Cooking has always been a joy of mine, and the benefits of preparing your own food take a large part in trying to lower my cholesterol. It helps to know exactly what is going into the food that you eat and lets you prepare food while considering the restrictions of your diet. Over the weekend, a friend asked why I don’t put up recipes to help people who are on similar diets. The fact of the matter is, when it comes to cooking, I only do as I’m told. I’m no trailblazer in the kitchen. I follow instructions and can usually follow them well. I don’t possess a complex knowledge of what flavors and spices go together, only a decent understanding of how things should look and taste when I get to the end of the recipe.
Truth be told, I own a copy of Giada’s Everyday Italian, but I’ve stashed it into the dark recesses of my cupboard. But if a book like that, or even Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, can get you back in the kitchen, I’m fine with it. If you want to use the recipes I’m using, the following books occupy my kitchen shelf:
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book by Nancy Silverton
Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain
The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
Of the four actual cookbooks, three are from California chefs. I just had to have Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, even though I have yet to use it. The bottom three serve more as reference manuals.
There are basically three things that I consistently use from the internet. Simply Ming is great if you don’t have the time to take a course on food prep and knife handling. It has a small video library that includes breaking down a chicken, filetting a salmon, and many other basic tips for mise en place. Although I’m not a fan of most of the programming on Food Network, their website is the best resource for looking up Alton Brown’s recipes and instructions. And of course Youtube is an endless source for cooking videos. Unfortunately, like the rest of the internet, Youtube is filled with clutter from every Tom, Dick, and Jane having an opinion about how to cook something, so I mostly use it to watch the cooking segments of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word (this link is to a user profile that hosts many of Ramsay’s cooking videos, including a segment with Martine McCutcheon, the “chubby” hottie from Love Actually).
Back to the Diet
The point of all of this is to control what I eat, and it has seemingly been going well. Of course, I’ll find out whether this has been working when I get my blood test results back (I’m getting it drawn tomorrow morning). In addition to the diet, I am starting to work on a plan to train for a half marathon, which I’ll document on here as soon as I get started (hopefully next week). Cross your fingers, folks… I should get my results on Wednesday if the lab stays open, otherwise it will be next Monday.