This is kind of just a brain dump post. I got thinking about it after we talked about the cauliflower crust and the renaming of things to sound like something else.
You see lots of this on the net. People trying to ‘healthify’ so-called ‘bad foods.’ Which, as we all know, don’t exist as food isn’t inherently good or bad. I don’t see any problem trying to lighten up a recipe. There are recipes out there that are heavy handed with ingredients. Sometimes recipes taste just fine with less of an ingredient, be it butter, sugar, salt, mayo, or cheese (okay, maybe not less cheese). Sure, you can sub Greek Yogurt for sour cream because they have the same tang and texture.
Some things that do not translate?
– Cauliflower crust or mashed potatoes. Call it what it is. Cauliflower. Never gonna taste like potatoes or be like crust. Not that I mind having the riced cauliflower or the ‘crust’, but they are poor substitutes.
– Nutritional yeast posing as parmesan cheese. Nope. Doesn’t. Don’t even tell me it does. Yuck. I ended up throwing out a bag of the stuff because it sat in my cupboard for a year after I bought it thinking I could use it that way.
– I saw a recipe out there for gaucamole made with no avocados. Seriously. It was made with asparagus instead. For real. I don’t eat guac, but if I did, it wouldn’t be made with asparagus.
I see a lot of paleo recipes out there for baked goods. (There are a lot of reasons why I don’t like the term paleo or primal or whatever you call it.) Last I checked, our ancestors didn’t eat cupcakes, muffins or brownies. Just because all the ingredients may be ‘paleo’ doesn’t make the food fit the lifestyle. I like the grain-free recipes because they taste good – not because they are ‘paleo’.
It reminds me of back in the day with Weight Watchers. I was doing WW back when the Core program first came out. I don’t think they use that term anymore (simply filling, maybe?). I remember how foods like waffles and pancakes and other baked goods weren’t Core foods. Well, then people started making recipes by grinding up oats (core foods) to use as flour and making baked goods because if all the ingredients were Core, then the food was Core. Yay – free muffins for all!! It’s called cheating the system.
Then there is the frankensteining of food to bring the calories as low as possible. Mixing up of fake flavorings and artificial sweeteners and fat free
plastic cheeses and creating a desserts that will ‘fool all your friends!’ Whatever.
We are really just trying to make ourselves feel better about the food we are eating. “Look – I am eating cupcakes, but I don’t have to feel guilty about them because they are healthy cupcakes!”
Or “I can eat as much as I want of these because they are fat free!!” Ah yes, the old Snackwell cookie syndrome, which I fell prey to.
You can still binge on all that stuff. Just because it has less calories or a ‘healthy halo’ around it doesn’t mean you can eat it willy nilly. I find that if I really am craving something, I should work it in. I end up eating way too many calories trying to eat around a craving than if I had just had the item I really wanted.
Sometimes it is better just to have less of the real stuff. It’s not evil. If you have trouble controlling yourself around something (like I do), go out and purchase 1 item at a quality shop and savor it.