Web Cooking Classes with Chef Todd MohrWeb Cooking Classes with Chef Todd Mohr

By Chef Todd

Falling Off The FatCal Cliff

Which is worst to pass onto your grandchildren, fiscal irresponsibility or fat and calorie irresponsibility?
Which would burden them more?

Are we racking up financial debt or fat debt for future generations based on the decisions we make today?
Which is worse?

Yes, money is important and times are tough everywhere. But remember, you can’t take it with you. Sick and rich isn’t rich at all. I’d even say that poor and healthy is a greater wealth. Either way, food and money are inextricably connected. Wealthy people have access to the widest variety of foods. People of less means are spiraling downward, falling more quickly because of fast foods, processed foods, and fake foods that they consume because of the low cost and convenience.

I witnessed this very sad phenomenom when an inner-city High School class visited my lab last year. I first tried to convince them to look at Food as Fuel. "What you put into your body has a direct effect on your brain, your nails, your hair, your attention span", I told them. They shrugged.

Then, I tried to take it a step further and show them how Your Chicken McNuggets Can Be Better Than Fast Food, when I compared the processed chicken disks from the drive-thru with wholesome chicken breast. Which did they eventually choose? The result SHOCKED me. Our children can't even identify what a real chicken is!

This year, you can avoid the fat/cal cliff by beginning some new traditions in your home.
You don’t need to eat like a rabbit to be healthy. The common misconception is that healthy eating means carrot sticks and kale. It’s simply not true.

Healthy eating just means making a few SMALL changes in your overall diet on a daily basis, that when combined over months become the new normal for you and your children.

They should never know about that whole stick of butter.

Whether at Stratford University, within WebCookingClasses.com, or at my own cooking school, students often recall how their Mother, Grandmother, Grandfather or other relative long ago introduced them to cooking. With each item they prepare, they remember the smells and tastes that person added to their consciousness. The impression lasts a lifetime. It’s a powerful gift to give someone.

If you have favorite family recipes from long ago, be thankful. Then, honor your family heritage by updating them with new cooking knowledge and the world of healthy ingredients now available.

Grandma’s entire stick of butter to saute a chicken breast CAN be changed to a tablespoon of olive oil. The blue box of chemicals called Mac and Cheese you’ve been eating, and now serving your children, can be made with real milk and cheese in the new year once you know how. Even Nana’s Apple Pie filling can be thickened with cornstarch, omitting some of the butter that past generations spackled on the lattice.

Replace the sodium-soaked “Steak-ums” with an actual steak from the farmers market this year. You’ll find that the real flavor of wholesome ingredients will have your children eating LESS of something that is actually giving them MORE.

Pitch the processed pizza rolls and spend 30 minutes in the kitchen with your children, teach them how to make English muffin pizzas with real tomatoes and whole mozzarella. Don’t let your food heritage be a microwaved egg-puck biscuit for breakfast when it’s incredibly easy to fry an egg and toast whole wheat bread.

You can take the old, make small incremental changes, and start to incorporate them into your weekly menus and snacks. Updating these foods will have an impact on your family for decades, far more than any tax break ever will.

The greatest gift you can give your family is learning to cook their own food.

To start the new year, I challenge you to find an old favorite recipe and update it with new ingredients, new procedures, or new seasonings. Strive to use some of the nutritional information and worldwide items available to us since 1970, and create a new family heirloom recipe. Your children and their children will benefit from never knowing how to use an entire stick of butter to sauté chicken or even what a TV dinner is.

You can worry, fret, and chew your nails over the dollar taxes that you fear are lost while you are inflicting a taxation of much greater consequence to your kids, and their kids…a legacy of unhealthy eating that will make you poor quicker than any taxes will.

By Chef Todd

What a Paris Café Can Teach You About Healthy Eating.

In this Paris video, I want to share the thing I loved most about Paris. It was the culture of food and specifically the café culture. If you have the chance to do some Paris traveling, make sure you pay attention to the healthy eating taking place everywhere you go.

In fact, I’m starting to notice a big difference in the flavor of items in Paris. The real butter in the croissants has so much more flavor than I’ve ever tasted.

Why does food just seem so much better in Paris?

