Thursday, March 19, 2009

I am The Gatekeeper

New York Times came out the other day with an article about “Nutritional Gatekeepers” or those persons that buy and prepare the food and therefore have the biggest influence on their families eating habits. While Mr. F. and I split the cooking, I am, in general, the person who determines what we are having each week. Therefore, I am The Gatekeeper.

A poll showed that there were five personalities of these Gatekeepers:

“Giving” cooks (22 percent) are enthusiastic about cooking and specialize in comfort food, particularly home-baked goodies.

“Methodical” cooks (18 percent) rely heavily on recipes, so their cooking is strongly influenced by the cookbook they use.

“Competitive” cooks (13 percent) think less about health and more on making the most impressive dish possible.

“Healthy” cooks (20 percent) often serve fish and use fresh ingredients, but taste isn’t the primary goal.

“Innovative” cooks (19 percent) like to experiment with different ingredients, cooking methods and cuisines, a process that tends to lead to more healthful cooking.

Personally, I think these categories are ridiculous and arbitrary. I am what you call a methodical cook—I use a recipe 99% of the time. Yet I would say that I specifically look for recipes that are “healthy” (i.e. using fresh ingredients) and “innovative” with different ingredients and different cuisines. I also enjoy my comfort food—including my home-baked goodies (“must have goodies stocked and frozen in the freezer”). And yes, when I am having guests over, I tend to throw thoughts of calories and fat grams out the window and instead focus on making some really amazing food—which often calls for large quantities of yummy, yummy fat. In any case, I would really like to see how they came up with these broad generalizations.

They also included this little stereotypical gem in the article, “if you like food, then the healthy cook is not necessarily the person you want to hang out with.” Oh, that’s right. Because healthy food = utter crap. How are they defining healthy? Someone who refuses to cook with any fat? If so, then they might have a case. However, if you use a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy oils, and fats in moderation, I think can be considered a healthy cook AND the food tastes great.
If you want to see where you are lumped, you can take their inane quiz here.

But because I am The Gatekeeper, I thought I would share with you a couple of really tasty recipes that Mr. F. and I have made recently and which contribute to this perfect spring weather we have been enjoying of late.

The first is Pasta with peas, asparagus, butter lettuce and prosciutto from Bon Appétit. I have never tried making anything with wilted lettuce before. It was nice. More spring-like than using something with a stronger flavor such as spinach. Also, we left out the prosciutto since Mr. F. has this strange aversion to it. Whatever. It probably would have added to the overall flavor. But you know, have to keep peace in the house and all that.

The second is Ravioli with herbed ricotta filling from Cooking Light. The filling and the dough are super easy in this. The only slightly tedious aspect is rolling out the dough and filling the ravioli. However, it wasn’t too bad once Mr. F. stepped in to help out. We used cottage cheese vs. ricotta since we like the taste and texture better. The filling in these is really great with the lemon adding a nice brightness to the overall flavor.

Both of these are perfect spring dishes. You should make them and then frolic around in the blooming crocuses and daffodils.


Janssen said...

Those are the dumbest categories I've ever seen.

But I do like thinking of myself as the GATEKEEPER.

Retail Worker #48721093 said...

Completely random...but might lead to more posts...

Do you have any good/easy (seriously easy) recipes that involve various types of legumes and/or veggies? Separate or combined. I've been trying to do more with these types of foods but everything I find involves a well stocked spice rack (which I don't have and haven't committed to building) or too many steps for my ADD mind...


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