Faux Food vs. Real Food
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. - Alfred E. Newman
On the table before you sits a spoon, a new and improved lemony flavored food product, and a glass of cold water. To the right of that is another glass of cool water, a sharp knife, and a fresh lemon. You are so very thirsty. Which lemon water would you choose to drink? Unfortunately, Alfred E. Newman is right. Many of us would end up choosing the product made with artificial flavors. Why? Convenience is usually the given answer.
If you are going to choose to eat prepared food products because it is convenient, you really had best arm yourself with some information about what you are eating. So many of us at Calorie Count are professional label readers, but, if you don’t know the legalese involved in what you are reading you are at a serious disadvantage. According to the FDA, “The term artificial flavor or artificial flavoring means any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof.”
Does that sound delicious?!
Why eat a product containing ingredients that are so intentionally not food? Eating real food made in your kitchen instead of a product designed in a lab keeps you in control of your health. There are so many tasty dishes to be made that all you will need are recipes that suit the way you live. If you don’t have 30 minutes after work, get up a little earlier and put that crock pot to good use. If you are too rushed to spend time in the kitchen at the end of the day, then cook on the weekends and freeze servings so all you have to do is reheat. Alternatively, prep the night before. Then it's a matter of assemble and cook the next day.
Lemon, the real kind, and chicken are perfect together. Here are a few recipes to help you cook with lemon – most only take between 30-45 minutes to prepare.
Lemons with Chicken
Meryl’s Sticky Lemon Chicken is as delicious as its name implies.
BBQ sauce with Lemon is the perfect baste for Chicken whether it is grilled, oven baked, or pan seared and simmered. Make it a few days before you need it so it is conveniently waiting for you in the fridge.
Crazypotato98’s Baked Lemon Chicken takes about an hour to make and is worth every minute.
From the recipe search bar at Calorie Count, I found this recipe for Greek Style Lemon Chicken. Only 40 minutes from start to on the table.
Lemons with Tempeh
Zesty Lemon Tempeh, is a terrific new recipe from my friend Mireya with My Healthy Eating Habits. It's quick to make because the steps overlap. The tempeh marinades while you are preparing the rest!
Vegetarian Times Tempeh Triangles with Piccata Sauce is ready to serve in under 45 minutes.
I’d like to give you one more recipe. This one doesn’t contain lemon, it has lemongrass! If you love the aroma of lemons but not so much the pungency and bite, try flavoring food with lemongrass. Lemongrass has a distinct citrus aroma and tastes milder than a lemon which makes it nice for those that cannot tolerate the sharp bite of a real lemon.
Lemongrass with Chicken
Buggy’s Lemongrass Chicken uses this delightful herb in a most delicious way.
When you read labels, do you mainly just look at calories and portions or do you always read ingredients as well? Do you consider the convenience of quick cooking worth the price of eating a few approved to eat chemicals? Does your cleaning product contain real food while some of your food products contain chemicals? (Read a few labels to find out!) Do you like to cook with real lemons? What is your favorite way to use lemon in a recipe? Share it with everyone! If you would like the recipe to be considered for the CC Palate, send it to me by pm.