EAT: The Underground Guide to Eating Right

Photo by: Darwin Bell

This post started out as a tongue in cheek comment at Matt Stone’s blog – 180 Degree Health.  It’s important to be able to laugh at ourselves and our fascination with finding the perfect diet is a never-ending source of humor.  For a few giggles, just stroll through the health/diet/nutrition section of your local book store and read the titles.

On the other hand, it seems that a well-marketed diet book is guaranteed to make money, no matter how nutty the premise.  There must be a formula for these books something like: (1) evocative title, (2) reference to some science based hypothesis (without mention of conflicting data), and (3) the mostly true story of someone overcoming great odds and terrible health to punch out on the other side as a super human or at least as a super-model.

My diet book idea came to me after reading Food for Thought?, a fascinating article from UC Santa Cruz’s Science Notes 2009.  The article explores the work of anthropologists researching the hypothesis that buried vegetables fueled one of the greatest leaps in our evolution: the growth of larger, smarter brains.  I bet, you can guess where I am heading with this…a pop-diet that advocates eating primarily foods that come from underground.

Catchy title:  The Underground Guide to Eating Right!  (Not Skinny Bitch or South Beach, but catchy enough).  Easy to understand science based premise (as long as you ignore the alternative hypothesis that meat may have provided the necessary additional calories, or that cooking vegetables allowed for more efficient digestion, thereby unlocking access to more calories, or that some combination of meat, cooked vegetables, and underground storage organs -no kidding that’s what these fun loving anthropologists call things like potatoes and yams- supplied more calories).  Check.  Now all we need is a testimonial from someone willing to subsist for 6 to 12 months on nothing but food that can be dug out of the ground…

In the meantime, here are some kitchen tips, recipes, and links to help get you started with the Underground Guide to Eating Right!

Onions and Garlic:

How to Avoid Crying When Chopping Onions: I used to dread peeling and chopping onions until I read this post at Lifehacker.  Cutting out the tear gas grenade really works.

How to Smash Garlic: For the paleo-lifestyle folks – My favorite kitchen utensil is a rock.  I use it almost every day to smash garlic.  Then, if I need smaller pieces, I cross-cut the garlic with a knife.

Photo by: Darwin Bell

Beets: The Zen to Fitness post 8 Great Foods You Are Probably Missing got me motivated to cook more beets.  But, beets can be messy.  Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian gave me an easy less messy way to prepare beets.  Individually wrap your beets in tin foil.  Place them in a baking pan or on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45m at 400.  When the beets are cooked, slice and serve or save for later and slice, then heat up in a skillet with some olive oil or butter.  Also, beets are a doubly good deal, because you get the tops, which are delicious, when chopped and sautéed with butter and garlic.

Carrots: Summer Tomato’s links of the week, led me to a recipe for Roasted Baby Carrots, with Chile, Mint and Orange Glaze at The Bitten Word.  If you never thought of spicy and carrots going together, think again, this recipe rocks!

Sweet Potatoes: Are a breakfast staple here in Korea and, right now, they are in season.  Preparation is very simple: poke a few holes in them, wrap in foil, bake at 400 for 1 hour.  They stay warm in the foil until you are ready to eat them.  If you want to be more creative, Zen to Fitness recommends trying them mashed with berries, drizzled with coconut oil, and topped with cinnamon.

Good Old Regular Potatoes: Here is a simple, but versatile recipe for potatoes.  Boil them until they soften, drain, cube, and skillet fry with onions.  I use butter, but  Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal, prefers to use bacon fat.  Another alternative  is to add fresh rosemary and serve with dinner instead of breakfast.

Well, that should get the ball rolling…I can’t wait to see what it’s like to be the head of my very own pop-diet empire…Coming Soon – I’m On A Boat: The Underground Guide to Cooking At Sea.



EAT: Do Nutrition Labels Increase Food Cravings

EAT: Blanch Those Veggies

EAT: Nootropics



One response to “EAT: The Underground Guide to Eating Right

  1. Mmm, root vegetables. That’s my boy!

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