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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cooking With Kaye: Taste Sensations

This week in Cooking with Kaye we talked about the role of grains in the weight loss surgery diet and the new USDA Food Plate. This feature article discusses the importance of addressing the five taste sensations with each meal to avoid post-meal cravings.

A Healthy Plate: Include the Five Sensations of Taste
by Kaye Bailey

At right is a dinner I prepared for our family last week modeled after the new USDA Food Plate. Clockwise from the top you see oven roasted broccoli with yellow peppers, orange slices, our featured recipe Scallops (and shrimp) with Chipotle-Orange Sauce and Yellow Pepper Rice. Not only are the colors vibrant, in fruits and vegetables they indicate foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. My WLS plate was sparse with each element being served in half-portion size. Yet I still left food on the plate --a few bites of grain and a floret or two of broccoli-- happily satisfied but not stuffed.

Scientifically speaking from the point of view of taste this plate provides all five sensations of taste that humans can detect:
sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness, and umami (popularly referred to as savoriness). When a meal provides all five sensations of taste it is believed post-meal taste cravings are eliminated. Think about a snack or meal that is overly sweet or salty. After eating it a craving will soon follow for one of the other basic tastes: sweet is followed by salty. As you look at recipes or menu selections try to find how many of the five tastes will be met in that meal. The more tastes we satisfy the less desire we will have later for just a little something extra.

This plate comes from one of my favorite books: Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook. I have made this meal from page 200 many times using lean chicken or pork in place of the scallops. The chipotle-orange sauce is a perfect balance of sweetness, saltiness and savoriness that can be heated up with more chipotle or cooled down with less. The meal comes together quickly and is lovely to serve your close family members or those who are lucky enough to be guests at your table. I hope you enjoy!

Link to the Newsletter for the recipe: Scallops with Chipotle-Orange Sauce

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