I love food. I am a foodie, but I hate that word. I love to eat. I love to try new things. I love to taste things I’ve never had before. I like to try weird things, gooey things, crunchy things, tasty things, nummy thing and more. I have eaten things most people shudder at, but there are some things I still haven’t tried yet–not because I won’t, but because I simply haven’t yet!
I’ve tried octopus (love octopus sooo much!), escargot, squid, and all sorts of seafood and raw fishes (sushi, sashimi and more). I will try roots and leafy stuff, and you name it!
One thing I haven’t tried yet but am looking forward to trying is sea urchin. I’ve heard it’s good and I love most other seafoods, so it’s on my list of things to try in the future.
Spicy is my weakness–hot and spicy, flavorful and spicey, burn your tongue and make your eyes water spicy. I love peppers of all sorts and am one of those weird people who can tell the difference in flavor between all the hot peppers in the world… serrano, habanero, jalapeno, scotch bonnet, and more. Yes, peppers and I love each other, and I use them frequently in a lot of things I cook–and it helps that they aren’t very expensive and they keep really well.
I love fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and I’ll eat a tomato or onion like some people will eat an apple. I love fresh squash sliced thinly and dipped in a vinaigrette. I love zucchini slices, thin sliced.
Things I don’t eat: cucumber, though I’m not sure why. I love the way it smells, the way it looks and I adore it in beauty products, so crisp, clean and light fragranced. But I just don’t like the taste of them. I’ve tried, really. I’m the same way about melons–watermelon, honeydew, canteloupe–love the smell, love the beauty products with them, can’t stand the taste of them. Strangely, I love watermelon flavored things, like candies and such, but not watermelon itself. And lastly, okra. You will not bring okra into my house. If you buy food at a fast-food joint and they serve fried okra, and they use the same fryer to make the okra that they use to make my food, I won’t eat it–and yes, I can tell. Okra makes me pukey. It makes me sick just to see it. I can’t stand the smell of it. I don’t know why I react so violently toward okra, but I do. I can’t stand it. I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for this, but I don’t know what it could be. I just hate okra. I mean… hate it. Hate it Detest it!
Other than that, there are some things I like better than others, but there’s not much I won’t at least try or couldn’t stomach if I had to for the sake or niceness at a dinner party or something.
As I said in my intro/bio to this site, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension in 2011, and I’ve been working to use food as medication–to eat healthier but better, to enjoy what I do eat more, to cut salt and processed foods and preservatives out of my diet as much as possible. I seek out grass-fed beef, organic foods, foods as close to from the ground or earth to my plate as possible, and as healthily and economically made as possible. I will show you in this blog that even if you are broke and on food stamps, you can eat healthy, quality foods and still eat well and be full without going over your budget. Yes, sometimes I buy some things that are expensive, but I can show you alternatives to those expensive items too in my menus, but even with the little expense, the other stuff I show is cheap enough, a little extravagance in the budget is okay now and then.
I will show you how easy it is, with the right tools, to cook gourmet-style meals or quick family meals that are healthy and so much better for you than fast-food meals, how to save money over eating out while eating better foods, healthier foods.
Food is more than just something we have to eat. It is fuel. It is medicine. It can make us healthy, keep us sick, or help heal us and make us feel fantastic.
There is so much in our life that is out of our control… food, choosing good foods, healthy foods, quality foods, making menus, cooking for our family, taking control of our weight, or health and our mental health through foods are all things within our control. These are things we can DO something about.
And that’s why I have a passion now for foods…for cooking for my family. For advocating for myself for a better, healthier life and lifestyle through eating right, eating healthy and enjoying the experience at the same time.
No cardboard diets or fat-filled anything here!
And lastly, I’ll be reviewing restaurants, sharing comparison prices and dishes to fast-food joints, comparing prices per serving on meals and more… I can show you that you CAN do this for your health, for your tastebuds, for your family, and for your pocketbook too!
