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Monthly Archive for April, 2010

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself that making food from scratch sounds great, but you have no time for it, especially during the week.  Well, it’s entirely okay to cut corners and use pre-cut, canned, jarred, frozen, dried, freeze-dried, or pre-assembled ingredients.  Of course, normally it’s healthier if you have fresh ingredients, and generally you will […]

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The other day I was schlepping around my local supermarket, El Corte Inglés–where all the foreigners flock to get pseudo-familiar versions of their foods from home.  I once found a bag of “Authentic Mexican Tortillas” and excitedly skipped home only to find they were super thick and even sweet to the taste!  Never again–I’ll make […]

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Potatoes and other root vegetables or tubers, such as sweet potato, yam, yuca, taro, ginger, onions, carrots, radishes, beetroots, shallots, tigernuts, and turnips.  Celeriac is a less starchy alternative. This group of foods often serves the same purpose as grains and grain products.  Almost everyone has heard of the role of the potato in saving […]

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For thousands of years, humans have created different kinds of diets, many of them largely based on grains and cereals.  Wild grains, and later cultivated grains, supplied necessary carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and even some proteins.  Grains have been ground crudely to eat as gruel, blended directly with meat, put in salads, and ground as […]

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To really understand an ingredient’s potential, we have to think of what the purpose of the ingredient is.  This may sound elementary, but the more we cook, the more complex these connections will be, and this will expand the horizons of our abilities in the kitchen. Let’s say you get a jar of high-quality dark […]

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While this article focuses on the fact that the link between the intake of fresh produce and the decrease in risk of cancer is less than previously thought, the fact remains that there is still a direct link.  And of course, there are many other “overall benefits,” as the article also states.  Vitamins are absorbed […]

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Now, I love Taco Bell the way any red-blooded American does:  as a food in its own category.  It’s not Mexican food; it’s not really… food… it’s kind of this delicious, ridiculous combination of real ingredients, dyes, and preservatives with a crack-like attraction for many people. But Taco Bell and apparently all the major fast […]

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A large part of how we view food supply  is based on where we live.  For instance, when I lived in Costa Rica, it was easy enough to get fresh roasted coffee beans from an organic farm that grows its coffee in the shade.  When I went to the beach for a weekend, it was […]

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If you want purple but you only have red and blue, what do you do?  How did you learn that mixing the two makes the one?  Either someone told you, or you did it accidentally, or maybe you had a hunch and went for it.  So it goes with food preparation. It may sound obvious, […]

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While studying land use policy in Costa Rica, my professor (who happened to be a biologist by training) taught us that our stomachs harbor certain types of flora to deal with the foods we regularly eat.  A mini-forest, if you will, attached to our intestinal wall, adapted specifically for whatever little critters (bacteria) normally pass […]

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