Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who Says Nachos Are a Forbidden Food?


By Cal Orey

I just got back from swimming and doing the lap thing always makes me hungry. But no, I don't want to cook. So, I plopped a handful (a large one) of natural multigrain tortilla chips onto a plate; sliced all-natural gourmet cheddar cheese on top... The Brittanys--my two dogs Simon and Seth--were behind me the entire time to make this easy snack a human challenge. Note to self: I need to call my dog trainer. Oops forget that. I just taught Seth how to jump over the cat tree! Wow.

Speaking of hot stuff, I snatched up some of those jalapeno peppers I used for the guacamole aka "green goo" (I did make that) to make the nachos have a kick to it. And I nuked it. Yes, this popular appetizer is crunchy, chewy, and gooey. It's fun and tastes good.

But warning, fast-food nachos can be oh so fattening and high in calories which spells unhealthy and homemade ones, too can be bad news. Translation: Say goodbye to these popular munchies if you use too much cheese (or unnatural processed kinds) or not the good chips--multigrain or low-sodium are best if you're watching your blood pressure (or don't want to be). Also, making your own with whole wheat flour tortillas and made with olive oil can be the ticket to heart health, too...Lots of people who want to lose unwanted weight believe they can't eat cheese or chips. Not true. The secret is, moderation and making it as natural as possible.
I wrote in that little mini mag (the ones you find at the grocery store) From Fat to Firm at Any Age!--"If you avoid cheese because you think it'll pack on the pounds, you may be right--but don't write it off entirely. You don't want to miss out on a super source of calcium and other important nutrients such as protein, phosphorus and vitamin A--and not to mention taste."

Instead of eating large quantities of tasteless "lite" and reduced-calorie cheese, savor the rich flavor of gourmet cheese--just like you can do with dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil. You'll get more satisfaction from just a small amount.

I remember when I was cranking out the Diet and Nutrition column for Woman's World magazine, that I got in trouble. A fan wrote to the magazine and claimed our nutritionist used more than 50 ingredients for several meals and that no way, no how could she afford it. (I laughed back then. Gosh, I wanted to make the recipes creative as possible.) But I get it now. And using up those little jalapeno peppers was no sweat. (Those puppies, especially the red ones can be expensive!)

So, the snack filled me up. But now what in the cooking world do I cook up for dinner? Ugh. I don't even want to go there. Chinese with veggies and fresh scallops? Sounds good to me. I wonder if I can teach my bird dogs to flush fish out of the Lake for me. Need to do research on that one.

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