Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

Analysis of Food and its Effect on the Body

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The benefits of eating nutritious food are greater than you could ever imagine. Losing weight, having more energy, and lowering blood pressure are just a few of the ways you can eat nutritious meals. Understanding the link between nutrition and disease may encourage you to think twice about the next dish that you prepare.

The way that you perceive science and what you do for your family, can change your lives forever. Understanding nutrition is not so difficult and it can be beneficial to your health at the same time. Let's dive a bit deeper into how we eat on a daily basis.

study of food and its effect on the body

Nutrition and Chronic Disease

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It is no secret that the food we put in our bodies our long-term well-being as well. The nutrients that we can put in our system we need to function as we should, but they can also prevent many diseases. What nutrient-enriched foods could you be enjoying that can decrease your risk of certain diseases?

  • Plant-based diet can prevent diseases such as: diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, hypertension, and obesity.
  • Foods with high antioxidants can help with diseases related to stress.
  • It is best to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats as it will help keep cholesterol down.
  • Even if you already have a disease, getting the right nutrients from your food can still benefit you.

Putting unnecessary fats and fillers into our bodies does nothing to assist with our ability to function. In fact, it can have a negative impact on how we live our daily lives and science has proven that.

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5 Reasons Why Fruits & Vegetables are the Right Choice

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You are probably already aware that fruit and veggies are an excellent source of nutrition for you and your family. However, you may not understand why. Here are 5 reasons why fruits and veggies are among the best foods you can eat.

  1. Fruit helps reduce the chance of Type 2 diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases.
  2. Veggies and fruit add color to any dish.
  3. Vegetables help you to stay energized throughout the day and are low in calories.
  4. Fruit also contains potassium which can prevent bone loss and kidney stones.
  5. Fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of specific diseases such a heart disease and cancer.

It is also crucial to remember that fruits and vegetables are easily accessible and be purchased in bulk. There are unlimited meal choices that you can create with vegetables such as green beans, spinach, lettuce, and cucumbers.  

Nutritious Ingredients in Ethnic Meals

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Fruits and veggies are used in many different meals. They are also used in ethnic cuisines.  You may be wondering what makes these ethnic choices healthier than what may already be in your kitchen. You may also have heard that many of them are high in fat and calories. This is not always the case. Here are some delicious and nutritious ethnic food options for you and your family.

1. French – French Cuisine is an excellent choice if you want a delicious and nutritious option.

A Niçoise salad is a great option because it contains fresh tuna, veggies, and potatoes which have a lot of potassium. Ratatouille is another good choice as it uses olive oil and contains eggplant, zucchini squash, and herbs such as parsley and basil. Mussels/Moules are other nutritious options as they are loaded with potassium, protein, and do not contain much sodium. A Bouillabaisse can also be an option as it uses lean fish and a base that contains garlic, tomatoes, onions, and thyme. It is also not very high in sodium.

2. Greek – The Mediterranean diet is primarily based on Greek foods. These dishes contain a lot of fish, fresh veggies, and fruits, as well as whole grains. Olive oil is in many Greek dishes which a heart-healthy ingredient. There are some minor pitfalls to enjoying Greek dishes:

  • Too much olive oil can have a negative impact on your body. There should be no more than 100 calories for every tablespoon.
  • Traditional Greek dishes such as deep-fried vegetables can be full of calories.
  • Gyro has a lot of calories and fat and it is best to stay away from this if possible.

Making Meals without Salt

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In order to maintain a healthy diet, you may want to stick with cuisines that do not contain a lot of salt. You may be wondering how do you make food taste good without salt? It may sound impossible, but there are substitutions and ways to enjoy food without all of the sodium. Salt is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, so let’s get rid of it!

  • Light salts or salt substitutes can be a good option if you want the taste of salt without all of the risks. Potassium chloride can be used as a substitute for salt. This does not contain any sodium but has a flavor much like salt. This is not a good choice if you have problems with your kidneys or your heart. Many people use this is on baked potatoes.
  • Herbs and spices can be used to add flavor to certain dishes. You will want to stick with herbs that are free of sodium such as dried or fresh herbs. Thyme and parsley are good for poultry and chives and tarragon are the best choices for seafood.
  • Juices and vinegars can also replace the flavor of salt to your food without adding the sodium and the heart risks. Wines can also be a good choice. Orange, lemon, and lime juice can add flavor and also create a healthier dish.
  • Red wine and champagne can be used in meals. Herb-infused juices and extracts such as vanilla and almond can replace salt as an ingredient.

Creating your own blend of herbs and spices to add to your food is also an option if you have previous cooking experience.

Making Meals without Sugar

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Sugar has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. There is absolutely nothing good about it. It contains no essential fats, proteins, or vitamins. If you enjoy the taste of sugar, then it is best to find a substitute that best suits your recipe. Adding sugar to your food cannot benefit you or your health. Here are some options for sugar substitution.

