlic, this was a great summer meal! Enjoy!