(Ph)ood


Cucumber Noodles
December 5, 2010, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Appetizer, Side Dish, Vegetable | Tags: , , ,

The first post after Thanksgiving.  You must have known it was going to be a somewhat healthy entry, right?  After eating so much turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving as well as the other foods I inhaled that weekend, my body craved (and perhaps demanded) several successive healthy meals.

Most of the time I like to believe that I eat a fairly healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.  There is plenty of literature to support that fact that most people believe they eating healthy and exercising adequately.  However, you don’t need scientific literature to tell you that most people are incorrect.  Since American’s have ever-expanding wastelines, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases as well as increased healthcare costs, we need to do more to help our friends, families, and most importantly, ourselves.  One of the most effective ways to understand what and how much we eat, as well as how often we exercise, is to write things down.  If you write everything down, you become more aware of your eating and exercise habits.  Using this information you can make small adjustments that can significantly improve the quality of your life.  This should not seem like a chore, but if you need added motivation, make it a game.  Team up with friends or family members and see who can do a better job.  This will motivate you to stay on task.  You could even put small wagers on it, such as $20 or a cup of coffee.

Cucumber Noodles (from Gourmet)

Eating healthy, like I mentioned a few posts ago, does not have to be bland and consist merely of “drab greens and browns.”  There are many simple ways of enhancing the taste of healthy foods.  This post is one such example.  Cucumber noodles are a unique and tasty way to eat your vegetables.  I made these noodles as an appetizer to last night’s dinner.  The ingredients are minimal, consisting of seedless cucumbers, mint, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  The noodles were light and the taste wonderful.  The only difficulty with the recipe is that you really need a mandoline to cut the cucumbers.  Otherwise, this becomes a very tedious recipe.  Mandolines do not have to be expensive and can be very useful in the kitchen.  I splurged a little on mine and bought a De Buyer mandoline on Ebay for a discounted price.  It’s the fanciest cooking gadget I own and it’s actually kind of fun to use.  It has an incredible amount of cutting options.

This recipe really makes you look like you know what you’re doing in the kitchen, and yet it is so simple.  Like always, I won’t go into detail with the recipe since it can be found through the link above, but I will give you some suggestions.  First of all, Gourmet says the recipe takes 25 minutes for prep and cooking.  However, if you cook you know that nearly all cookbook writers must have slow clocks in their kitchens because it always takes longer.  In fact, it was fun to see that someone actually wrote on this topic (Thanks Robin Shook).  I would budget 45 minutes for this recipe.  Secondly, either use four to five cucumbers (the recipe calls for three) or decrease the amount of butter in the recipe from two tablespoons to one tablespoon. Without making these adjustments the taste of the butter is more prominent than the taste of the mint.  Lastly, this recipe only makes enough for a side or an appetizer for two, maybe three, people.  So if you’re feeding a large and/or hungry group be sure to double or even triple the recipe.

I loved this recipe.  It tasted great and I cannot wait to make it again.  I hope you try this as well, it will be worth it!

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