This is the new fitness mantra, presented here by Melissa's at the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit. The giant produce exhibition was held over the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center.
If you looked at Time magazine's recent cover story on home cooking, you read the same thing from cookbook author and food columnist Mark Bittman, who had still more to say about home cooking in the New York Times Magazine.
And why would you not want to cook when you can work with gorgeous produce such as this? Processed junk food looks ugly compared to cute little romanesco, the knobby green things in another Melissa's display at the expo.
How naughty that cauliflower gets shorn of its beautiful leaves before we buy it. Thrifty cooks in other countries, India among them, know that the leaves are excellent for cooking. Here is how cauliflower ought to look.
Wouldn't it be fun to confuse your friends with these tiny golden balls? They look like cherry tomatoes, but they're actually a fruit--golden berries from Colombia, also known as uchuva, Cape gooseberry and physalis peruviana. In the photo they're paired with a smoothie that blends the berries with pineapple, mint and lime.
For exotic fruits, a good stop was Thailand's booth, where mangosteens and fresh longans were set out for tasting. Dragon fruit (the cerise fruit in the basket) is now so common, it's perhaps no longer exotic.
Why make a fuss about cooking when it's so easy? Chef Daniele Palanca at the Mucci Farms booth put this together while I watched. The yellow bell pepper strips are marinated with raspberry vinegar, lemon-flavored olive oil, fried shallots (ready made, from an Asian market), black sesame seeds and sea salt. They were delicious.
More complicated was albacore tiradito (above) prepared by Chef Ricardo Zarate for Peru's tasting bar. It has an aji amarillo and mango sauce, a rocoto huacatay dressing and micro greens for decoration. The little dots are crispy quinoa. The Peruvian chile aji amarillo is only available frozen here, but mangoes are easy to get, and there were lots of them at the expo.
After seven hours of touring, all I wanted was a cup of coffee, which the expo provided, and a cookie, which I got from a booth promoting Missouri black walnuts. The cookies were really good, and you can bake them yourself. The recipe is here, along with information on mail-ordering black walnuts if you can't find them in your markets.