Welcome to home-style cooking, easy, healthy & delicious! 

IMG_7188You can call me Lyn or Marilyn. I am an advocate of good food and healthy food choices! The mere thought of food excites me like you wouldn’t imagine. But, not all food are created equal. I only care about food that brings “goodness” to our body, to our home, to our community, to our country, and to mother earth.

When I look at food I see different layers to it:
— Producers, handlers and creators (chefs and cooks) who worked together to deliver and bring out the best in food
— Sources or places on earth where these foods grow
— Flavor Profile such as taste, texture, and aroma
— Pleasures that these food delivers
— Health Benefits to our body, mind and soul

The Six Tastes Kitchen is a collection of personal home-style, easy, healthy and delicious recipes featuring the six basic tastes known to the palate: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Savory, Spicy and Bitter. Please join me in this journey and together let us explore, experience and learn everything about food.

My vision…

I went to school for Culinary Arts and I cook and bake for a living. So when I create a dish I’m not only concerned about tastes and flavors but also of the benefits it brings to the body. I don’t promote just one specific diet or advocate elimination of certain food groups. I am an advocate of every healthy diet on this earth! 

I strongly believe the body needs all the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients built in every food group. Instead of selecting, focusing or eliminating certain food groups, I believe in three basic principles:

* Consumption of all food groups in moderation. 
(fruits, vegetables, good grains, good fats, good carbs, and good proteins)
* Smart food pairings.
(more ratio of “fruits/vegetables/good-carb” -to- “meat” in any given meal)

* Healthier food substitutions.
(white meat/seafood over red meats) (or more plant-based protein sources)

In the Midwest for instance where I lived for 15 years – people’s diets are still 10 to 20 years behind compared to other parts of the US which are opening up their palates to food diversity. Food dishes in the Midwest are still heavily German or European-influenced. Where steaks and potatoes are mainstream dishes and heavy creams and cheeses are called for in most comfort foods. How could we change this? By making healthy choices!

Eating in moderation.
Healthy choices could be as simple as eating food in moderation. Red meat takes about 72 hours to digest but if you eat it with vegetables the digestion process speeds up because of the fibers present in vegetables. This is proper spacing of food consumptions which simply means knowing how long certain food groups digest in the body before consuming the same again. Since meat takes 72 hours, I would maybe suggest red meat only once or twice a week or having chicken or fish instead which digest for an average of 45 minutes to 1-hour.

Cooking from scratch.
Healthy choices could be as simple as one-healthy-shopping at a time. Say, I want to make an apple pie. Typically, I would go to store and get a frozen pie crust and apple pie filling in cans. But if I’m making a healthy choice I would get fresh apples and make my own pie crust from scratch. I know, I know…. Most of you would say who’s got time for that. The truth of the matter is anything we eat fresh or make from scratch is healthier than anything we buy processed. The simplest way food is made is often the best and healthiest way to eat it.

Smart food combinations.
Healthy choices could be as simple as one-healthy-order at a time. Say, I go out to eat in a restaurant and I feel like eating steaks. Typically, I would order a T-bone steaks, mashed potatoes and gravy or potato wedges on the side. If I’m making a healthy choice, I would ask for an extra lean cut which is anything with “round,” “chuck,” or “loin” in the name. And I would choose a cut graded as “Choice” or “Select” instead of “Prime,” which usually has more fat. And to top it all, I would order steamed broccoli or any vegetables and sautéed mushrooms on the side instead of mashed potatoes. But if I can’t totally do away with fries, I would instead order sweet potato fries.

Healthy substitutes.
Healthy choices could be as simple as one-healthy-substitution at a time. Say, I want to cook dinner and I want spaghetti, garlic bread and fried chicken. Typically, I would use spaghetti pasta in the box, spaghetti sauce in the bottle, frozen fried chicken and pre-baked garlic bread. If I’m making a healthy choice I would use healthier pasta brand such as gluten-free, all-wheat bran or whatever suits. I would still use store-bought spaghetti sauce but I will add in garlic, diced onion, bell pepper and other fresh vegetables of my choice but without ground beef (since I’m already having fried chicken). I would do my own garlic bread using leftover bread in the cupboard and will just brush melted butter with minced garlic over it and pop it in the oven until it’s brown and crunchy. For fried chicken, I will make a batter from a mixture of cornstarch and potato starch and seasoned egg-milk mixture and dip the chicken prior to frying. This takes a little bit more time to prepare but worthy enough to do.

Healthier food substitution is far easier to achieve now than years back thanks to global trading. There are varieties of food items on the supermarket shelves available in healthier preparations such as low-sodium, low-fat, non-dairy, etc. With these new “healthier” items flying off the shelves, we still have to shop smart by reading the labels because some of these food substitutes could do your body more harm than good if they are made with ingredients that you can only find in chemical laboratories.

Healthier substitution also means using other healthier food items to replace another. For instance, instead of using heavy creams I would make a mixture of skim milk and cornstarch, or tofu and soy milk, or cottage cheese and soy milk. For dessert creams, I would use evaporated milk and vanilla, or silken tofu and vanilla. The possibilities are endless! And with the internet, everyone has tried anything and posted it online. So I suggest, experiment and google it 😉

Thank you for reading!