I’ve been reading an interesting book that I found in the amazing Bergenfield library. It is called Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy and Really Well by prolific food writer Peter Kaminsky.
As a food writer, I related to his challenge. Peter loved tasting food and in his line of work was reaching an unhealthy weight. He came up with an approach where he would not stop enjoying the taste and flavor of food. He calls his approach “Flavor Per Calorie” and it means that he cooks and chooses to eat foods that maximize the amount of flavor in every bite. He squashes the approach of eating bland foods that do not tempt the palate, arguing that flavor does not have to be lost in healthy eating. I agree and thought about some of my favorite foods that do not rely on anything unhealthy to make me feel satisfied. Israeli salad with lemon juice salt and pepper, a pomelo bursting with sweetness, roasted garlic spread on a piece of challah, these foods all have high flavor per calorie!
In keeping with this week’s “Health and Fitness” theme, here are two of my oldie but goodie recipes that are bursting with flavor, demonstrating cooking techniques that maximize flavor per calorie and are full of good health as well. Hashem gives us food to nourish our bodies, it makes sense to enjoy the experience.
From the New York Times, February, 2008
Garlicky Sesame Cured Broccoli
11/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
2 heads broccoli cut into bite size florets or frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
¾ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. roasted sesame oil
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes.
In a large bowl stir together vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine. In a large skillet, heat oil till hot but not smoking, add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour over broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least one hour at room temperature. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Inspired by a recipe from Cooking Light, September 2008.
Barbecue Roasted Salmon
¼ cup pineapple juice
2 T lemon juice
4 salmon fillets
2 T brown sugar
4 tsp. chili powder
¾ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Combine the first three ingredients in a zip-top bag. Seal and marinate for one hour in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400°. Remove fish from bag, discard marinade. Combine sugar and next five ingredients in a bowl. Rub over fish, place in baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 400° for 12 minutes.
Chavie Hagler and Rayzel Yaish are two Bergen county based full-time working mothers who have a passion for delicious food! We are delighted to alternately bring you “Over the Kosher Kitchen Sink.” In the spirit of friends and family who enjoy hanging around and chatting over our kitchen sinks, we hope you will enjoy our tasty thoughts and will share your questions and kosher food ideas with us at kosherkitchensink_jewishlinkbc.com
By Rayzel Yaish