My other half is no chef far from it, he admits this himself, he refers to the food he cooks as being disjointed, there is no marriage between flavours and presentation is just flat, more like a paint by numbers than a Michelangelo master piece, but he does try, bless him.
Though he might not know how to put a good meal together, he loves and know good food, like myself he worked in five star hotels for a number of year and had the luxury of sampling some of the finest dishes prepared by some really clever and intelligent chefs.
However, if there is one thing I have to thank him for when it comes to my cooking, is that he constantly reminds me that for a dish to be successful, healthy or otherwise it must deliver flavour. A dish without flavour is not complete; it doesn’t satisfy the appetite and therefore removes all the pleasure, and only leaves you wanting more. You might as well write it off.
The problem is, to deliver maximum flavour usually means a lot of calories. So when trying to come up with dishes that are both healthy and flavoursome can sometimes prove tricky, not impossible but tricky nonetheless.
When a professional food eater/writer Peter Kaminsky discovered that his health was at risk because of the weight he was gaining from sampling and enjoying some of the finest culinary delights from around the world, he came up with a intelligent approach towards food that would not compromise the flavour, and which allowed him to successfully lose 40 lbs.
He outlined everything in his book Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well)
The concept is to eat food that delivers maximum flavour per calorie or FPC. To understand more on this concept, here are some answers he gave that were put to him by Theglobeandmail.com
Culinary Intelligence – Healthy Eating That Delivers Flavour
What is FPC, or Flavour per Calorie?
It’s my belief that if you eat or prepare foods so that they have peak flavour, they will more quickly and efficiently satisfy you, so you don’t have to resort to two other things: adulterating them with a lot of sugar, salt and fat; or eating a lot more of something inferior in hopes that it will be satisfying. If you want to start a flavour-per-calorie diet, there’s probably no better time than right this very second, when summer vegetables are at their peak.
Culinary Intelligence isn’t a recipe book, but you do include a few. I made your Pasta Pete-a-nesca and I can honestly say it was the first time I enjoyed eating whole-wheat spaghetti. What’s the secret to your sauce?
Piles of umami. There’s umami in the roasted tomatoes, in the anchovies, in the Parmesan rind. And then you’ve got other really strong flavours – salt and tanginess in the tomatoes and the capers, the brininess of the olives. You can have the best ingredients and cooking techniques, but without understanding how flavours combine, they ain’t going to get you anywhere.
What makes umami such a great flavour?
For years, I was “Yeah, yeah, umami.” They say in Japan it’s the fifth flavour, so who am I to argue? Meat’s got it. Cooked meat’s really got. Aged cheeses have it. We really respond to concentrated energy and nutritious food sources. So much so that one of the leading scientists, Charles Zuker at Columbia University who discovered the taste receptor for umami, found that we also have umami taste receptors in our stomach. That’s because your body wants a signal that it’s getting this stuff, to know when it needs more and when it’s had enough. Umami is not as recognizable as salt on the tongue. But believe me, when you get that meaty yumminess – umami means yummy in Japanese – in a piece of great, grass-fed dry-aged rib-eye, your body knows what it is. Read full article here.
At the beginning of this article I said my other half is no chef, am I a chef? No I wouldn’t call myself a chef. Do I have a passion for food and cooking? Sure I do. Did I learn anything from this article? You bet I did, I learnt that if I want to be the best I can be and share healthy recipes with you that punch flavour, I need to learn a lot more about the natural flavour of foods, and how to combine them so you can enjoy maximum satisfaction.
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