Monday, March 7, 2011

Around The Culinary World

Good evening everyone! Welcome back to a new week of cooking, blogging and adventure at Out Of The Culinary! The coming week is going to be packed full of healthy, delicious recipes that are a little 'out of the box' from what we've usually been doing. Maggie and I are making a stronger commitment to eating healthy and are shifting our focus to be very low calorie, heart healthy while still preserving all of the flavors we love. That means less 'butter pan sauces' (that groan you hear is from Maggie...) and more fish, chicken and vegetable centered dishes. It's what the original basis of this blog was built around, so it's not a bad thing to return to.

As always, we start our Mondays off with a little tour of culinary news from around the world. Sadly, unlike the past two weeks which have been a hotbed of food controversy, topics and discussion - this week is pretty bland and run of the mill. We did manage to grab the a few interesting stories from the pile-o-bland, however, and here they are:

Jamie Oliver, a personal hero of the blog is still on his Food Revolution tour. This time, he's fighting the fattening foods from the Los Angeles school district. This week he debuted an impressive device to promote healthy cooking at eating. It's always been Jamie's stance that healthy eating is not enough -you have to teach people that cooking isn't hard and that healthy cooking isn't complicated at all. If they know how to cook healthy foods, they are more likely to stick to a better diet. Jamie has created cooking schools across England for that very purpose. He has also created a cooking school in Huntington West Virginia (the home of the first season of Food Revolution). This week, he debuted his method for teaching large groups of people how to cook - and it's a brilliant idea. Check out the 'new school' approach to a cooking school HERE.

Are you the type who likes to cook on occasion, but hates the shopping and seemingly endless list of things necessary to cook? Do you find yourself craving to cook something, only to find out that you lack a few key ingredients. Before you know it, the urge to cook has died and your sitting on the couch waiting for your microwave pizza to finish cooking. has a list of cooking provisions, simple items to always have stocked in your pantry - that will greatly reduce the need to run to the grocery store every time you have a cooking urge. A quick glance through the list shows that Maggie and I, the 'cooking gurus' (cooking hobbyists, amateur chefs - however you'd like to call it) have about 80% of this list. (So it's a pretty solid list of things to keep stocked!) Check out the list HERE.

I WISH we had that kind of storage... 

Low fat used to be the trend in the healthy food market. However, it seemed that if you wanted to fight your way into the competitive world of healthy eating, you only had to slap the low fat label on your product and boast its health benefits. Unfortunately, this market became crowded with products whose low fat labels really only meant 'lower fat that the original - and not at all healthy' which greatly degraded the claim. (Or my personal favorite - labels that boasted low fat without changing the nutritional content at all - the trick? Reduce the serving size suggested!) After awhile, most consumers simply overlooked these labels as marketing fluff and were left struggling to find healthy food items on their own. (Since the FDA and USDA doesn't really regulate claims like 'low fat' and 'healthy option' as closely as you'd imagine - the consumer was forced to shop based on the nutrition label and nutrition label only). The days of healthy foods and not so healthy foods battling out over low fat labels may be ending, however. In fact, labels that boast fat may be on the rise. Why the sudden change? It has to do with the new dietary guidelines and developing science that supports a diet with the right fats. There is a great editorial on this shift from The Huffington Post. Check out the full analysis of the low fat to pro fat label shift HERE.

Now they're healthy...right? 

Sadly, there is another food recall just starting to make the rounds, this time, it involves Skippy Peanut butter. We've commented countless times about food safety and the shift that the new food safety laws should be making for consumers to feel more comfortable that their food won't...well...KILL THEM. Once these standards go into effect, changes should become more apparent and these stories SHOULD dwindle to next to nothing. Until then, we'll continue to share major recall news with you - so you can stay on top of the issue and keep your families from becoming ill. Read all about this recall HERE.

Finally this week, we have a rebuttal to a story we shared last week. We spoke last week at great length about the war on fast food oatmeal. In short, the oversimplification of oatmeal (and the subsequent passing off of this product as healthy) was deemed horrible for the consumer. Oatmeal, on it's own, is speedy, healthy and delicious - why does fast food oatmeal have to change something so simple? That was the collective thoughts of the food world last week. This week, a few outlets are stepping up in favor of fast food oatmeal - even going so far as to point out healthy fast food oatmeal items (or how to make not so healthy items healthier) McDonald's oatmeal even makes the list. Check out the counter story to last week's 'feature topic' HERE.

That's all we have for you this evening. I'll be in the kitchen tomorrow night with a brand new recipe. I'll follow that up with another new dish on Wednesday and Maggie will close out the week on Thursday with a dish of her own. Be sure to stop in tomorrow night to see what I've got cooking, until then,


No comments:

Post a Comment