What a rat hole eating well can be if you don’t use common sense! Seriously, I just spent thirty minutes reading about butter. Yes, I said butter! One ingredient.
I was just curious about whether or not butter was considered a “clean” food. Don’t get me wrong, I have never proclaimed to eat clean. I try to prepare healthy meals for my family and use real food while doing it. Real butter, by the way, containing only cream, counts as real in my book.
Lately I have just been browsing around the world of food theory and terms and it’s no wonder some people can get backed into a corner of absolute inertia when it comes to trying to change or improve eating habits. There’s so much information out there and so much of it absolutely contradictory. There’s a whole segment of the nutrition and dietary world that seems so police-like and legalistic to me. Personally, I think such absolute approaches to food do more to hinder positive change rather than help it. Loads of people have been duped into thinking that they need to be able to follow a very narrow set of prescribed rules in order to eat well. Just the worry of how you “would” or “could” navigate certain obstacles that “might” come up (for example, a lunch out with a friend) can keep a person sitting on the sidelines of eating well, or at least better, than they are currently eating. I say, jump into the game! If you get a foul, you get a foul. Don’t we usually learn from our mistakes, blunders, slip ups, and flat out failures?
Back to my friend, the butter . . . If you eat a dish containing all vegetables, herbs, and a little butter instead of a casserole of meat, condensed soup, an artificial cheese product and prepackaged crescent rolls, aren’t you really improving your game? I think the answer is an unquestionable “YES”.
We don’t do anything else in our lives perfectly, so why should we think we can eat perfectly? Sure, you can spend another week or two trying to decide whether or not coconut oil is really better for you than olive oil, all the while eating your Kraft mac-n-cheese and Marie Callender’s chicken pot pies, and then you’ll just be another casualty to paralysis by analysis ( I have always loved that little gem of a saying). Not to mention that once you figure out the coconut oil dilemma, there will be another new and trendy food item on the shelves for you to figure out. In my book, what really counts is to start now and take baby steps. Don’t worry too much about the technicalities of the game; those are kinks you can always iron out as you go. For now just get the basics down in your playbook and build from there.
There are a million blogs out there that will give you their version of the basics. My basics are really basic – fruits, veggies, whole grains. I just have a fun little suggestion that could help you in your game. Go hit your local farmer’s market or produce store. Grab a veggie you have never had . . . or just haven’t spent quality time with lately. Buy enough of it to feed your family. Once you are home, type the name of what you bought into the Food Blog Search. Epicurious can work just as well – it’s my personal fav. In seconds I guarantee you’ll find some fabulous recipes to encourage you in your cooking and eating well journey. And in my book an ounce of encouragement and confidence easily outweighs a pound of rules!
I recently did this, not with unfamiliar ingredients, but just with what I had on hand, and ended up making these great Potato Veggie Latkes.
I started by grating up some peeled carrots, peeled potatoes, and zucchini.
To that, I added some lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper, and panko.
I heated some olive oil in a skillet and then dropped scoops of my mixture in and fried for about 3 minutes per side.
I pulled them out when they were just golden on both sides and holding together well.
I served them up with some homemade (yes, crockpot) applesauce and a bit of sour cream, and then finished the meal off with a green salad. Simple yumminess!
Here’s the complete recipe for Potato Veggie Latkes, adapted the Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen.
Want to explore more latke options? Have a gander . . .
Zesty Sweet Potato-Zucchini Latkes with Cilantro Lime Dip (dinebodyspirit.wordpress.com)
Vegetable Latkes (chefceaser.wordpress.com)
Meatless Monday: Baked Sweet Potato Latkes (centerforlivingpeace.wordpress.com)
By the way, this year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah converge on Thursday, November 28th. This is an event that won’t take place for another 79,000 years. You may want to pass a few latkes alongside your turkey to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event!