Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leaving the Fast Food Nation

     Do you ever have those days when you search in vain for dinner? I have those days all the time. I am not sure if it is because I cook for a living, or it is because I have eaten it already. I miss those times when the decision was made for you.  Maybe that is the problem? I have issues with making decisions. My husband and I never seem to agree on what to eat.  I feed people all day long, and there never is a grey area to what I am doing, as soon as I step into my mom and wife suit, all ability to make a decision flies out the window.
     What baffles me is the over abundance of selection, one faces at the supermarket.  I will use the cereal aisle as an example. Low fat, no fat, low sugar, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, extra calcium added, high fiber, low fiber, all natural and last but not least organic.  Do you see the insanity? That is just the cereal aisle, there are at least 12 other shelves to look at.  Somehow I think it has been the over manipulation of our food source that has resulted in so many diet related diseases today. I wonder down the line, when we have mastered these diseases with alternate food choices, will it create another problem in different area.
     When I was growing up, you ate was put in front of you, and you never worried about the color dye that was in it. My generation was the fast food era, we were busy, on the go, and needed drive-thrus. We were the age of multi-tasking and having dinner on the table in 10 minutes. We are now suffering those effects of fast and efficient. Obesity among children is rising at an alarming rate. We all are responsible for where we are. Children at 16 years old should not be getting gastric bypass surgery. Grandma(fill in the blank) has been replaced by Doubles, Triples and sandwiches that are wrapped in meat.
     What makes me angry is that healthy food is too expensive and ultimately not available to people that don't have the money to afford it. The only thing that separates those people from me, is that I know how to buy food, based on my cooking knowledge. But what about the young mother, that has no idea how to spread her dollar to feed her family? Guess what, nobody cares about her! She struggles and tries her best to feed her child. In the end, that same child faces, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and that is just medically.  Emotionally and socially they face a life of loneliness and ridicule. What kind of life is that for a child?
     The solution is within us. Don't ignore the elephant in the room. Make healthy food affordable, and spread the message that we need fewer fast food restaurants,moving into our neighborhoods. Include basic cooking classes to all students in high school. Covering the essentials and none of the perks. So that each student graduating can easily feed themselves without resorting to any prepared dinner mixes or trips to fast food establishments.

Whole Chicken (3 dinners) save the breast bone from the breast, and save back bone from chicken.

First Dinner~
 2 chicken breasts from a 6 to 8 pound chicken
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Montreal chicken spice
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup canola oil
Mix in a bowl all the dry ingredients, in a separate dish mix together the buttermilk and egg. Heat canola oil in a frying pan. Split the two chicken breasts in half lengthwise, so you have 4 equal sides.
Dredge the chicken in the dry mixture and the buttermilk and then the dry again. Fry in the hot oil until done, about 5 minutes.  Serve like chicken fingers, with the sauces the kids love.

Second Dinner~
Two thighs of the chicken
two wings of the chicken
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
2 stalks of celery diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 can of cream of chicken soup condensed
1 can of cream of celery soup condensed
1 (12ounce) can of biscuit dough
2 tbs canola oil
1 cup chicken stock
In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat, combine the flour with all the spices, dredge the thighs and wings in the flour and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and add the chicken stock, the celery, onion and carrot and cook until for 10 minutes.  Heat the oven to 350F, reduce the heat and add the soups, season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken back in, open the biscuits and pull apart and top the stew.  Cook in the oven until the dough is browned and done.

Third Dinner~
All bones from original chicken.
water to cover those bones.
Simmer bones and water until a stock develops. Strain bones and set stock aside.
8 ozs cabot unsalted butter
all leftovers from past two dinners
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks of celery diced
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 pound of egg noodles, cooked, drained and cooled
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a soup pot and add the carrots,celery, onions and garlic, cook until the vegetables are somewhat soft. Add the leftover chicken(if any) from the past two dinners and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the stock strained from boiling the bones earlier, (it should be about 8 cups maybe ten cups), simmer for a few minutes and add potatoes, cook until potatoes are soft.  Add the frozen peas. Mix the cornstarch with the water and add to the simmering soup. It should thicken a little..kinda like Cambell's Soup, add the egg noodles and season a wee bit more, dash, dash of salt and pepper. Serve. Wow that was only chicken~o.0

An optimist is a person who starts a diet on Thanksgiving day.~Irv Kupcinet

1 comments:

Kim Harris said...

Hi Paige,

I was here! Chicken is one of my favorite foods. So, if you got recipes for chicken, I'll be back! Very Cute blog.

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