Get out of your food rut: Try new cheeses, kale and other 'strange' foods
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
3/06/13 at 3:22 AM
Do you feel like you are in a food rut?
It happens to all of us.
We tend to go through our local grocery stores on auto pilot, buying the same foods that we've picked up a thousand times before.
And it also saves time to make the same dishes rather than search for new recipes.
But if you don't branch out in your diet, there's a lot you are missing. The diet of an average person is only a fraction of what's available out there in the universe of food.
We asked some local experts for some tips on how to expand our culinary repertoires.
At La Donna's Fancy Foods, 1615 E. 15th St., they sell a variety of unique eats, with cheese being one of their specialities. Owner, La Donna Cullinan, said that one way to branch out from a food rut would be to sample some of the many quality cheeses made in countries around the world.
"If people tried good cheese, they would absolutely see that it has so much more flavor - and because of the flavor, you eat less because you are more satisfied," Cullinan said.
Part of breaking a food rut is making the effort to expose your taste buds to new and different foods, she noted.
"We have a lot of customers who come here for something specific," Cullinan said. "But then, we also have people who say they have been driving by for five years and today was the day they decided to come in."
Cullinan said that she specifically avoided the word "gourmet" when naming her store because experiencing new foods should not be intimidating or pretentious.
"It should be enjoyable, delicious and fun," she said.
Lorah Gerald, marketing specialist at Whole Foods Market, 1401 E. 41st St., had some other suggestions on how to add new food to your diet. She used kale, a healthy "super food," as an example.
"Some people try it and they don't like it, but it is really good for you. What they can do is eat a little portion of it every two weeks or so. Eventually, your body will get used to it and crave it and you will want to incorporate it into your diet."
Or, if kale is just not your thing, you can try some of the other healthy greens such as chard, collard greens or bok choy. Many vegetables also have "baby" or young versions that are a little milder, Gerald noted.
"I personally like the baby kale and greens better," Gerald said.
Find inspiration from magazines and the apps that are available online to discover new dishes, she said.
And you can always add new things to dishes that are familiar - such as using kale in tacos instead of lettuce - until you get used to a new food.
"Then you might like it and want to plan a whole meal around it," Gerald said.
Original Print Headline: Broaden your food tastes
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
The diet of an average person is only a fraction of what's available in the universe of food. Sample a new cheese to broaden your palate, suggests LaDonna Cullinan of La Donna's Fancy Foods. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World file
Or try introducing kale, or other healthy greens, to your diet in small portions until your tastes adjust.
MATTHEW MEAD / Associated Press