“The more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity. In fact, the amount of time spent cooking predicts obesity rates more reliably than female participation in the labor force or income.” ~ Michael Pollan, Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch, The New York Times Magazine, August 7, 2009.
If cooking, as many anthropologists and social scientists believe, is the key to our humanity, separating us from the ‘beasts,’ what is the decline in cooking doing to our culture, to our lives?
Well, it ain’t good! Harvard economists found that the decline of home cooking can explain a good portion of the increase in obesity in America.
What to do? Kick Tush in the Kitchen
Here follows three healthy, low-fat, low-cal recipes that you can cook up with consciousness as you metaphorically pat yourself on the back for keeping the humanity going. (Metaphorically, because I don’t want you to burn anything while cooking!)
Organic Beef Betty Casserole
1/2 lb. ground beef (Organic beef)
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 med. Sweet onion, Vidalia chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
5 tomatoes, diced
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Basil (fresh – I have some growing in my living room!)
3/4 lb. zucchini, sliced thin
In pan, sauté ground beef in oil until lightly browned. Drain excess fat. Add onion, green and red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, oregano and basil. Cook until thick. Arrange zucchini slices on bottom and sides of shallow 1-quart baking dish. Cover with meat sauce, sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Cabbage Surprise Casserole (The surprise is that it tastes oh so good!)
1 sm. head green cabbage
1 pint of fresh mushrooms
1 medium Sweet Onion
3/4 lb. ground beef (Organic Beef)
1 can tomato soup (Amy’s Organics)
1 cup of vegetable stock (Organic!)
1/2 c. rice, uncooked
Cut cabbage into chunks, this way and that way. Go hog-wild on the creativity. You can consider it the crust – so don’t dice it; again chunky style. Place in greased 9 x 13 inch pan (I use olive oil spray). Brown meat and onion; drain. Stir in rice and mushrooms. Pour over cabbage. Mix soup and water. Pour over rest of mixture. Bake covered 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
Popeye and The Virgin Casserole
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1/4 c. chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, fresh.
1 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
3 cups of spinach, sauted
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add salt n’ pepper to taste. Spray bottom of square baking dish with vegetable spray or olive oil. Line bottom of dish with onion mixture. Layer with 1/2 of cheese. Cover with mushrooms. Cover with rest of cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4 to 6
Alternatively, sauté all vegetables in pan. Mix 1/2 the parmesan with vegetables. Put on dish; sprinkle the other half of the parmesan on the plate. Serve with whole wheat pasta.
Eat Healthy: Be Political
What Lies Is the Food Industry Feeding You?
F is for Fat: How fat is your state?
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