Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cooking Demo - not quite what I expected

I recently attended a cooking demo at a kitchen store - the main purpose of the demo was, of course, to sell their products but I was hoping to pick up some new techniques or learn a new recipe.  The food processor did look nice as she demonstrated how it worked.

The title of the demo was "healthy cooking: vegetables."  Sounds good so far, right?

The first dish did look really good - and the only modification I would make would be to eliminate the Parmesan cheese from the breadcrumb toppings and it would be vegan - it was a layered casserole with zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.  So, that was not bad.  I may try it this summer when those vegetables are available local and fresh. 

The second recipe, however, was a 10 layer salad.  They used iceberg lettuce which there really are so many more nutritious choices in lettuce out there but OK, iceberg lettuce is alright if that is what gets people eating more salad and more vegetables so, although it would not be my first choice, I can see it has a use with some recipes.

Now the fun begins, the dressing was made from Mayonnaise and Sour Cream.  And the top layers of the salad were hard boiled eggs, cheese and BACON!  I was a little disappointed, following a  plant based diet, attending a class that is supposed to be about vegetables only to find out they consider bacon a vegetable in this class......The woman doing the demo kept emphasizing this was a healthy salad.  Healthier than what, I wanted to know, I guess it was a little better than a fast food cheeseburger and french fries.  There are many people who follow a vegetarian diet and include eggs and cheese in their diet so, minus the bacon, this recipe would work for a lot of vegetarians.  I would not serve this to a vegetarian though and tell them it is really good for them.

This was an example of how people are constantly misinformed regarding what is good for them.  The message I walked away from this demo with was as long as you are eating some vegetables, it is fine to pile them up with mayo, sour cream, bacon and cheese.

I completely disagree and I was very disappointed.

I do want to turn this around into something I can use - I have some ideas brewing, maybe a vegan mayo based dressing, a layer of beans instead of the boiled eggs.  Instead of the bacon, some Tempeh flavored with BBQ sauce and crisped in a frying pan......More to come once I work on these ideas a little more.

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