Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat foods that are unappealing or taste like baby food. It means that you are aware of what you are eating and how much you are eating. It means making good choices in your ingredients and cooking methods.
I have to admit that I love restaurant food, fast food, pizza, and things that come in boxes, bags, and cans. I have also known for a long time that what I eat makes a big difference in how I feel, my energy level, and my brain activity. I have struggled between the desire to eat foods that are nutritional and beneficial and the equally strong pull towards convenience and what I thought was flavor in my food.
I would go to the grocery store with a carefully crafted listed and a determined spirit to shop carefully and only bring home healthy food. Most of the time I would walk up and down the aisles depressed – food depression I called it – because I couldn’t seem to feed myself really healthy food. It seemed that everything in the store was not healthy although it was often marketed as such and I also found that in spite of my meal plans and list that what was generally considered healthy was just unappealing. Countless times I’ve filled the cart with fruit, vegetables, meats, and other ingredients only to stop at Chick-fil-A on the way home or worse still, take the groceries home and then go out to eat. Failure. General failure.
In early January I bought a new cookbook, Danielle Walker’s Meals Made Simple (based on her Against All Grain series), and I am sure that I am now on the road to truly eating healthy. Her recipes are based on the Paleo diet and so far, every recipe I’ve tried has been down right delicious. I’m not doing a strict Paleo plan, but reading the information in this book has made me aware of what I’m eating and much more selective about products that I buy. Reading ingredient labels has taken on a whole new meaning!
One of the products that she has introduced me to is Ghee. Ghee is a variation of clarified butter, in other words, butter with all the water and milk solids removed. Interestingly, ghee originated in ancient Indian culture. I wasn’t familiar with and due to its expense, wasn’t over eager to try it, but out of curiosity and a desire to improve my habits I bought a jar. Wow! It is used interchangeably with extra-virgin olive oil and I have to say that I much prefer the flavor of ghee.
My first try was using it to prep a spaghetti squash for baking and I was very pleased. You might say, I’m a ghee convert now! I brushed the skin and the cut edges of the squash with ghee before baking and not only did it smell heavenly while it roasted, it gave the spaghetti a remarkable flavor. Without a doubt it was the best spaghetti squash I ever cooked! I do have to confess that I tossed the spaghetti with sauce from a jar, but it was organic sauce with all organic ingredients, no preservatives, and the only thing that might be considered unhealthy was the organic cane sugar. It was a warm and delicious January night supper!
Just a tip if you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash – wash it and put in the microwave for 4-5 minutes to soften the skin. It makes cutting it in half much easier. I’ve heard you can completely cook it in the microwave, but I generally don’t care for the “microwave taste” that vegetables absorb in the microwave.