This week I was told twice that my last name is the exact same name as someone’s favorite drink: Buchanan. I had to google it to find out that it is scotch whiskey.
Alcohol is a funny thing– it takes years to acquire the taste for many, and mixed drinks are truly an art form. People boast of the best ones by saying “you can’t even taste the alcohol!” When enjoying the finest of drinks, you will see some of the liquor connoisseurs take their time, maybe take a whiff, and savor each sip as they note hints of flower, fruit, wood, and smokiness.
Don’t be fooled– when someone describes the drink as smooth, it’s smooth relative to other alcoholic drinks and would still most likely feel like fire going down with a lasting burning feeling in the chest for the novice drinker.
There are some brands so distinctly known that people drink them to be seen, not because they enjoy the actual taste. I marvel at all of this- the cost, need for acquired taste, the social aspect and I think we put a lot of effort in to enjoy alcohol. With the exception to wine, these drinks do nothing to benefit long term health.
Now, enter the green juice and smoothie trend we’ve recently seen taking off. Not everyone is doing it. Green veggies taste gross to some. Too much broccoli or kale on the drink tastes swampy. Oh, but the effects! What I’m wondering, is why can’t we put the same effort to acquiring a taste for something that gives us life as we do for something that takes life away?
I’ve been watching the raw food movement pick up momentum for some time now. Whether you go fully raw, or use it as a method of cleansing– there are some great benefit to this style of eating. I would encourage you to do your own research, but a raw diet can be fantastic for getting fruits and veggies in their highest state of nutrition, provide us with a ton of fiber, and give us a fast source of pure energy that has not been processed.
I try to make a large part of my diet raw when possible, especially when I want a light meal or when my appetite is a little unpredictable. This weekend I was craving raw veggie noodles. I don’t yet have a spirilizer, so I made them with a veggie peeler. More accurately, these would be called ribbons. To make zucchini ribbons, it is quite simple, but keep in mind that the length of the zucchini will determine the length of the noodle.
1. Wash zucchini well, since we will keep on the peel.
2. Cut off the top and bottom.
3. With peeler, shave to create noodles lengthwise stopping when you have arrived at the seeds.
4. Start on the other side and shave down to the seeds once again.
My peeler was very inexpensive, but quite precis and sharp. I had a nice pile of ribbons when done with just one medium-size zucchini. If needed, pat the noodles dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
I then made a very simple salad on the bed of ribbons.
I’ve been a vegetarian for years, and I love it. But, I also love to entertain and cook for others. I think it’s important that I continue to have some non-vegetarian items in my repertoire. The key to delicious meat and seafood is savoriness and moisture level, in my opinion. Some people cannot stand things like the white meat of poultry, or fleshy fish like salmon, because too many times it has been prepared in a dry and lifeless way. Roasting food is a wonderful way to soak in flavor and make some of the toughest vegetables tender and flavorful. This recipe calls for few ingredients, has minimal prep time, and very much healthy. My simplistic meal creation is made from Asian-inspired flavors and will be done cooking by the time you’ve set the table and slipped into more comfortable attire!
Light soy sauce
Minced garlic (I used garlic and ginger from a jar. They tend to fair well in the oven without burning)
2 cups of fresh broccoli
Preheat oven to 375F.
Thoroughly wash broccoli and cut into smaller florets and place into a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 TBSP sesame oil, 1 TBSP chopped garlic, and 1 TBSP minced ginger and sea salt to taste.
Evenly spread coated broccoli on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix 1 TBSP soy sauce, 1 TBSP sesame oil, 1 tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of ginger, and a pinch of sugar.
Oil cookie sheet and place salmon down. Lightly sprinkle each steak with sea salt. Generously brush one side of salmon steak with glaze. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375F. Keep an eye on this. The times vary by the oven and size of the salmon steak.