Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Healthy Cooking for the Foodie

Earier in the week, I was speaking with a friend who is originally from Montreal. He was inquiring about whether or not "people can really tell the difference" between high-quality dairy & meat products and the "other stuff" that is available in most grocery stores. After posing the question, he followed it up by saying, "it seems that here (America), people think "good food" is 'a lot' of food".

I knew exactly what he was referring to. The food habits of Americans tend to be very, very different than the food habits in other countries. I'd even suggest that the eating & cooking habits in Michigan, are very, very different than those of our American counterparts.

As I was putting the menu together for this evening's Healthy Cooking class, I reflected on the conversation I had with my French-Canadian colleague. Americans are very "diet" concious. The weight loss & diet industry in this country is a multi-billion dollar business niche. Still, we remain some of the fattest people on the planet. How is it that with such access to information, education, etc. have we managed to gain even more weight?

We've all but outlawed certain types of foods, ingredients, products - yet our waistlines continue to expand. We work ourselves into a frenzy on our stairclimbers, treadmills and stationary bikes, with little to show for our efforts. How can this be?

While I am the first to espouse the benefits of eating whole, natural foods, in lieu of processed, packaged, "dead" foods, I realize that overeating those things can still contribute to a bulging belly. When I reflect on the conversation I had with my friend, there was something that really resonated with me. Food in other cultures is often a more rounded experience. Enjoying small portions of wonderful, properly prepared foods is something that I believe contributes to a healthier approach to weight loss or even simple maintanence.

There is also a sense of community and mindfullness that accompanies our European and Canadian counterparts. Eating and dining are always an experience, instead of an afterthought. The portions are smaller and they are savored, truly savored, not just wolfed down without a concious thought. "Value" in these cultures is seen in the artistry of the food, its heritage, its story. "Value" to Americans often means "SuperSized" and "bottomless" menu options.

Obviously, there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to a topic as complex as this, but the sentiment was something I appreciated. Tonight's "Healthy Cooking for the Foodie" menu has a selection of natural, lower-fat, vegetable-based options, perfect for the foodie who is looking for ways to lighten up. Still, when I consider the meaning of the word "foodie" it envokes a sense of enthusiasm, passion and thoughtfulness, which are perhaps some of the most important ingredients of all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stacy, Linda and I loved last nights 'Healthy Cooking for the Foodie' class. We both picked up a ton of tips, and promise to pass the word to all our friends.
You were amazing, and your other chefs and helpful staff made it a night will remember!

Thank you,

Dave and Linda

January 31, 2011 at 5:26 AM 

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