Story last updated at 8/28/2013 - 3:09 pm
A few weeks ago I was chatting with some new friends and the conversation turned toward food. I probably guided it there because it’s one of my favorite topics, but nonetheless, food and cooking became the chatter. When I mentioned I wrote a food column for Juneau’s weekly paper, the first question one of my new friends asked was “Is it Healthy?” My reply was utter silence. That moment when you don’t know what to say because you never expected that question and you realized you had no idea how to answer it. Yep, it actually happened. I felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights.
This was not a difficult question, I just never really thought of it. Is my food healthy or not? It depends. When I make a watermelon salad or salmon with a light lemon drizzle, then absolutely it’s healthy. Fried chicken with pan gravy on mashed potatoes, not so much.
This has had me pondering recipes for weeks now. I had to be honest with myself and realize that yes, a lot of my recipes are healthy, but a lot aren’t. I don’t profess to be a nutritionist and count calories, fats, proteins, or carbs. I just make what sounds good. I believe in everything in moderation. I use lean meats and try not to fry everything. There are just a few things that need a good crisp.
I have also learned that being healthy is about more than just your food intake. It’s about moving too. I have a desk job, which has me sitting a lot. I started a new walking program and last week I joined the gym. Speaking of the gym, is it me or does anyone else think it’s almost anti-motivating to watch the food channels while on the treadmill? I mean do we think that if we keep walking we’ll be eating those amazing brownies that chef made or that scrumptious looking fried treat or those barbecue ribs on the summer cooking specials? These do not motivate me. They make me want to go home and eat. So, I opt for watching crime dramas because I get so engrossed in the story that I keep walking because I need to see how it ends. We all have our own motivation. I say find yours and get to gettin’.
As for me, I’m working toward a few more healthy recipes. Included in my “healthy” lifestyle I get the organic vegetable boxes sent up from Washington. For me it’s like Christmas once a week. I love getting my boxes. I am encouraged to use everything so that nothing goes to waste. My current box had beets. This was the second time I received beets and I was excited. I love beets. They’re high in iron and they taste good warm or cold.
One of my favorite restaurants, The Rookery, makes an incredible beet salad with whipped goat cheese. I order it almost every time I dine there. It’s absolutely delicious. The simplicity of the dish is what prompted me to create my own recipe. This week I present a dish that is tasty, healthy and very easy to make: Beet Salad.
Oh and my response to the “Is it healthy?” question about my cooking was “I don’t know, but it tastes good.” Keep it simple and it’ll taste great.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@
5 or 6 small to medium beets, washed and greens removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon champagne or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in middle of sheet of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close foil completely and place on center rack of oven. Cook about 35-45 minutes, until knife will easily slide into center of the beat. Cool and remove skins, chop into bite sized cubes. Drizzle with vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
WHIPPED BLUE CHEESE
4 ounces blue cheese
2 teaspoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients into mixing bowl and whip on medium high speed until well blended and airy.
1 cup pecan halves
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
Preheat large skillet to medium high heat. Melt butter and brown sugar together to create a thick syrup. You may need to add a bit more butter to thin it out. Gently add nuts and toss to coat all sides.
Place on wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Top beets with whipped blue cheese and a few pecans.