September 13, 2009
A topic we didn’t get a chance to cover at the Chicken Farmers event was the dangerous misconception that home cooked is synonymous with healthy. While the chicken fettuccine Alfredo you make at home is marginally “healthier” than the same dish served up at your neighbourhood (chain) bar and grill, it’s important to remember that fat, cholesterol and sodium are still fat, cholesterol and sodium in your home kitchen.
With that, I have a confession. In the last nine months or so — not surprisingly since I’ve been blogging! – I’ve turned a blind eye to butter and bacon fat and other wonders of the kitchen, excusing my over-indulgences in the name of “homemade.” It’s okay to eat two slices of root beer float cake or half a loaf of no-knead bread when I’ve made it myself. If it’s homemade it must be healthy, yeah? Oh yes, it’s been a tasty year indeed, but over the summer I started to not feel so good and I knew I had to change the way I had been eating. Like I said, if I don’t eat properly I crash, and that’s not pretty.
One of the reasons why it’s been so quiet around here was partly due to the fact I wasn’t cooking anything terribly interesting — relying on old standbys and, I hang my head in shame, things that come out of a box — but also because I wondered how changing my relationship with food was going to change this blog. One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want this space to become about weight loss or diets, but I didn’t want to give up what I love about this blog: writing about what I love most — cooking and eating and the good things in life that come from those pleasures.
After a long think I came to the conclusion that while I may have decided I need to compromise on the butter, one thing I will never, ever do is compromise on taste. I’m just not one to eat rice cakes all day long, even if I do dream of fitting in to the items from Amanda’s “Skinny Collection.”
So, we might not be seeing too many batches of sinful peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies around here for the next little while, but I do promise that whatever I’m cooking up with be dee-licious!
This dip is a great afternoon snack. It was perfect for giving my regular afternoon snack — a handful of baby carrots and cucumber slices — a little, well, taste!
Black Bean Dip
Makes about 8 quarter-cup servings
15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1/2 cup salsa (use the fresh stuff from the deli counter, not the jarred kind or make your own)
1/2 plain yogurt (I used Liberty Svelte, which is fat-free but so thick and creamy)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Throw it in the food processor or blender and Bob’s your uncle! Blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency.