Don’t try this at home

Garlic, onions and tomatoes make it easier for you to "eat your spinach."

For the sake of health or some weird diet, I have eaten foods that – while good for me – didn’t taste great.  Weird? Yes. Salmon with dried seaweed, protein drinks with chia seeds, protein bars that tasted like oily sawdust, diet chili that had no taste at all or that juice recipe that called for spinach, raw beets and – something else grown in dirt – oh, carrots. It tasted like dirt.

So, New Year, new healthful eating plan.  Focusing on lean proteins, vegetables, little or no starch and in the past week I’ve tried a couple of kitchen experiments, which, fortunately, are keepers. First up, talapia with spinach.

Talapia and spinach tasted much better than it might sound.

Sam’s sells frozen, parmesan-encrusted talapia. Put one or more on foil and bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Sauté garlic, chopped onion, one drained can of diced tomatoes and four big handfuls of spinach. Add freshly ground pepper, a sprinkling of Italian spices and you’ve got a healthful and tasty dinner. Your mother would be proud of you.

Chicken the next night, sautéed with garlic, onion – sautéed garlic and onion are my basis for most anything –  cauliflower and Delhi Saag. What? I’ve had this can of JYOTi Delhi Saag for months and it’s got miles on it. It looked interesting when I bought it at Toucan in Las Cruces; moved it to Valparaiso. I do like Indian food. But I’ve also bought and eaten weird things too so, I just wasn’t sure about this.

Another winner. I wouldn’t serve it to the queen, but this healthful dish is quite tasty, even worth sharing. I added turmeric and poultry seasoning. It was so good I went online to to find the source, figuring some exotic kitchen in … what?

Just a couple tablespoons of saag made a weeknight party of chicken and cauliflower.

Berwyn, PA? Turns out Jyoti is a registered dietician who “prepares a range of delicious Indian foods for today’s life styles.” (Recommended by word scarab)

As I’ve written, with age comes wisdom, I’ve realized I don’t have to eat edible ocean plants, chia seeds and saag just because they’re supposed to be good for me. With some experimentation, and being kinder to my palate, I’ve concocted some good greens and other things. So, while I’d tell you to skip the beet juice, I definitely recommend trying these two dishes at home.

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