Food and diet have become integral in food policy discussions, as they relate to issues as wide-ranging as global warming, other environmental issues and childhood obesity. Collectively our choices can stand up to the legislators, lobbyists and special interest groups that continue to shape the way our food is raised, produced, packaged, shipped and marketed. I’ve come to call this “personal food policy.”
If you swap the basic proportions in your diet – increasing unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains – you’ll wind up losing weight and improving your overall health, while also improving more difficult-to-measure situations like global warming, the environment in general and animal welfare.
For me, it’s been astonishingly easy to remain on a diet that relies on far fewer animal products and processed foods than the typically “American” one. And this has been true even though I’m a journalist and author making his living from cooking, eating, and writing about the same. At no time has my new way of eating made my job – or my life – more difficult. If anything it’s easier, since I pay better attention to what goes into my mouth and fully appreciate all sorts of food, now more than ever.
Mark Bittman’s favorite three healthy recipes for your family:
Firm plums are perfect here, but chicken tastes good with almost any fruit, so if plums aren’t available, try peaches, apples, pears, berries or even tropical fruit. You can vary the nuts too (check out the variation).
Black tea adds a deep, smoky flavor to this classic beef and broccoli stir-fry. If you want it even smokier (and meatless), use cubes of smoked tofu instead of the beef.
Chicken, cauliflower and chickpeas all take well to strong seasonings, and they taste great together. In this one-pan Indian-tinged stir-fry, two other Cs – curry and coconut milk – round out the dish into a light stew that’s perfect to serve with brown basmati rice.
Excerpted from The Food Matters Cookbook, written by Mark Bittman. Copyright (c) 2010 by Mark Bittman. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
For more Mark Bittman recipes, visit The Family Kitchen.