February 27, 2010

What's cooking today at Le Chateau Soleil?

Whole grain baguettes.  No white flour here...

February 26, 2010

Does It Grow That Way?

When it comes to your food choices, a great question to ask is:

"Does it grow that way?"

If the answer is no, perhaps there is a better choice you can make.  I always say, the further away from its natural state, the further away it should be from your plate.  

A good rule of thumb is one step away.  Wheat is ground into whole wheat flour.  That's one step away and the flour still maintains all the fiber and nutrients of a whole grain.  Process it a second step and you get white flour which has very little of the fiber and nutrients of the original grain.  Just two steps takes us too far away from the natural food.

Another good tip is to buy foods without a label.  What foods come without labels?  Fresh vegetables and fruits!  Whole grains and legumes in the bulk section.

For extra credit, buy foods that are also organic, seasonal AND local.  For double extra credit, grow the food yourself!

February 25, 2010

Cooking Basics: Water "Frying"

How do you pan fry without oil?

For most people, when they cook, oil is the first thing they reach for.  This is entirely unnecessary and just adds empty calories to your food.

The purpose of frying is to bring out the natural flavors and oils in food.  Most often, people fry onions and garlic to start a dish.  Instead of oil, use a couple tablespoons of water.

Some people call this "water frying."  The water will evaporate but will cook the onions and garlic enough to release their natural flavors and oils.

They will still brown.  Depending on your pan, they may stick, but this is nothing to worry about.  Anytime you sautee onions and garlic, it is likely the base for something like tomato sauce.  When you add the tomatoes, the liquid will pull those stuck pieces right into the sauce and take on all that flavor.

For extra credit, instead of water, use wine, fruit juice, vinegar, soy sauce, or brandy.  All liquids will accomplish the same end.  Trust me.  You won't miss it.

February 24, 2010

What Is Le Chateau Soleil?

Le Chateau Soleil is the restaurant I have not yet opened.  So many of my friends encouraged me to blog about food and seek my advice when it comes to cooking, nutrition, and eating sustainably that I could not put it off any longer.

What is this blog about?  It is about elevating food to a new level.  It is about elevating health to a new level.  It is about elevating our environment to a new level.  Our food choices are the most immediate and powerful impact we can have on our health and our planet.

America is a food wasteland right now filled with pesticides and chemicals, marketing schemes and a tremendous amount of misinformation about cooking and nutrition.  This blog will help set the record straight.

This blog will feature:

Whole Foods - We will constantly ask the question, "Does it grow that way?"  The further away from its natural state the further away it should be from your plate.

Plant-Based - 100% animal-free foods.  No meat.  No dairy.  No cheese.  No questions.

No Processed Oils  - America has an obsession with oil, and we're not talking sweet crude.  We're talking about extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, butter, margarine, etc.  If it is yellow and sloshes around in a bottle or a tub, you won't find it in these recipes.  The only use for it is occasionally greasing a pan and even that I will avoid wherever possible.

You will learn to cook better than you ever have before.  You will learn to eat better than you ever have before.  This site is for foodies with a conscience.

To Your Health,
Dave Soleil