Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buffets and Bad Habits

Buffets are a popular American tradition. My family always liked them because all of us picky eaters could fill up without the fight of what to eat. Unfortunately they are also a major cause of America's bad eating habits.

Here are a few of my buffet critiques:

"I need to feel that I'm getting my money's worth."
Why do we need to sit down with massive piles of food just to feel we are getting our money's worth? News flash, if the general public had any idea how much time, energy, money and effort went into getting them good, fresh, free of harmful microbes and toxins, and well prepared meals to their table they would never say, "I don't feel I got my money's worth." I have eaten at places where I have spent over $100 per person (not including alcohol) and felt that is was the best money I spent all year. Quantity is NOT quality.

Buffets do not focus on food groups
You go to a buffet. Plate 1: salad. Plate 2: a rib and a baked potatoes maybe some corn Plate 3: Fried Chicken, French fries, and one of those sticky buns. Plate 4: Time for dessert, let's try a piece of cake, cobbler and what the heck, ice cream. I dare you to find a balanced meal out of that.

Where are the portion sizes?
Few people realize that the serving sizes at buffets are much larger than normal. Have you ever looked closely at a serving spoon in the mac n' cheese? It is about 4 to 5 time larger than your serving spoon at home. Now put four to five things on your plate. Suddenly you're going to eat a 4 to 5 times what you would at home. Then that plate magically disappears, like it never happened and you're on to the next one. Whenever you forget what you just ate, you are going down the path to overeating.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do the Words "Balanced Meal" Mean Anything to You?

DC and I visited a Sweet Tomatoes last week. It's an okay place for a large lunch but this isn't going to be a review. The whole premise behind this chain is to fill up a on a large salad bar and then add to lunch with soups, pasta, and bread. Everything is buffet style and they boast a very healthy menu. Now, I did enjoy my lunch and was substantially full at the end. However, I was a little dismayed as I came to dessert. The choices were fruit (good), jello (maybe), some sort of low calorie strawberry flavored mousse (what the?), and low fat frozen yoghurt (sure I guess). So I'm standing there thinking, "I've just had a large salad, a small serving of low fat pasta with fresh veggies, and a piece of cornbread. Where is my one indulgent bite of fudge brownie or bite of cake?" Believe it or not Sweet Tomatoes, I can balance my meal and watch my calories. I don't need you to do it for me!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yum! Indian food

As DC (dinning companion) and I are relatively new to the Salt Lake area, we have been searching high and low for good restaurants. I was delighted to find one a few days ago, "The Kathmandu" (3142 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City). People who know me well can attest that I'm a little picky about my restaurant choices. If I visit a restaurant not up to my "modest" expectations, there will be little you can do to drag me back in there.

Overall I would go back to eat here because the food was good and there were plenty of vegetarian choices. The service wasn't as fast as I would have liked it but there was a large table that was eating at the same time. Having worked in a restaurant on a Saturday night I can understand the big table complex. The waiter also gave suggestions on the menu and there was a water pitcher on the table which is very nice (especially with foreign cuisine). The price was reasonable compared to other Indian places we have visited. Also, everyone there was from the India/ Nepal area. So if you are in the area and looking for great Indian food this is one place I would highly recommend.

my ratings of "The Kathmandu"
out of 5

Service: 4 1/2
Atmosphere: 4
Food Quality: 5
Price / Quality: 4
Vegetarian: 5
Authenticity: 5

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Make Lemon Powder

How to make lemon powder. Plant and cultivate the perfect lemon. Carefully pick, package and transport lemon across time zones. Cut up and mix with other lemons from different parts of the world. Freeze dry and grind into a powder. Carefully package again and ship to a cookie factory where it may be made into wonderfully yummy cookies. Sit the remainder on the shelf for about 18 months and then deposit in large dumpster.

I often wonder if our civilization is the only one in the history of the world to treat food in such a crazy and bizarre manner. I am constantly fascinated by the tools, means, and skills we humans use to develop and produce food for general consumption. The methods are wonderfully brilliant and at the same time, taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, slightly disturbing. I took a food artistry class while in Culinary school. Often times the whole hour would go by while we struggled to put into words the ideas and emotions behind food.

Behind it all, all the scientists and foodies of the world will continue to turn our world's resources into edible consumption. Bon appetit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I like condiments. Mayonnaise, mustard, relish, ketchup, jelly, gravy, marmalade, steak sauce, taco sauce, chocolate sauce, BBQ sauce, ect... Want one sure way to disappoint me? Leave out my condiments or try to ruin them- say like "light mayo," and you will have one very unhappy camper. Word of warning however, never use condiments willy-nilly. They should only compliment the item not smother it. Unless that item is meat, then smother away.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rumbi Island Grill

Last friday night DC (dinning companion) and I stopped for a quick bite at Rumbi Island Grill. I generally avoid all places containing the word "grill" but this grill has lured me in a few times. For some strange reason whenever I go on my lunch break I find the experience somewhat enjoyable as opposed to the few times I've eaten dinner there. Would I go back if I didn't? I have liked the salads even though there isn't a veggie option. I like to get the BBQ chicken and just push the chicken off to one side. The beans, corn, carrots, and tortilla strips make for a rather enjoyable salad. However, one time when eating there with DC I was shocked to discover that even though we had ordered completely different items, both of our salads looked the same! Really?

Well, last Friday, I got a little more adventuresome and ordered a rice bowl. It was cold and it sounded warmer and more filling than a salad. They had a veggie bowl and a tofu bowl on the menu. I inquired as the the difference and was told that the veggies were the same and the only difference was the tofu. They are also the same price. (Once again, really?) So I ordered the tofu bowl on brown rice. I generally like tofu, especially when it has been fried. How was it? Well, let's just say DC always tells me that I get my hopes up too high. (My hopes are only as I high as they need to be I'll have you know.) The bowl for starters was HUGE. We could have split that amount of rice and ate it for a week. The tofu was not fried. I'd say it was steamed and barely the same for the veggies. Way to go for being healthy I suppose, but I WAS ALREADY BUYING THE TOFU AND VEGGIE BOWL. -WITH BROWN RICE. I'm pretty sure a little olive oil would not have killed me. It wasn't even steamed all the way. I don't want to eat bland, half cooked veggies with steamed tofu and a little sauce on the side with brown rice. What the heck were you people thinking? hurmph. I might someday go back for a salad but don't hold your breath.

You know your a foodie when...

You know your a foodie when you walk into the bathroom, see brown smears all over the floor and the first thing you think is "Chocolate." Coincidentally I was at work and it really was chocolate smeared on the floor.