Spring is in the air. Here in Colorado we have had beautiful sunny days with the temperatures in the 70’s. What better time to start eating healthy. Many of you already are eating healthy. I congratulate you and encourage you to keep doing so. But there are those of you who are to busy, and frankly sometimes it’s really difficult… it’s you people I am talking to.
I was in line at the grocery store yesterday and I was shocked as I looked into the cart ahead of me. I guess you could call me a grocery peeping Tom. The entire cart was filled with nothing but processed foods. Not one fresh vegetable, fruit or herb. Everything was prepacked, prepared, canned or frozen. The woman whom the cart belonged to was dressed very nicely, I am assuming a professional woman of intelligence. Then why all the garbage in the cart for her family? I can only assume her life is very busy and at times we make choices that will just give us a few minutes in the day to relax.
How do I know this?? I own a restaurant where we take pride in using the freshest ingredients and making everything fresh. So my dirty little secret. With all of the freshest ingredients there have been days I have fueled my body with pure crap.The only good thing that went into my body was a good wine. Late night drives through Taco Bell and McDonald’s. I even have a photo of a Big Mac with a nice bottle of La Bambina rose’ wine that my dear friend Marilena produces. I think she was mortified I was pairing her wine with a Big Mac. The staff was starving after a very busy night. The last thing we chef’s want to do at midnight is cook for ourselves.
So why am I telling you this? This week I started on an eating healthy campaign. If you choose to do this also one of the most important things you must do is have a well stocked kitchen. If you do not you will fail. Sunday I headed to the market and loaded my cart with the following: vegetables, fruits, herbs, (lots and lots and a large variety) proteins, yogurt, cheeses, grains and absolutely nothing prepared.
So my first test was last night. I was to busy once again to eat lunch it is approaching 9:00 pm and no dinner yet. My stomach sounded like a wild animal. One of my staff opened a bag of Doritos and I all I wanted to do was dive in and not look back. I chose to drive home and prepare a late dinner. Simple dinner because I was far to tired to do anything else. What did I prepare? Chicken Peperonata. I pan seared a chicken breast, to the pan I added a colorful blend of peppers and garlic. I poured a little of the Sancerre I happened to be drinking, a little chicken broth and a handful of fresh herbs.
I cannot tell you how delicious dinner was. How simple it was to prepare. And how much better I felt choosing to eating healthy and not eat garbage. What made dinner taste so good was the freshness of the peppers and herbs. There is nothing like fresh herbs. Every spring I head to Malara Gardens in Arvada and buy every herb that Chip has available. I plant either an indoor garden or an outside garden located close to my kitchen door. It is so easy to take your kitchen shears make a few snips and throw the fresh herbs into whatever you cook. And a whole lot more economical then buying the packages at the store….
So to you very busy people out there. I challenge you to start eating healthy. Prepare your own food and do not purchase foods that are prepared that have ingredients you cant even pronounce… Mangiare Sano! Eat Healthy!