There’s no real excuse to write about some of my favorite things — until a book called “Eat What You Love Everyday” crosses my desk.
So much of what I love to eat on a regular basis is more an idea of matching tastes — and keeping happy the voices in my head that tell me what food pairs nicely with what — than actual recipes.
For example, three days last week I ate boiled eggs, brown basmati rice and broccoli as the base for dinner. I love those together — the hearty simplicity of eggs with salt and pepper, with the salt also bringing out the nutty popcorn-like taste and smell of brown basmati (be sure to make it with just a bit of both butter and olive oil) and both salt and butter tying the vegetable into the picture, to good effect.
The meal is simple, it’s batch-make-ahead-friendly (even peeled, boiled eggs last a good week in the fridge, in my experience, especially in my beloved Snapware) — and with a simple salad, then fruit for dessert, it is nutrient-packed without too high a fat-and-calorie punch.
And while of course I love to cook — I had some fun leaving my husband a plate of marinated chicken, rice made with a spoonful of Tone’s Chicken Base (try that if you haven’t; such a simple way to goose up rice) and roasted asparagus last Tuesday, for when I worked late — some of what I eat regularly is even simpler than eggs, rice and broccoli. You know I love shredded wheat and string cheese with an apple for an easy breakfast, hummus and carrots is an easy base for lunch, and rice cakes and cashew butter is a favorite dinner centerpiece. Bagged salad and grape tomatoes make for the world’s fastest salad (sometimes with green olives for an easy fun salty bite). Oh, and a good potato popped in the microwave then topped with cottage cheese is another simple go-to. All of those are foods I love, most of which I eat if not every day, darn often and are reasonably low in sugar, fat and calories.
Of course, the cookbook gets a little more complex than that. The book’s author, Marlene Koch, is touted as “a magician in the kitchen” for her work making excess sugar, fat and calories “deliciously disappear” from beloved foods. For example, I happened to flip it open to a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip that definitely lightens up from the classic version I wrote about last fall; Koch’s includes reduced-fat cream cheese, a scant 2 tablespoons light mayo and a 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk for the same amount of chicken to which I add 1/2 cup full-fat blue cheese dressing, 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese and an 8-ounce package no-holds-barred full-fat cream cheese. Koch’s lightens a serving from 210 calories and 17 grams of fat to 70 calories and 4 grams of fat.
OK, she wins.
If you’re interested in this recipe or the book’s 199 others, from Sweet ’n’ Spicy Pickled Green Beans to Individual Mexican Pizzas to Tuscan Tilapia to Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins and more, send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com with “Cookbook/EatLoveEveryday” in the subject line. Include your name and mailing address in the body. Enter only once by midnight June 2. A winner will be chosen at random from among entries. (If it’s June 3, 2014, or later when you read this, the giveaway will be over — but thanks for stopping by.)
Good luck! And of course you know I’d also love to hear about your favorite everyday foods, whether they’re simple or complex. Please feel free to share about them in the comments below; I’m planning to spend Memorial Day kicking back with my menfolk, but after that I’ll be keeping an eye out for your comments.
You also can follow Detroit News Food Editor Maureen Tisdale on Twitter @reentiz.