What’s better than a night out at the movies with your friends and butter popcorn #TeamFabio? you guessed it – learning what’s good for the body from a culinary standpoint! And if you didn’t guess that, then you don’t know what I’m trying to get done in this country! I love sharing my experiences in the culinary world so I can help transform your time in the kitchen into the most beloved place possible. Everything good in life happens at the table and I wanna tap into the special place in your life. With this being the second installment of food selections that are gonna make your body feel crazy good, I knew I had to raise the bar. I’m not talking candy bar, but an Olympic weight lifter getting that piece of iron over his head for the gold! That’s the only type of “bar raising” I do for my beloved cooking community.
What’s the secret to eating the good stuff while making the good stuff taste, well, good? That’s a difficult question for some, but lucky that this Italian has still got some tricks up his sleeve to make it happen for you. This segment of Fabio’s Brain Picking is brought to you by my turtles! They are very generous when needed. They would literally give you the shell off their backs! We’ve been over that fats make things taste better, but let’s get more creative than that. For part II, I want to pair each one of the food with a complimentary herb or seasoning that will make you want to reconsider eating it the way you have been in the past. Are you ready? You saying you’re set? Then Alright America, Let’s Go!
▪ Eggplant – It’s the ugly duckling of vegetables. Curved and can’t really figure out how to fit in with the other veggies at the table. Grab the ones that are large because they will give you the most yield. Vitamin B and fiber make eggplant a viable option for incorporating into your daily diet. It’s super versatile so make sure to use it in lots of different ways! Sautéed, grilling, or even roasted, the sky is the limit! Pair this veggie with fresh oregano. The flavor-forward herb will accent the eggplant beautifully, especially into the oven!
▪ Lentils – Get them red, white, black, or even green! So many different varieties with so little time you guys. This is your time to grab some and start creating. Even if you’ve never had them, doesn’t mean they can’t still change your mind. Let the Jedi force guide you. Little shootout to all my Star Wars fans. They are incredibly easy to make too. No soaking needed, just toss them into the liquid and let them cook. For lentils, I wanna turn them into a veggie burger and know just the herb for them – Thyme. Quite possibly one of my favorite additions to veggies, this herb will transform the lentils and take them to the moon. #Boom
▪ Tuna or not Tuna – We almost never see a whole tuna in our grocery stores. That’s because they are huge! But with such I demand, stores have started to pop up with frozen items, rather than fresh. Whether fresh or frozen, Tuna is full of Omega-3 fatty acids and is just as useable in its canned form as well! Can you say tuna sandwich? The herb used here was got to be Basil and celery leaf. Take your time to select a mixture of each and blend together with a touch of mayo. Best damn tuna you ever tasted.
▪ Chia Seeds – This isn’t the same type of Chia as a Chia pet. Those things were just plain weird. I saw one person marry their Chia Pet! Crazy what drugs can do to the body……anyway, this tiny nutrient rich seeds need no introduction, because they are good to go right out of the bag! Simple sprinkle across your favorite salad, into oatmeal, or go big and make them with your morning smoothie. No refrigeration need on these, You want to grab Opal Basil and Citrus for these bad boys. Opal will bring the color while the lemon will add the acidity.
▪ Olive Oil – Such a special place in my heart for this next one. The Holy Grail of all food – Olive Oil. Now don’t get on my case and send me silly emails saying, “Olive oil is bad for you.” If I’m drinking a gallon a day, then yes, speak freely to my stupidity. But for now, just let us do what we do best. It’s the cornerstone of all Italian cookery and tastes damn good on anything. Think of Olive oil and Batman – it just makes everything more bad ass! Full of good fats, a little will go a long way. Let’s infuse this oil with sage and rosemary. The woody herbs will compliment the spice of the oil. Toss them in a bottle and you are set!
▪ Beets – Buy them red, gold, or candy striped, they are sweet little nuggets of earth goodness. Beets get a bad rap because people only eat them in a jelly form around Thanksgiving. Who came up with that rule?? That’s just plain silly if you ask me. Containing folate, great for pregnant woman and nursing babies, feel free to eat them to your health! They help fight cancer and stimulate red-blood-cell growth. Take a mixture of chives, parsley, and chervil and you’ve got the freshest blend that will take your beets to red carpet status!
I swear you guys are gonna be feeling best after you start to incorporate all this into your eating schedule. I’m gonna have to check my mail twice for all the thank you cards coming in the mail for this set of culinary nuggets of wisdom! I’m just kidding America, but I do hope this was a fun way to seeing some things you might not have known, or enjoy the herb pairing that we did today. What are you most excited about in this list? What herbs are you using lately or growing you backyard garden? Take some pictures and send them over to Facebook and retweet them on Twitter with my handle @fabioviviani. I can’t wait to see your green thumbs at work and your real thumbs in the kitchen. That might be too much thumb for the good of society! Until next time, keep those brains always open for better ways to make your kitchen the hot spot of your life! Ciao guys! #LetsTalkAbout