Welcome! As you can imagine, today we’re here to talk about food. Whether you’re new to cooking, like to frequent the hottest restaurants, or are simply a self-proclaimed foodie, I’ve created this blog as a safe haven where we can all unite.
Maybe you’re a broke college student looking to make something a little more appetizing than Ramen for dinner tonight. Perhaps you’re a busy single parent, and want to make healthy meals for your family, but don’t know where to start. Or, you could be an experienced cook, but make the same 10 or 15 dishes over and over again, and want to learn some new techniques. Or maybe you just have nothing better to do, and are surfing the internet on this rainy Tuesday evening. Regardless of your motivations, We’re Talking About Food is devoted to anything and everything culinary. Are you tempted to buy quinoa at the grocery store, but wouldn’t know what to do with it? Do you want to know the difference between chopping, dicing, and mincing? Or the health benefits of kimchi? If any of these inquires or similar inquiries are the case, then fortunately you’ve surfed to the right blog.
I guess this would be an appropriate time to explain a little about myself and my “food philosophy” (had to work that title in at some point). I’ve always remembered food as a really important part of my life even as a little kid. Growing up in a duel-cultured, half Iranian, half American home, I was exposed to many different flavor combinations, dishes, and even attitudes about food. The way my mother cooked was extremely different from the way my father cooked, or even from the way his mom cooked (we’ll do a segment about my grandmother one day, don’t worry). And as a result, from a young age I developed a pretty mature palette. I was always, and still am, an adventurous eater. And I think a lot of these tendencies have really carried over into my cooking and recipes.
So, what exactly is my food philosophy? I keep the rules for cooking and eating pretty simply, but also pretty imperative:
If it doesn’t taste good, most of the time I won’t eat it. Sure, there are some nights where I blandly bake chicken breasts and boil brown rice for dinner, but those nights are more the exception as opposed to the norm. To put it simply, I’m all about flavor. I’m always searching for a new way to use a common ingredient, or a new pairing of ingredients that I haven’t thought of yet. You’d be amazed with all the dishes you can make using only chicken, citrus, parsley cilantro, and tomatoes.In other words, I strive to make something different every day.
I’d be an idiot (and a liar) if I said every dish I’ve ever made tastes absolutely amazing. I think one of the hardest things about food and cooking is balancing taste with health. As much as a I love fresh pasta with pesto and garlic bread, I realize it’s not realistic to eat a dish like that every night for dinner. That’s why I devote a lot of my culinary studies to nutrition and the health benefits of certain foods. Learning about food makes me want to incorporate it into my dishes. And coming back to the notion of taste, if I know something is good for me, and if I took the time to prepare it, chances are it will taste great.
You’ll also see many of my dishes embody lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. What diet plan is this, you may ask? How about a healthy diet. There have been far too many times that I see family members or friends struggle on a fad diet, and frankly it’s ridiculous. I ultimately believe that if you eat the foods your body was designed the eat, you won’t need to worry about your weight or many health problems we’re facing in modern America. Mind you, I’m no doctor, scientist, nutritionist, or even personal trainer. My attitudes on food are based on my own experiences, and what I feel works best for my body.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ But sometimes we forget that the dishes we prepare are only as good as our worst ingredient. Prepare tomato sauce with canned mushrooms and artificially dried garlic powder, and you’re essentially cheating yourself of an awesome culinary experience. I know it can cost more and takes more prep in the kitchen, but in my eyes fresh is best. This isn’t to say I don’t you anything prepared or packaged, but I tend to keep those foods to a minimum. I do realize however, that there will be times when I’m forced to use store bought tapenade or make brownies from a boxed mix.
In terms of my cooking, balance surfaces in several ways. Initially, you want the dish itself to be a balance of tastes, flavors, textures, and other components. All it takes is a hint of acid or citrus to make a dish go from average to amazing. On the flip side, make a dish that’s a touch to spicy and it’ll instantly go to the garbage.
But balance also applies to the food choices you holistically make throughout the day. If you ate a bagel for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, surely you don’t need to eat pasta for dinner! I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t cook whatever you want whenever you want, but if your goal is optimal health (as is mine), then the foods you cook and eat will need to be in balance with each other for that day, week, etc.
Thanks for reading today everyone! I’m super excited as to what the future holds for We’re Talking About Food!