Tuesday, September 2, 2014

If meals could speak, mine would tell tales of the sea

A breakfast of leftover organic whole-wheat linguine with bottled marinara and added sardines, anchovies, red wine and seasoning, served with two small wedges of pesto-and-cheese frittata. Most of the ingredients come from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.


Life, cooking and food shopping are so much easier when you don't eat meat and poultry.

You never have to worry about whether the food you are eating was raised with antibiotics and hormones that are harmful to humans or what the animal was fed before it was slaughtered.

You never have to imagine the horrors of the slaughterhouse or wonder if that steak came from a sick animal that collapsed, only to be dragged to its death.

None of those issues arise with wild-caught seafood.

Fresh fish is cheap, and you can avoid ingesting a lot of mercury by sticking to the smaller species, including anchovies, sardines, whiting and so forth.

Canned-fish salad includes yellow-fin tuna, pink salmon and Moroccan sardines with chopped celery and sweet peppers. The dressing is Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice and ground cumin, all to taste. Costco carries the mustard, limes and all three canned fish.

Cholesterol drops

I stopped eating meat and poultry more than four years ago, and my cholesterol has dropped to where I plan to ask my doctor if I can discontinue the statin I have been taking for decades.

The other members of my family still eat meat and poultry, meaning we often have to prepare two dinners.

I try to steer them to organic or grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free chicken and lamb at Whole Foods Market, Costco Wholesale and ShopRite.

Kimchi from Costco

I do eat organic chicken stock from Costco Wholesale, using it instead of water when I prepare brown rice and lentils in an electric cooker.

This morning, my wife called from Costco to ask if I wanted a large jar of kimchi for $7.99, but when she read the ingredients I noticed it included beef-bone extract.

I told her not to buy it.

Our favorite kimchi comes from the Oh family, which closed their Englewood business, but haven't re-opened yet in Ridgefield.

We always had a jar of their Arirang Kimchi in the refrigerator, but now, we only eat the spicy, fermented cabbage and other types of kimchi when we go out to a Korean restaurant.

Escoveitch of fish.

Ackee and salt fish, the Jamaican national dish, accented with Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce and served with garlic mashed sweet potatoes. My wife used salted Alaskan pollock from Costco instead of the Canadian dried cod the Hackensack warehouse store no longer carries.

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