If each one of us were to teach a healthy recipe to three other people in our society, we'd have the national obesity crisis licked.
The implication, of course, is that people in general don't know enough healthy recipes, to the point where their resulting default to unhealthy food is a big contributor to obesity. Which this New York Times author more or less also concluded back in 2009 when he called major bullsh*t on the entire way Americans have come to regard food:
|Screengrabbed paragraph from his article. By "Julia" he means America's trail-blazing TV chef Julia Child.|
It's a versatile recipe which is both idiot-proof and adaptable to vegan and non-vegan eating plans. It is predicated on one of the Cookwell & Company sauces I blogged about yesterday - the Green Chile Stew mix.
|I was initially thinking that this dish would require three jars of green chili stew sauce, but it ended up taking four. All of a sudden, buying six of them doesn't seem quite so hoard-worthy if a single day's prep job requires four, eh?|
|I call these my Lazarus onions, because I'm always hacking away at them, and a few days later, back they come. But you don't need to use fresh-grown onions, or even green onions. You can chop a small store-bought onion if you'd like, or omit it altogether. I like the mild taste of these.|
|I chop half the fistful for immediate frying in a small amount of olive oil.|
|Cube the chicken and fry with half the bunch of green onions. I used seven chicken breasts, or about five pounds of chicken in total. Remember, I'm making a lot of this at one time so that I can freeze and forget it.|
|Fry the chicken until it is reduced, meaning, juices come off (the chicken dewaters some) and you have to keep frying until all that boils away.|
|It helps the taste if you can achieve a bit of golden brown on the chicken.|
|This is what happens when I next add 4 jars of the stew mix. I'm not done adding ingredients but the total now exceeds what my 14-inch wok can hold, so I need to split this between my wok and my stock pot. One day, I'm going to get a stew pot that is large enough for jobs like this. I recently upgraded to this cooktop which is powerful enough to accommodate such a pot, so I really ought to get looking for one.|
|Here's my next stew ingredient, the prettiest broccoflower I've ever grown, harvested today to coincide with this cooking job. One of my buddies looked at this pic and said, "You have a green thumb, indeed." I guess I set myself up for that one.|
|After all ingredients are combined, simmer on very low heat for about 45 minutes in order to cook the vegetables. They will pick up the green chili taste. You can see here that I've also added the rest of the green onions by this time.|
|Then comes the stockpiling part. This is the total amount yielded. Those are two-cup Pyrex storage dishes amongst which it is divided.|
|...and labels, because if you're stockpiling, you need to be rigorous about labeling.|
|I said label it. Seriously. Every time. You don't want to waste any after going to this considerable effort to buy and cook it. Remember that Americans throw away nearly half their food. You don't want to be one of them, so you need to track the date of preparation of everything you produce.|
|And into the freezer it goes, to be consumed over the next couple of months. Stews freeze really well, with little or no detectable loss of quality upon thawing.|
What I showed in the photo above is a light meal. A full main-meal serving for a good-sized man such as my husband (6'1" and 170 lbs.) would be about twice this amount, or about one of those sixteen Pyrex dishes shown in the photos above, plus double the rice and beans.
Let's assume a man-sized meal as a worst-case cost scenario. When I added up all the ingredients and divided by number of servings, it worked out to be about $4.38 for that entire meal. But if you remember, I didn't pay full price for one of the two most expensive ingredients. I got those very expensive Cookwell products yesterday on a 2-for-1 deal.
|This gem is worth posting twice.|
How does that stack up against what the rest of America is eating and spending?!
|Two plates (one man-sized serving) of my healthy meal pictured above would still only amount to about three quarters of the cost of a Big Mac. Not a Big Mac Meal - JUST the Big Mac hamburger itself. |
Screengrabbed from Google. BTW, if you're not familiar with The Big Mac Index, it's quite a clever tool. Here's The Economist's direct link.
|Burgernomics be buggered.|
Think about that comparison the next time you're watching television and there's some prime time documentarian or would-be politician choking on his own righteous indignation as he parades some impoverished American family across the screen, and they're looking all forlorn and TV-worthy on account of the fact that they have concluded that they need to eat junk food because they can't afford the kind of quality food that would help them all to lose their excess weight.
The bottom line is that we've simply lost our marbles on the issue of food. I call major bullsh*t on the entire situation. Our collective ignorance is even more far-reaching than our propaganda. No wonder Americans can't figure out how to lose weight - many of them can no longer put basic cost realities like this in perspective.
Anyway, there's a healthy - and cheap! - meal recipe which I know will now reach at least three people in our society. Pay it forward.
|The two products offered in the 2-for-1 deal were a bit different in cost, so what I did was divide up the savings proportionally between them, to arrive at a realistic effective cost for the green chili stew mix.|