A large percentage of 2013 resolutions are to eat more healthily in the new year. And most of us eat more vegetables and the first few weeks or months opting for veggie plates and salad, lots of salad. But then we yearn for a plate of comfort food, just once. A few days later, another plate of comfort food; macaroni and cheese, greens, and a pork chop. And before we know it, we have kissed that resolution good-bye.
Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle says it doesn't have to end up like that, if we learn to make healthy dishes that look much like the familiar meat and fat laden dishes we crave.
Even bunnies know that there's more to the diet than carrots and celery sticks. The trick to introducing unfamiliar foods into one's everyday diet is to de-mystify the ingredients. Taking the time to learn the terms like power foods, healing foods, anti-oxidants, flavinoids helps us understand the positive impact on the body. Take the time to go online and read sites like www.joybauer.com to learn what power foods this food and fitness expert recommends, www.clevelandclinic.com has a comprehensive list that includes many common foods, www.vegetariantimes.com has great recipes that help a person create familiar tastes and dishes that are kid-friendly and even picky eater-friendly.
"Meatless Mondays" is a trend that has been developing a following for several years. Every Monday commit to a meatless meal. It doesn't mean a salad night, although it could be, if that is what your family will eat. However, most folks especially in the winter most of us want warming familiar foods. This is where the meat substitutes can really help. Learning about different ingredients such as seitan, tempeh, field roasts, and yes, tofu, allows a person to create healthy dishes that look familiar and taste delicious. It also makes it even easier to incorporate them into the daily routine.
First big truth: Meat substitutes do not taste like the meat they are claiming to mimic. Sorry. It is more a psychological thing. The trick to having a positive experience is to add spices, herbs, and even sauces to the chicken strips, meatless meatballs, or sausage. Veggie crumbles look just like ground beef. Once taco seasonings are added, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and taco chips, it is almost impossible to tell it from the real thing. Over time, it becomes the real thing.
Second big truth: Tofu has no taste. Don't act surprised, when you taste it. Everything anyone has ever said about it being void of flavor is correct. It is a flavor sponge, and therein lies it's magic. There are different types of tofu, and each has a specific role. Take the time to read the packaging for what you want it to do. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Silken tofu is tricky; it is a brand name and also a type of tofu. If you choose the wrong type, you may be disappointed with the end result.
Third big truth: Educate yourself. Acai juice and goji berries aren't the playground of the hip and healthy. They are simply berries from another part of the world that have made the list of power foods. Power foods have many common foods that we in North America are very familiar with such as cabbage, greens, oats, flax, garlic, citrus, blueberries, salmon, tuna, even dark chocolate and cinnamon. To keep the power foods in the forefront, experts put exotic sounding foods on it from time to time to create hype. Culinary-wise, the world has flattened; we now have access to many fantastic power foods from other continents such as quinoa from South America, turmeric from India, and kefir from Russia.
Take the time to learn about food terms, foods, and ingredients and get a game plan together before spending and possibly wasting money on food you or your family won't touch. It is easy to incorporate power foods and meatless dishes into your diet if you take the time to educate yourself on their benefits.
The secret is to use very ripe avocados.
½ cup pitted soft dates
4 TB maple syrup
1 TB alcohol free vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups mashed avocado (about 3 medium avocados)
1 cup cocoa powder (can substitute carob powder. It will look like chocolate but not taste like it)
Soak the dates in ½ cup warm water for 10 minutes to soften. Drain off and save the water.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend dates, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add avocado and blend again until very smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of date water if
mixture is too thick. Spoon in cocoa powder and blend again. Store in refrigerator up to a week.
TIP: Can be frozen for an ice cream treat.
Substitute bananas instead of avocados for a delicious variation.
FREE RECIPE BOOKLET!
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Resolution Revolution Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on Facebook: click here.
CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.