Sunday, May 18, 2014

If we are what we eat, what are you and I?

A canned fish salad -- yellow-fin tuna, pink salmon and skinless-and-boneless sardines with their oil or water, all from Costco Wholesale -- gets its crunch from an abundance of diced celery, onion and apple. Instead of mayo, I dress the salad with Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice and ground cumin, and, if the salad is dry, add extra-virgin olive oil.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss the concept of "You are what you eat" and how we think of food, progress on the reopening of Arirang Kimchi, formerly of Englewood; and food samples at Korean supermarkets.


Am I what I eat?

If so, I am low fat (milk), reduced fat (cheese) and no fat (Greek yogurt).

I don't eat butter or cream, and use a lot of extra-virgin olive oil in salads and bottled pasta sauce, and to fry eggs sunny side up or make frittatas.

I go organic as much as possible to avoid pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

I switched to brown -- in rice and pasta -- regularly eat quinoa, and went from conventional potatoes to less starchy sweet potatoes.

I fill up not on animal fats, but on the heart-healthy fats found in wild-caught fish and other seafood.

When I shop for the meat eaters in the family, I buy antibiotic-free poultry and meat, including grass-fed beef; and preservative-free cold cuts, hot dogs and bacon.

I shop for good food at Costco Wholesale's good prices or food that is on sale at ShopRite and other markets, but I don't buy any one item because it is cheap.

Preparing food at home is the easiest way to control what you are eating, including sodium and sugar.

Since I hit a high of 228 pounds in April 2010, I have lost more than 40 pounds by not eating bread and pizza, and loading up on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

I'd rather be eating than doing almost anything else, and I agree with a woman I once overheard telling her friends during dinner at It's Greek to Me in Englewood, "I'm happiest when I'm eating."

Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix is a great foundation for a dinner salad with Campari tomato wedges, fresh blueberries, roasted almonds dusted with cinnamon and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, a reduced-fat cow's milk cheese imported from Italy. All the ingredients came from Costco Wholesale.

The dressing is extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar without added color, such as Ponti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, available at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood. 

Arirang Kimchi is 'coming soon'

Arirang Kimchi, formerly of Englewood, is renovating a store in the H&Y Shopping Center in Ridgefield, above and below. The construction permit was issued in late April.

Free samples, sales

On Saturday, I went to see if Arirang Kimchi had reopened in a storefront next to the H&Y Marketplace, a Korean supermarket at 1 Remsen Place in Ridgefield.

I found an Arirang Kimchi sign, and a construction permit on the door for renovating the interior that was issued at the end of April.

Since Arirang closed its Englewood factory last year, my consumption of fermented cabbage, radish and cucumber kimchi has plummeted.

The H&Y supermarket offers a limited number of free food samples, but among the best anywhere are warm balls of Mixed 7 Grains (brown rices and beans) that you can wrap in dried seaweed sheets.

The woman preparing the samples handed me one containing pieces of radish kimchi, and it was outstanding.

I did a little shopping. Bunches of scallions were 10 cents each, with a maximum of 10; and two kinds of apples were on sale for 99 cents a pound, with a maximum of 6 pounds.

H Mart

At the H Mart at 321 Broad Ave. in Ridgefield, a box of 15 Ataulfo Mangoes from Mexico were $7.99 or $6 off, and Chinese broccoli was 98 cents a pound, compared to the usual price of $2.49 a pound.

Today, I stopped at the H Mart at 112 Linwood Plaza in Fort Lee, looking for brown rice on sale, but didn't find any.

The store displays bags of rice just beyond the checkout counters, claiming there is no room for them inside.

But this H Mart has the most extensive array of free food samples in the Korean supermarket chain, including freshly cut fruit; prepared noodles, tofu and dumplings; kimchi, pork or beef barbecue and other items.

I had to go to the bigger H Mart at 260 Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry to find a 15-pound bag of U.S. grown brown rice for $12.99, a savings of $4.

A box of 16 4.2-ounce packages of Nongshim Shin Ramyun, a spicy instant noodle soup made without MSG, was on sale for $9.99 or $7 off.

But I noticed that the box of mangoes I bought for $7.99 in the Ridgefield H Mart was $9.99 in the Little Ferry store.

I'll bet you can't eat just one. A 16-ounce tray of seaweed-and-rice rolls (kimbap) from Jinga in Queens is $6.49 at H Mart. They contain egg and imitation crab made from pollock, and come with Korean pickles and jalapeno peppers.

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