April 23, 2018

Everyday Gourmet

By Kim Dannies

The hunger games

Time for a spring tune-up in the pantry and the pants. Here are some food-savvy tips to incorporate into your eating game plan. While strategies abound for fitness and food regimes, there is only one winner in the hunger games, and that’s YOU (when exercise meets healthy food choices on a daily basis.) Sure, you’ve heard it all before, but a spring refresher can’t hurt. And I think you’ll love my Fudgie Babies – they are to die for.

Lose the bite and gain the flavor of healthy cancer-fighting onions in your dishes. Rinsing minced onions in cool water removes the pungency that can overpower other flavors. When onions are chopped, sulfurous compounds are released as the knife slices through cell walls. Washing the sulfur from the cell walls results in a mellow, aromatic flavor.

Cooking healthy is easy with a “less is more” approach. Choose foods in their natural state, cook with olive oil, and add a small amount of sea salt to finish. Do no harm, which means, sear, grill, or sauté foods quickly to retain flavors. Stick with fresh fruits, and vegetables, whole grains and clean proteins. Eschew processed foods.

When ordering out, split an entree with someone (or divide and pack half for another meal) as a matter of routine. This REALLY works!

Most recipes call for too much oil or butter; you can generally cut back to half of the recipe recommendation. Also, using olive oil spray for lightly coating meats and veggies is a healthy trick.

Stuck in the car and dying of hunger? Keep a few “Think Thin” bars in your glove compartment for emergencies. These tasty, high-protein bars are the cleanest, yummiest lifesavers you’ll find in a supermarket.


Fudgie Babies

In a food processor, crush one-half cup of salted almonds; remove, reserve.

To the processor add one-half cup of walnuts and crush. Add one and one-half cups of date pulp; 4-tablespoons of cocoa powder; 1-teaspoon of vanilla; and a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Pulse to combine. Divide dough into two sections; roll dough on pieces of plastic wrap into a plump log shape. Coat the logs with almonds. Seal in wrap and freeze 2 hours. Slice and serve.


Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France.  She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.


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