Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book #9: Jamie Oliver's Everyday Super Food

I wouldn't say I'm on a health kick, but I'm alway open to cookbooks which make healthy things look delicious.  I think Jamie's health focus is pretty inline with my current food belief system (although not necessarily what I eat)...more protein, less carbs, fats are ok!  He certainly has one admirable mission after another, changing kids' on the streets lives by restaurant training, healthifying school lunches, spearheading a food revolution.  And now he's just recently turned 40!  I will skip mentioning what birthday is upcoming this year for me, and so let's not compare us and our accomplishments or lofty goals!

This book has interesting twists of many dishes.  It's fun to find the Britishisms in there as it reminds you how we speak the same language but sometimes sure do talk differently.  Things like "brekkie," marmite, "Vegeree not kedgeree"  (I still don't know),  AND most especially, "Chicken Penicillin." I don't even think that's British.  I am however inspired by "Sexy Stewed Prunes"  (HA!)  and "Roasted sweet Potatoes / Black Beans & Jalapeño Tomato Salsa," and "Super-Tasty Miso Broth / Chicken, Mushrooms & WIld Rice."

I think this book is not for everyone.  If you say "Super squash lasagne / Spinach, Cottage Cheese & Seeds" and wonder what the heck is wrong with the traditional lasagne noodles, bolognese sauce, and cheese cheese cheese it might not be for you.  Or if you say "Why is there kiwi in my fish tacos??"  However if you want to make your own nut butter, energy balls, or spring squid, then go for it.  These are not your basic healthy recipes.  Probably tons of ingredients that you don't have that you will make an extra trip to the store for.  I feel like these are meals you might get at your nearby pop-up farm to table restaurant.  Which in no way suggests that these aren't delicious or inspirational, or something to strive for.  

What seems like a key staple and representative of this book is "Awesome Granola Dust."  The idea is if you take all the the ingredients of a healthy granola (recipe included), and grind it up like crazy, you get a protein & whole grain focused base for many upcoming meals.  It avoids the sugar-"riddled" morning cereal.  I made it (all 13 or so cups of it!!) and I am experimenting with all his suggestions.  The dried fruit really brings a bit of sweetness and surprise to it.  He does have at least 10 suggestions for it.  

One of the combos I tried was dust w/ milk, like a porridge.  Be careful not to put too much milk!  I followed the amounts and it was a watered down milk bowl.  

Yogurt w/ dust and blueberries.  Sure, it's a breakfast off to good start!

Granola dust based pancakes was also an intriguing one.  They turned out just fine.  My struggle was that they called for one banana per serving.  Which turns into a lot of bananas if you're serving friends, or um, are overeating those pancakes.  I tried instead to use it as flour (with some other self-rising flour, as Jamie did) in a Better Homes & Gardens pancake recipe.  Not sweet enough, as then it didn't have the sweetness from the bananas even, and tasted like a very whole grain meal.  So I did like Jamie's pancakes better, but both variations really needed something else to go with it to be fully enjoyable.  But pancakes are really just a vehicle for the syrup anyways, right?  (Maybe against Jamie's low sugar approach...)

Some other options I look forward to trying are the granola dust smoothie and the fruit soups w/ yogurt & granola dusts.  While I secretly do like regular granola better, I like that he presents it as a base to experiment with.  Sort of arming us with a tool to have a healthy breakfast with, and we get to choose how to use it.  And I sure will be experimenting a lot more because I seem to have about 10 cups still left!

This is another site that shows granola dust: Milk and Honey  Nothing like some glamour shots of oats to make them look tasty!  I can use some photo lessons.

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