Thursday, October 11, 2007

Food for Thought

Ok, so I know it's a cliche, but it's all I could come up with at the moment that the little box labelled "title" beckoned to be filled. I think we'll survive it.

So for the past few days I've been thinking a lot about what I eat and trying to decide if anyone cared or if there was some larger significance to my thoughts dwelling on what I was ingesting. You'll have to let me know if you care or not, and I will write a while and see if there is, in fact, any larger significance to my recent preponderance of mental energies. (Overly dramatic words are fun sometimes, ya know?)

I guess I recently started thinking about food even more because I had to think up something new to eat for breakfast. You see, I eat eggs just about every day for breakfast, and have for several years (lets say four) because I am pretty much useless if I don't have a significant amount of protein for breakfast.

Now before you start thinking, "But eggs have so much cholesterol!" let me assure you that my cholesterol levels are fine and I have no issues there. Actually, eggs, like avocados, have gotten a bad rap in this country for being "bad for you." Well. The people who say things like that get paid to keep you sick and pumped full of pharmaceuticals, so be careful who you listen to.

But if we weigh all traditional breakfast protein items, eggs, in my book, win every time. Think about it...what do we eat (in America) for breakfast protein? Sausage. Bacon. (This order is based on the Southern pecking order to which I am now completely accustomed.) Oh, and ham or Canadian bacon. Did I miss anything? Compared to pork, fatty pork, or fatty salty pork, eggs come out on top, right?

The other problem with people eating eggs is that most people have trouble eating eggs without cheese (based on my observations). In fact, most people eat their eggs in breakfast sandwiches from fast food restaurants (eggs plus super fatty fake cheese--partially hydrogenated vegetable oil patties is more like it--and gobs of bread) or in huge omelettes busting out with other meats (see above, oh yeah, and add cheeeeese!). I guarantee that if you ate two eggs cooked in virgin olive oil with only spices, fresh herbs, or vegetables in, on, or next to them, you would be fine--assuming you didn't already have cholesterol issues (and I mostly say that because I don't want anyone to die from listening to me).

But I suppose that's only for those folks who are useless without protein for breakfast and not everyone is like that, so this may only be trivia for those type of folks.

But as I was saying, I was tired of two eggs for breakfast, which I most often have with fruit, and so I went on a mental quest to find another source of protein. Well, we eat grown-up chickens A LOT for lunch and dinner, so chicken was definitely out of the question. And beef is rarely on the menu at all, so that wasn't making the list either. What does that leave? You guessed it! FISH!

So my oldest daughter and I (the younger one reports she's one of those people who doesn't need protein for breakfast) experimented with "breakfast fish."

Like I said, I usually eat fruit with my protein and I've tried fish with fruity sauces and toppings before, so that was my logical conclusion: fish with fruit. That week at the grocery store, there just so happened to be the most appealing family-size packages of tilapia sitting in the refrigerated case. I thought, Hmm. Never noticed that before. It must be fate. Back at home, looking through the pantry, I came across the jar of Harry & David Sweet Mango Chutney (they don't make it anymore!) I'd been saving for just such a fortuitous occasion. And so it was settled. Fresh tilapia with mango chutney it was.

I pan-cooked my fish in a large, glass-covered skillet, lightly coated with virgin olive oil, on medium heat. When the fish was halfway cooked, I slathered the thick, sticky chutney on the tops of the fillets and continued cooking until it was white and flaky (in total, about 15-20 minutes). Voila! Breakfast fish. Of course, I could eat this fish at any time of the day, but it goes down nice and easy in the morning with that fruity flavor.

Did I mention that my oldest daughter doesn't care for fish but she will eat this with a smile? Mmm-hmm, it's THAT good. We liked it so much, we ate breakfast fish probably eight out of the last ten school days. And that frees me up to have boiled eggs for lunch!

Well this turned into a long musing on fish, and I still have other food on my mind, but I guess that's good enough for now. And I would have to say then that the larger significance may only be that same message that keeps coming out of me in different forms: start with something you love.

You can't stick to the humdrum routines and find joy in your life. Sometimes you just have to break out and break it down to your own personal basics. You need a diet? Start with the food you love...well, the food you love that you know is good for you anyway, capiche? Who knows what you'll be eating for breakfast when you choose from the list of what you like and what feels good rather than just the "acceptable" list of breakfast foods.

All this talk about food is making me hungry...and I've got two more hours before lunch. Oh yeah, and my lunch is boiled eggs, so you know what that means. I ate breakfast fish today.

Hey, let me know if the subject of food is as interesting to you as it is to me, ok? I love food. Eating is one of my all-time favorite things to do, but it may not be the best thing to write about. I'm willing to accept that.

Have a great day and eat something you love that is good for you! You'll be happy that you did.

© Nicole J. Williams, 2007, all rights reserved.


Camellia said...

Food. Yes. It is interesting. Sometimes what you love (or rather crave) is an allergan. But since I don't eat a lot of meat, cook for someone who doesn't eat any meat (or brain-stem being), sometimes I just forget what to cook. So yes, blog about what you love. It might spur me on to fresh ideas. Fish. H'mmmm. Where is your fish from?

Anonymous said...

Hi. It's Chris. I had whole wheat pita with cheese for breakfast and orange juice. I need fiber and and o.j. in the morning. I love food--but it is also like my love for exercise. It takes a little work to get over my whining about how much work it takes. I just have to be in the moment, choose to put the negative aside and just cook. I've been behind on my managing my negativity this week. I'd been ahead with regular exercise, good meals, sleep, and medition. That all went out the window this week when I caught a cold. Perhaps my whining will be more manageable if I look in the cookbook for some food that brings me joy as well as gives me my recommended daily allowance of nutrients. Perhaps I need to have a chart of the other things I need in life besides Vitamin C and riboflavin. I need 10g of Joy, 10g of Love, 10g of Friendship, etc. Thanks for my daily serving.

Keep blogging!

Vaerie said...

Oh Nicole!! You just make me grin! Love the blog! "Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon" says the Dalai Lama. A good approach to blogging as well. Funny thing, I bought some tilapia today--first time in ages! Hmmmmm......

Valerie said...

Seems I can't even spell my own name today......