February 15, 2014
The Green Life: A quick lesson in breakfast
by Jimmy Buff
Television is rife with cooking shows, so why not radio? That was my rationale one morning recently as the smell of sautéing zucchini and kale filled the studio.
Across the on-air mixing board from me was Holly Shelowitz, nutrition counselor, cook, shopping instructor and real food educator. I had invited Shelowitz in to help me learn about fast, simple foods I could prepare as I tried to change my diet from a somewhat healthy one to an all whole-food based one and she now was preparing a dish she called Forget About ’Em Eggs. The healthy, nutritious and quick breakfast was created for people like me who think they don’t have enough time in their busy mornings to eat well.
Shelowitz was a successful professional photographer who had a passion for cooking and eating good, whole foods. The connection went back to her days as a young woman working in a Long Island health food store. Then, in 1998, Shelowitz launched Nourishing Wisdom Nutrition and began to teach people how to shop well, cook well and eat well. It is a hands-on practice for Shelowitz, too: her shopping classes take place in local supermarkets, as well as farmers markets. Her cooking classes happen in a variety of places, including colleges, libraries, private homes and now, a radio studio.
Shelowitz came prepared for our first radio cooking segment. The veggies had been pre-cut, and she was toting a single burner propane stove. In real life, the Forget About ’Em Eggs would take less than 10 minutes to make, but owing to advertiser and programming obligations, we need to stretch out the process. First, Shelowitz lit the burner and placed a cast iron skillet on it. Then she spooned in some coconut oil, a product Shelowitz raves about. “You can even brush your teeth with it,” she told me.
The sizzling of the oil in the pan was audible over the air, and the aroma immediately filled the small room.
I hoped our chief engineer wasn’t listening too, as Shelowitz laid in the zucchini and kale. He is strict about things like this — he loves to tell the story of the radio host who brought a horse into a studio — and I didn’t want to end our cooking bit before we had a chance to eat.
While the vegetables simmered, Shelowitz offered up some nondairy yogurt she had whipped up the night before. It was easy to make, she told the audience and me, as I tasted the surprisingly creamy yogurt. You soak cashews in water to soften them, then add lemon juice, water and pears or bananas, she said. Using a blender, you whip the mix into a yogurt consistency and voila, you have a nondairy treat that tastes just like the original. Top with fruit, as Shelowitz had done, and you have a perfect easy snack. You can even add in powdered acidophilus to get the full digestive benefits of yogurt, Shelowitz said.
Meanwhile, the veggies were done, and it was news time, so while the folks at NBC told us about the impending storm, the Olympics and the debt ceiling, Shelowitz cracked some local eggs bought at Mother Earth’s — she sources local for her food — and laid them, sunny side up, on top of the sautéed zucchini and kale. We hit the commercial break and when we came back, the eggs had cooked. The smell from the studio was tantalizing, too, and it drew a couple of my colleagues. We all tasted the dish together. The first bite was as good as any breakfast as I ever tasted.