Friday, November 5, 2010

Now I'm Cooking

Well, technically, I'm not cooking, but I'm watching someone who is cooking and learning about cooking and that has to count for something, right?

One of my first Ah Ha! moments after my ADD diagnosis was about why I didn't cook.  I had always shrugged it off to lack of interest or something, but I realized that I shied away from it because it often required multiple steps. I couldn't pay attention for that long.  Forget about baking, too.

A side effect of not cooking is lack of control over what you are consuming. If you're trying to eat healthier, most of the prepared meals out there are poor choices because they are usually high calorie, high fat, and/or high sodium. If you prepare your own meals, you're the one driving the bus.

I figure it's time for me to start driving the bus.

The Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center offers a weekly demonstration called Fit & Flavorful where one of the Mayo executive chefs and a DAHLC dietitian share recipes and nutritional information.  I went to my first class Wednesday entitled, "Sensational Seasonal Fruits" and walked away with three recipes that I think I could actually handle.

Chef Nick started with a Pear, Fig & Spinach Salad (total calories: 253 but with 3.7 g of protein & 10.1 g of fiber).  It was my first experience with figs besides Newtons and I liked 'em. They're pretty cool looking, too.  And according to the nutritionist (Katie), they're pretty high in fiber, iron and calcium. Besides watching the demo of the prep - you get samples! And decent size samples, not like the puny ones you get at Byerly's on Saturdays. 

Next up was Peach Roasted Pork Loin (total calories: 333), but instead of using peaches, Nick used nectarines. I learned that with recipes that use a "stone fruit" - plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines - you can interchange them if you prefer one over the other.  The flavor was great and I think I would do it with nectarines, too (my apologies to all Georgia peaches).

Finally, desert was Granola Stuffed Apple Halves (total calories: 148).  I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. The recipe has molasses in it and I didn't like the flavor it gave to the granola.  I was surprised that the meat of the apple (or whatever the appropriate term is) stayed white after cooking, but I guess that is a characteristic of Cortland apples.

The next Fit & Flavorful cooking topic is Holiday Veggie Medleys and I'm signed up for that one.

DAHLC offers a whole series of cooking classes called "I Am the Chef" and I hope to register for the next round. They also offer a monthly class called "Wielding a Knife" that sounds a bit dangerous, but perhaps I can be trusted with sharp objects again soon. 

Stay tuned for My Adventures in Cooking (without burning down a house or causing bodily harm).

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