When you are shopping for the rainbow and trying to obtain what’s absolutely the freshest, instead of eating out of season and strictly according to recipes, it’s helpful to know how to improvise in the kitchen. One of the best-kept secrets of cooking anything and making it taste better is this:
include these 5 tastes (plus umami, if you like)…
• spicy (not always included as one of the 5 main tastes, but I can vouch for the power of its presence)
You’ll notice that many of the most addictive junk foods actually follow this 5-star rule of great taste, to trick your tastebuds past what is otherwise not that palatable.
Each of the 5 tastes guide us to important health benefits, which is why we may be attracted to them. And, classically, many spices were used as both medicine and food, with the only difference being the dose and concentration. Quite a few spices have the wonderful qualities of stabilizing blood sugar, preventing cancer, improving mood, and killing bacteria and viruses. Now that’s a 5-star arrangement!
5 Super Medicinal Roots, Herbs & Spices to Start Using Every Day (or a Few Times a Week)
• turmeric (add 1/2 to 1 tsp to your rice—put into a little oil in the bottom of the pan first, because dried herbs and spices are fat soluble and taste better if you remember this step; turmeric is mild flavored and makes a pretty yellow color). Note that supplement levels of turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Do not use it if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction. Or if you are taking warfarin drugs. As for putting it in your food, you could consider adding a little at a time and working with your doctor to get off drugs that do the same things this natural spice does. 🙂 )
• ginger, fresh
• garlic, raw (crush and let sit for 10 minutes for maximum medicinal qualities)
• red or yellow onions, smallest ones
Write a poem about a vegetable or grain that you’ve not been particularly attracted to in the past, but that you hope to try the 5-star trick on. For me, it used to be broccoli.
I was raised not really eating vegetables at all. And, when they did appear, they appeared out of the package, frozen and then boiled until limp, with no seasonings added.
It was my great delight to discover that if I sauteed my broccoli lightly with garlic, it became a whole new experience!
A healthy note about garlic, by the way: in test-tube studies, it blocked 100% of the growth of cancer cells of the stomach, pancreas, breast, prostate, lungs, kidneys, and brain. That is AMAZING! There is some evidence that garlic was also the protector of the French priests (who ate it) versus the English priests (who rejected it as peasant food), when it came to evading the plague. And garlic’s allium cousin—onion—has been shown to kill Type A flu virus better than Tamiflu.
To get the full benefit of garlic, be sure to crush it with the back of a large knife first, then dice and leave for 10 minutes, so the heat-sensitive enzyme needed to catalyze the medicinal side of garlic gets a chance to do its work before you begin the cooking process.
A small forest of “trees,”
easy to cut, easy
to accompany with garlic (chopped).
olive (oil), and salt from the sea.
Then, not least:
a dash of pepper, for thee.