Diet Is Turning Search For Flavor Into Adventure

The original story I wrote for today's column has been sauteed with some onions, leeks and garlic and eaten with a glass of good wine.

I was really hungry.

This year I got a head start on my New Year's resolutions. Before the season of feasting began its annual lease, I adopted a new lifestyle.

I've traded in my sugar, carbs and fat-laden flavor enhancers for lighter portions, nutritional supplements and frequent jaunts around Lake Ella.

Dieting through the holidays was a challenge, yet I've managed to drop about 30 pounds in two months.

Creating food that tastes good enough to keep me focused on this diet is my current culinary challenge de jour. Fortunately, my mind is never idle and frequently rewards me with tasty solutions.

During fruit and veggie shopping adventures to the nearby farmer's market and the produce aisle of the grocery store, my imagination blooms with bouquets of ideas on how to marry the season's fresh and vibrant bounty in exciting new ways.

Butter, olive oil, cream and heavenly sauces have always been among the supportive ingredients that lend the rich velvet-like texture to food. Unfortunately, these flavorful additions are the bad guys that need to be eliminated from the diet, or at least used in extreme moderation.

What is a gourmet to do?

Flavor is everything to me! So these days I'm on a fabulous adventure to not only lose a significant amount of weight, but also to accomplish my objective without sacrificing taste.

By substituting heart-healthy homemade stocks and purees, creating unusual depth and intrigue to delicious meal-time adventures is a snap.

Farmer's Market Vegetable Broth is a delightful way to season food. Cook it up in the crockpot and allow it to simmer over low heat for a couple of hours or do it stove top in less than an hour. Once the broth is cooked, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer. Let cool briefly, then pour the broth into ice-cube trays and/or quart-sized freezer bags for frozen storage. Since the majority of cooking I do is for one person, the ice-cube-sized frozen stock is perfect. If you cook for a larger group, perhaps a quart bag would be more appropriate.

With the broth as a base, you have the beginning of a great vitamin-rich meal that can be served alone or used in synergy with other favorite ingredients for interesting chicken, fish, seafood or vegetarian meals.

Vegetable broth is also a perfect fat-free and salt-fee complement and flavorful springboard to adventures into all types of regional and international cookery. The possibilities are unlimited.

This recipe is very forgiving. You can add, subtract and alter the ingredients based on your own taste preferences and availability of ingredients.

Experimenting with new combinations is the fun part - at least it is for this flavor-hungry former caterer who has decided to tackle the challenge of losing weight in 2007.

Farmer's Market Vegetable Broth

1 gallon water

2 onions, sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 garlic cloves

Fresh tomatoes, chopped

Plus lots of your favorite chopped vegetables, chopped fresh herbs and gourmet peppercorns.

Simmer on stove for about an hour or in a crockpot for a couple of hours. Strain and freeze in ice trays or freezer bags.

Well, I'm off to the kitchen to experiment with a Florida Seafood Stuffed Artichoke with Lemon, Citrus and Dill Vinaigrette for tonight's dinner.

From The Entertaining With Kathi Newspaper Column ~ originally published Jan. 3, 2007

For more recipes and ideas visit If you are in the Tallahassee, Florida area, come join us for a cooking class taught by Kathi Dameron at Winner's Weight Loss on February 6, 2007. The class is free but seating is limited. Kathi can be reached at

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