Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Learning to Cook

Through my training in the Martial Arts, I have become very sensitive to the food I eat. As opposed to taste, I focus more on how food feels on my body. As I am learning, food can have a huge impact on energy level. With good food, I can have an excellent day.

Unfortunately, one cannot always rely on restaurants; for me, it has always been a hit-and-miss experience, with the exception of two excellent restaurants I know of. Many places compromise the freshness of food to save money; others sacrifice cleanliness. Really, we don't know what is going on in the kitchen or where the ingredients came from. At the extreme, there are people that take food from the dumpster and cook it up for others (I know of two).

Having some time over the holidays, I decided to take it upon myself to learn more about cooking. The basic rice and steamed vegetables I had been cooking for about a year was not cutting it.

Where did I start? By looking for a cooking class. Through Yelp, I found two excellent teachers. The first was Sunshine in SF, who taught me how to cook Pad Thai Tofu, Tom Kha Tofu Soup, and Black Sticky Rice with Custard. Going in as a student, I paid attention to her cooking technique and picked up many tips along the way. Sunshine took the time to answer all my questions and even took some pictures of me!

The second was Emily Dellas in SF, who taught me in a group class how to cook "Gluten- Free Gourmet", which included Arugula & Pomegranate Salad, Squash & Fennel Soup w. Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Whole Seabass Baked w. Mushrooms in Parchment, and Flourless Chocolate Cake. Emily possessed a lot of knowledge regarding the science of nutrition and explained how to find high quality ingredients and how to cook to maximize the nutrition in food. Cooking really is an art!

Knowing that practice makes perfect, I decided to try to replicate the Thai recipes at my place while the experience was still fresh in my mind. Within a week, I had replicated the Pad Thai twice, which turned out very well both times. My second attempt at Tom Kha Soup did not turn out well, but perhaps my third attempt will yield different results!

Anyhow, I now have the ability to cook delicious Pad Thai!

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