Tuesday, April 19, 2011

See the forest for the trees

From the forest to the dinner table . . . the first thing I think of is venison, wild boar, and the like.  What I don’t want to think about is trees . . . that is, the prospect of eating them.    Chances are you do . . . eat trees . . . all the time without even knowing it.

I’ve said it . . . I’m hungry enough to eat a tree . . . but I didn’t mean it!!!   Really!

Wood pulp  . . . the stuff they use to make paper, cardboard and whatnot . . . is also used as an additive to many common processed foods.  The only thing good about that so far is that they only use virgin wood pulp in products designed for human consumption . . . that’s about as good as it gets.

Look at the ingredients on your food labels . . . look for cellulose (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.).  If you find it then you’ve got tree fibers in your noms.  Don’t worry though because the FDA says it’s safe, so it must be.  Yeah . . . right. 

You’ll find it in a variety of products from cheese to ice cream to baked goods.    Cellulose is a cheap additive that adds volume, extends shelf-life and increases the bottom line. 
If you want to take a positive spin on it, cellulose is a natural fiber which is good for you right?  Because most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets, right?

Ooo, ooo, ooo . . . and  cellulose's water-absorbing properties can mimic fat.  So, you get less fat and more fiber . . . yummy, nutritious trees!

Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Salt, Less than 2% of Enzymes, Cheese Culture, Cellulose Powder, Potassium Sorbate.

Corn Bran, Whole Grain Wheat, Wheat Bran, Corn Starch, Guar Gum, Color Added, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Baking Soda, Corn Oil, Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: contains Phenylalanine)Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients)Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate)a B Vitamin (Niacinamide)Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate)A B Vitamin (Folic Acid)Vitamin B12.

Sugar, Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Wheat Starch, Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate), Contains 2% Or Less Of: Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Dextrose, Corn Starch, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Polysorbate 60, Colored With Red 40 And Yellow 5, Cellulose Gum, Tbhq And Citric Acid (Antioxidants).

If God had wanted me to eat trees I would have been born a beaver . . . just sayin'.

Garlic Chicken

Warm the garlic in the olive oil to create a rich flavored oil and then coat with Parmesan and bread crumbs for a quick and tasty baked chicken.

3 Teaspoons Crushed Garlic

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Lb Chicken Tenderloins Or 4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. 

Add  the chicken to the pan and coat with the olive oil and garlic mixture.  
In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and  then toss with the chicken in the pan.  Turn to cover the chicken in the crumbs.  Place chicken  in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining crumbs from the pan

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

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