Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oh My Gosh! Guys, Learn to cook!

Some people don’t know how easy it is to mix crab meat, mayo, cheddar, horseradish and French dressing into a snappy dip. Others don’t realize how pine nuts can dress up a salad and there are poor dears who haven’t even made quick cheese grits or French toast. Hollis Ledbetter has met these new adults who have moved out of the house and are suddenly faced with feeding themselves. After boning up on her book, readers may even want to host parents for dinner or . . . throw a party.
“Oh My Gosh! I’m in College and I Never Learned to Cook” covers basics and gets creative. I do like the emphasis on young people having fun with the whole deal enough to invite friends over to taste their accomplishments. Where there’s food, there’s fun. Some may learn to cook, others may learn to eat better. Here’s one made with healthy stuff:

Black Beans and Chopped Avocado Dip
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained
3 medium tomatoes
1 8-ounce can corn
½ cup red onion
1 ½ cup salsa
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
To prepare, take the seed out of the avocado and scoop out the meat into a bowl. Dice the onion and tomatoes. Combine avocado, beans, tomatoes, corn and onions. Mix salsa, lime juice, olive oil and sugar together, and pour over the avocado and bean mixture. Chill for two to three hours. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

The spirit program
Many of us pray before meals. Thomas C. Kaut keeps up a prayerful attitude with “Spirit” Matrix” “Spirit Healing,” “Spirit Netting” and other names for his program throughout the chewing and digestive process, and through selection of the next meal. Scripture spices his message as he reminds readers to be grateful for air and water and stay away from junk food. His book is “The New Millennium Christian Health Program and Kaut ends each chapter with an “Amen.”

The Consious Plate
Chef Randy Rabney, owner of, offers a “blueprint” on keeping stocked, cooking simply and making it good and good for you. The new book is “Delicious for Life: Your Everyday Guide to Making Quick & Healthy Meals.” With space for notes and ideas to create your own signature dishes, this little book is best-suited to readers who think they can’t do it all. Rabney aims to show they can. Tips include:
Make the most of the flavor combinations you love by using them in multiple dishes. For example, if you love tomato and basil, you can make whole wheat spaghetti with zucchini, fresh tomato and basil, a mozzarella tomato and basil salad, or zucchini, onion, tomato and basil frittata with parmigano reggiano.
Tired of having your fresh vegetables go to waste? Make a creative pasta sauce by sautéing vegetables and garlic and combining them with a small amount of high-quality marinara sauce. Or for an Asian inspired noodle dish, instead of marinara, use a small amount of organic soy sauce and dark sesame oil and toss in soba or rice noodles.
If your sweet tooth kicks in, eat cherry tomatoes or beets that are naturally sweet. Or, you can roast the vegetables at 450 degrees so that they become caramelized and the sugar is released, thus making them taste sweeter.
I’ve already been making something like Rabney’s Banana Ice “Cream” recipe:
Ingredients: 3 very ripe frozen bananas, 1 fresh banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional), 1 tablespoon of milk of your choice (nut, cow's milk, etc).
Step 1: Take the very ripe bananas, peel them, and break them into chunks and freeze.

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