 

The Louvre museum was a fantastic afternoon of viewing the world’s greatest art treasures. But you know me, I’m more interested in a search for the greatest French Food Finds.

The Vendor Baguette Sandwich
The amount of open space is impressive here. The Parisians use the open space and leisurely pace to great benefit. In this park, there are families, joggers, men playing chess, boys playing soccer, and babies feeding ducks. But, I’m most interested in the vendor selling baguette sandwiches for lunch.

This sandwich, like everything I’ve eaten so far is very simple, but tastes better than anything I’ve ever had. What made it so wonderful? It was simply a great baguette, one slice of ham, one slice of cheese, and a thin swipe of Dijon mustard. It wasn't slathered in sauce and tasted more like healthy eating than anything I expected from a street vendor in my Paris travels. In fact, I’ve yet to see anything food “super sized” or advertised for a very cheap price here in Paris.

Surrounded By Art
The dome of Sacre Cour cathedral is on the highest point in Paris, in Monmartre. This artist’s town is also the home of famous Moulin Rouge nightclub and many artists like Toulouse LeTrec, Vincent Van Gough, and Pablo Picasso.

For me, the art was in the café as Heather and I sat down to the best pizza I’ve ever had, but again it was too simple to be believed. A basic, delicate yeast dough crust, crushed fresh tomatoes, a few slices of cheese and whole basil leaves. The flavor of that basil stayed in my nose for hours! More healthy eating for my Paris videos.

The Patisserie
And then, there were the bakeries, the patisserie. I wasn’t in Paris long enough to taste every single bakery item, but I sure tried. And what I remember thinking was that each one was the work of someone’s hands, not a machine. And, when I bought an extra croissant that afternoon, it was hard and stale by the next morning. No preservatives. Get it simple, get it fresh, eat it now.

All this food exploring made me tired, so it’s time to find another café. In the market of Rue Cler, we enjoyed a great, light snack with some wine and cheese plate at Café Du Marche.

More Art
There was a feast for the eyes at the Orangerie Museum where we got to view Monet’s Water Lillies. But the beauty doesn't stop there. You can’t toss a croissant without hitting a cathedral in Paris. Our quick tour of the beautiful stained glass of St. Chapel only made me hungry for dinner.

More Healthy Eating in our Paris Travels
That evening, we went to the smallest restaurant I’ve ever seen. It was so small, that I couldn’t get photos of every part, or I’d have to stand outside. In fact, the kitchen only served 5 tables. But here’s the key…they served some of the most amazing and artistic food I’ve ever had.

The frogs legs were ever so lightly dredged, not deep fried in a beer batter. The escargot was in a parsley butter that just HAD to be mopped up with fresh baguette.

Paris Videos
What a great day of food in Paris, everything so flavorful yet so simple. I hope you're enjoying our Paris videos as we travel enjoying the wonderful art both visually and through taste sensations. The most amazing aspect of it all is that for as wonderful as the food tastes, it also looks and feels like healthy eating.

What is the French secret to great food?

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By Chef Todd

Will Chef Todd Find Healthy Eating During Paris Travels?

My Paris travel itinerary is set, and I’m off to the city of lights to investigate healthy eating and why food in France is so much better. In my first Paris video, I’ll show you exactly what I saw in my first day in Paris from the street musicians to sidewalk cafes, Notre Dam Cathedral, and street food vendors.

The first few bites of food in Paris have alerted me to the fact that everything seems to taste much better. I’m compelled to figure out why healthy eating has a different definition in France than in the United States.

The croissants I ate in the morning had real butter and tasted that way. There’s no greasy texture in my mouth from a mass-produced croissant made with vegetable oils that don’t melt at body temperature.

Healthy eating and great food quality was evident as I walked the streets during my Paris travels in search of the best foods and ingredients. The local butcher shop has their rotisserie right on the street for you to see the quality of the ingredients cooking.

The fish restaurant displays all their fish so you can examine the freshness. Can it be as simple as the ingredients making the big difference in healthy eating? Doesn’t how you cook things make a difference as well?

Join me in my Paris travels as I attempt to discover why healthy eating seems to be different in Paris than it does back in the USA. In my Paris videos, you'll see that I won’t rest until I’ve tasted every croissant, crepe, escargot in the country in an effort to find the answers to my questions.

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