I find it curious that we are still seeking the answer to, what is eating healthy? After all the fade diets and miracle pills have we learned nothing? I have my answer, which is really short and simple: eat a bit of everything and move. Now, here is the caveat to my axiom.
I am a great proponent of learning to say yes to more foods – if I have never seen it before I try it, however, the most important aspect is that all foods created, served and eaten should be recognizable; i.e. understanding its relationship to the earth. There should never be foods that have been overly manipulated and packaged by any industrialized food manufacturer in the kitchen – butter over margarine; oven crisped sweet potatoes in lieu of Tatter Tots. Any canned item in the pantry must have an extremely brief ingredient list (about four ingredients or less), and definitely, read and understand the label. In the winter months when the selection at the farmer’s markets is slim vegetables are going to be frozen rather than sodium drenched and already overcooked tinned ones. Of course, buying organic and certified humane is of great value, though I am greatly sensitive to the cost unfortunately associated with this choice. But part of eating “healthy” is not consuming the drugs administrated widely to our food supply in order to grow stuff bigger, faster, and fuller.
The ultimate healthy eating is not necessarily going vegan, swearing gluten-free because it is the cure, or cooking a pre-historic meal plan. It is finding the foods and style that are appealing and allowing the plate to be dominated by vegetables that you can live with for the rest of your life. Find the pleasure equally in a slab of baby back ribs or a slab of tofu; indulge in the slice of cake and revel in fruit tossed with some snipped herbs. Healthy eating is meant to keep us healthy both emotionally and physically.
We all must eat consciously and understand the amount of calories we are taking in because no matter how “healthy” one supposedly eats, too much is just that.
Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce – yields 4 servings
½-pound boneless/skinless chicken breast – cut into thin strips
4-ounces vermicelli rice noodles
½-hot house cucumber – sliced in strips
1-celery stalk – slice into 1-inch strips
½-pound jicama – peeled and sliced into strips
2-tablespoons chopped mint leaves
½-pound (about 4 pieces) chopped baby bok choy
3-scallions – sliced
Bring 3-cups of water to the boil, and add the chicken strips. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the chicken through a sieve into a bowl that has the noodles. Allow let the noodles soak in the hot cooking liquid for ten minutes, and then drain.
In a large bowl add all the ingredients, and toss with the peanut sauce. Serve room temperature or cold.
3-tablespoons lemon juice (from a ½-lemon)
3-tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
¼-cup all natural peanut butter
1-tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2-teaspoons sesame oil
1-tablespoon rice vinegar
3-tablespoons soy sauce
Place all ingredients in a blend, and process until smooth.