Sunday, November 15, 2009

Foodprint - Flavor Transfering Lesson One

I want to talk to you about flavor transferring.

Flavor transferring, well what I call "flavor transferring", is taking a combination of food and spices and either adapting it to a method or translating it into a dish.

It's one of the many ideas that helps me maintain my weight. I identify what I like about a food and then try to either make my own version at home, which is lower in fat because I'm controlling the ingredients, or I make a new dish out of a favorite by incorporating new flavors. (Like when I cheat on my PB&J sandwich.)

When I think about what I eat, I kind of categorize it into meals. These are the categories:

starch & meat
quick breads and cakes
veggies & fruit sides

There's no hard rule to this list. You could add tons more categories, but I feel like this encompasses pretty much all the food I eat. Thinking about the food in categories allows me to think what flavors I'd like to transfer from one dish to another.

Here's how this works: take the one category of food, such as a sandwich, and insert it into another, like a salad.

Example: Pizza. Okay, so pizza isn't technically a sandwich, but it has the basic idea of a sandwich, just stay with me..

Pizza is basically bread, cheese, tomato sauce and toppings. To "flavor transfer" pizza into a salad, take the cheese, toppings, spices and "remove" the sauce. Make yourself some whole wheat pasta, toss it with cheese and toppings. Add a good quality oil for flavor and heart healthy fat, then top it off with a pinch of Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Real Parmesan. Not the can, I love the can, it's cute and small, but it's not the real thing!

Not only have you used the flavors of a pizza to make a "new" dish for yourself, you were hopefully smart enough to add in veggies with your favorite toppings. This flavor transfer also doubles as a pasta salad (see, it's a salad, but a pasta salad) when served cold.

Now, go forth and transfer!

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