Eating Healthy, With Pizzaz

HANNAH AND TORI CBS/The Early Show

Eating healthy food doesn't have to mean sacrificing flavor, according to cookbook author and cooking teacher Tori Ritchie, who says preparing a balanced menu isn't hard, and can be delicious.

She showed the way Thursday in The Early Show's "Five Minute Cooking School," at the Manhattan flagship store of specialty home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma. Ritchie to co-anchor Hannah Storm.

While emphasizing that she's not a nutritionist, Ritchie says her highlight the things our mothers told us: Eat a wide array of colorful fruits and veggies, and you're on your way to a more balanced diet.

TERMINOLOGY

Antioxidants: These substances can counteract the destructive effects of free radicals in the body. The most common use of antioxidants, however, is as a preservative. Synthetic antioxidants, such as BHA and BHT, are often included by cosmetics manufacturers to keep their products from spoiling, but natural antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E can be added to cosmetics as a safer alternative to the synthetic variety. In the form of vitamin and mineral supplements, antioxidants help counteract the effects of free radicals on cells and repair cellular damage. Antioxidants protect cells by sacrificing electrons to prevent free radicals from stealing electrons from healthy cells.

Endive: Endives look a little like lettuce and, while bitter, are less so than radicchio. They also make a wonderful addition to salads and soups.

Celery Root: Part of the celery family, the celery root, or celeriac, is routinely used in French cooking and is seen throughout Europe. It's grown for its root use and appeared in the United States beginning in the 19th century. Despite its association with root vegetables, celery root has a certain panache. Perhaps that's due to its honored place in the French specialty, celery remoulade, or because it makes such luxurious pairings with dried cepes or with tender artichoke hearts. Celery root has a pungent, celery-like flavor and is, in fact, a special variety of celery, developed by gardeners during the Renaissance. In recipes calling for cauliflower, fennel or cardoon, celery root makes an interesting and unexpected substitute, if not a quantum improvement. This root is bypassed by many because of it unusual appearance of crevices and rootlets. When cooked well, this root evokes celery and parsley flavors. These vegetables should be firm, with no brown soft spots. Sprouting tops should be bright green. They're rich in phosphorous and potassium, and have about 40 calories per cup. To store celery root, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for up to a week.
  • Brian Dakss

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