Cooking is easy and fun if you just learn the basics and DO it! Food never tasted soooo good to me as it does now, and I’m eating healthier than I ever have in my life!
For those wondering, I am eating basically sugar-free, so almost every dish I make is acceptable for even Type I diabetics. I am eating low-sodium, or almost no sodium, but you won’t miss it. I’m eating low fats, but moderate good fats, and moderate protein. The diet is naturally low-carb, but it’s high in the healthy carbs, the complex leafy green fiber carbs and such. We do potatoes, but we limit them. We do berries and fruits, but again, limit them. We eat almost as naturally as possible.
My one exception… the one thing I will occassionally allow myself, is a nice, icy, slushy Diet Coke in a bottle… but I make that a very special treat now and then when my fluid retention is good. So yes, I do cut out all sodas – but HEB has a brand of Italian sodas that are all-natural, certified organics… I’ll allow myself one of those now and then too. No sodas other than that, though. Sorry–that is likely the hardest thing for most people to give up.
Coffee is allowed, after all, if you do it right, coffee is all-natural and can be organic too, and there are some amazing health properties from it. We do a lot more hot teas now than before though, and since finding some exceptional flavors, I find I crave coffee less than ever before and I’m drinking a lot less of it in exchange for the flavorful and varied teas and herbal brewed blends.
You might find, once you start eating real, good, healthy foods, without processed stuff, without preservatives, without chemicals and such, that food tastes so much better. You’ll find things are sweeter than you ever imagines, crunchier feeling, even. You’ll see that things take on a whole new flavor and you might even start to like things you didn’t think you liked before. I mean, the sweetness of a tomato has never been so sweet as when you eat it straight out of the ground, rinse it with some cool water, and take a bite… OMG, it’s so nummy.
We’ll peruse farmer’s markets and farms together. I’ll take pictures and video along the way. I’ll post my own recipes and share ones I’ve tried online. I’ll give tips and tricks and hints. If you live in the Houston / Galveston area, I’ll review places we go, like restaurants, farmer’s markets, grocery stores, specialty food stores and more. I’ll even be doing some video tutorials at some point too, to show how easy some of this can be. My favorite will be the fifteen minute meals! Meals you can make that are healthy and can be cooked for your entire family in under fifteen minutes!
Get an indoor grill. When the weather is extreme hot or cold, you won’t want to cook outdoors, and an indoor grill keeps you from having to fire up the oven, heat up the house or get all big and productiony. Indoor grilling as become one of my favorite ways to cook–but I will share how to cook without the grill in case you don’t have one. Get a griddle too, nice thing to have, and it’s NOT the same as a frying pan. I’ve found taking the time to get the right tool for the job makes a huge difference. For example, grating Parmesan hard cheese has never been so easy as with the rotating cheese graters, and it makes me much more likely to take the time to rate the cheese rather than buy the pre-grated or the processed stuff, saving both money and health by getting the cheaper but better blocks.
So take a little time to buy the right tools. A good ceramic slow cooker with a timer, a griddle, an indoor grill (theForeman grills work great and you can get some good ones for only 20-30 bucks and really nice family ones for less than 100 bucks–worth the investment), and if you do coffee, get an electric kettle and a french press–coffee is amazing in a french press!
There are, of course, workarounds if you don’t have these things, but I think they are sort of the staples that make my life easier. A toaster oven isn’t bad to have either, and a good cheese grater, a quality set of knives, some good cutting boards, some baking pans and some pots for the stove. All these things are great, and I’ve found that a lot of the things I used to not be able to do in recipes, I can do now if I have the right tools. However, I do show you on the recipes I’ll share how to get around some of the non-equipment issues. If you really want to throw yourself into cooking, it really helps to have the right tools for doing it. Oh, a good food processor never hurts either. Not a blender… though blenders are nice!
That’s it… more to come!
Love and foodie stuff,