Savory and not widely known today ~
I’ve been on the Mediterranean Diet-ish plan for quite a while. I say “ish” because I use their food pyramid as a tool. I’m not fanatical about it. And I don’t restrict myself to Mediterranean recipes. Last week I made a huge pot of rustic American vegetable soup. This week I made rice and beans with veggies (onion, fresh tomato, and green pepper). I’m big on fresh veggies and usually add more than the recipe calls for.
I’ve been serious about restricting beef, butter, and sweets which are at the top of the Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid (squeezed into that tiny peak). That means what’s allowed is one serving of beef (6 oz), one serving of butter (1 Tbs), one small serving of sweets (candy, ice cream, baked/unbaked deserts) every two weeks. And margarine isn’t even on the pyramid, probably because it’s very questionable health-wise.
However, autumn is here and it’s time to start making hot cereal. I usually have a bowl of organic oatmeal for breakfast with organic raisins (if the supermarket has organic raisins in stock. Other wise I use regular raisins…I’m not an organic fanatic), or I’ll have a bowl of grits. I eat a good deal more oatmeal than grits because grits is a ‘white’ grain and white foods aren’t favored. Most nutritionists agree, the more color the better. Another strike against grits is that traditionally a huge chunk of butter is stirred in at the table along with salt and pepper. Off and on, I’ve had cholesterol issues and that’s why I’m serious about restricting red meat and saturated fats. Ah, but I love grits.
How to eat grits without butter. The answer is Southern Tomato Gravy. Southern grandmothers made this savory gravy with tomatoes from their gardens they’d canned. My recipe uses store bought canned tomatoes, and I use organic ones. Even though I’ve been talking about grits, Winn Dixie’s bakery had gorgeous biscuits. So, I bought some and slathered tomato gravy on them. Delish. Trust me I made enough tomato gravy to have some on grits later in the week.
SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY
Ingredients: 3 Tbs grapeseed oil (or another vegetable oil, not olive oil), 3 Tbs all purpose flour, 1 1/2 C chicken broth, 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Optional: real bacon bits.
Directions: In a fairly large skillet warm the oil and whisk the flour into it, stirring constantly until the flour becomes ‘mooshy’ and golden brown. Then pour the chicken broth in, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes smooth (no lumps), add the salt and pepper and the undrained diced tomatoes. If you have no dietary restrictions, add the real bacon bits here, if you like. Simmer 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve over grits, biscuits, even over scrambled eggs (or on the side). If, like me, you have heath issues and are cutting way-way down on butter and sugar, you can even slather tomato gravy on a couple of pieces of multi-grain toast and eat it with a knife and fork for breakfast.
The American-style rustic vegetable soup I made last week.
In HARMFUL INTENT, gal private eye Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels goes undercover taking a gourmet healthy cooking class and that changes her out look on food. Sheriff’s deputy Dawson Hughes enjoys her cooking and everything about her, but remains a meat and potatoes man. All the while they are hunting a viscous killer and things are not what they seems in west Texas.