  • Honey is a great sugar substitute. It contains minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Studies have also shown that honey can lower cholesterol. Honey does contain sugar, but it cannot harm you combined with its other ingredients.
  • Stevia is an option that is made of natural ingredients. It does not have any calories and you cannot gain any weight from adding this to a recipe. It also has the ability to lower insulin and blood sugar levels. Many people use this as an option in their coffee and tea.
  • Yacon syrup is made with the yacon plant and is a much more nutritious option than sugar. It is very thick and tastes a lot like sugar without the harmful effects on your health. Studies have also shown this to be an active weight loss ingredient.

Learning to Cook Nutritious Meals

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All of these options may sound intriguing to you, but you may be wondering how you are going to find the time to prepare these dishes? That is why is it important to have a cooking class so you can learn about cooking basics and the importance of substitution, as well as cooking with veggies and fruits. You can do some research online regarding cooking classes in your area. There may be classes available at a local college or university.

Once you know the basics, after you take your cooking class, there are some other steps that you can take to begin the process of learning to cook the right way.

  • There are numerous online resources where you can locate nutritious recipes. Online recipe catalogs such as Cooking Light may be a good resource as well as picking the brain of your friends.
  • Once you have recipes, it is best to take it one at a time. Learn one by heart, gain the magic touch and then try a new recipe. You will be able to create your own recipe book once you have become an expert at one.
  • Roast your vegetables. If you prefer not to eat your veggies raw, then your best bet is to roast them if you want to add flavor.
  • Ingredient substitutions are important. This doesn’t just apply to salt, but oils and other fattening ingredients.
  • Study your grocery list before heading to the store.

It is okay to not know the basics but that is no excuse not to learn about what is good for you and your health. Take a cooking class, learn a few new recipes, and that will make all of the difference.  

Put it all Together

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When you take into consideration the health risks involved with eating poorly, putting all of these steps together should be fairly easy. There isn’t a lot to remember and it is not as hard as preparing for a test or taking time to study every ingredient of chosen food. Once you remember the importance of fruits, veggies, salt substitutions, sugar substitutions, and taking a cooking class, you will have all of the tools that you need to prepare delicious meals on a daily basis and maintain a nutritious diet.

Keep you and your family making the right decisions by learning these few basic rules. Once you are able to implement it, you can learn how to prevent it and instill eating clothes in your life. Stick to those fruits and veggies and stay away from the salt. Creating the right food can make all of the difference.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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More About Our Baguettes Classes

Getting a bit technical during our Baguette Class in Paris

The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece.  But in our Baguette Class in Paris  you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.

Learning more during your Baguette class in Paris: Croque Monsieur Bread and Brioche

This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...

And you might learn some history during your Baguette Class in Paris

While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.

More About Our Wine and Cheese Lunch in Paris

Cheese and Wine in Paris

The pleasures we can derive from French cuisine can seem endless.  However two of the best known and loved French gastronomic heroes are French cheese and wine. Whether we talk about a Brie which actually comes from very close to Paris, to a creamy Camembert from Normandy, or a Comté from the Alps, French cheese has a delight for all palates. And of course, French wines are even better known whether from Bordeaux great wines or Burgundy sophisticated whites – all of which enthral wine lovers.  Well, at our course on cheese and wine in Paris you will come to appreciate that although each is delicious on its own, properly matched cheese and wine together can make the experience of each even more enjoyable and an absolute delight.

How to pair French cheese and wine

Because not all pairings are actually what people expect, at Le Foodist we have decided to call these experiences 'Daring Pairings'. Maybe because we like to step out of the ordinary to challenge our taste buds, but really all we try to do is give you the perfect match fo cheese and wine in Paris.  So not only will you learn how to select the best wine to go with your cheese, but you will also learn what are the big cheese families in France – there are actually only five, and this is one of the keys to great pairing. In discovering all these pairings of cheese with wine you will be convinced that indeed two things together can be better than the sum of their parts.

It is important to have fun with pairing cheese and wine in Paris

Beyond the tastings though, we have found that the best way to help our clients remember and re-use their experience is to vary the way to approach both wine and cheese.  That is why during our courses on cheese and wine in Paris we share sensory games and many an anecdote to bring the produce to life in your mind as well as on your palate. Overall we will feature four excellent wines, one Champagne and demonstrate to you how best each combines with cheese, letting your taste guide you along with our teaching.

Understanding cheese and wine pairing while in Paris

While for many top Parisian wine stores and restaurant wine lists can be confusing and even intimidating, we believe that after our lunch learning how to pair cheese and wine in Paris, you will feel much more comfortable navigating all of those.  And we sincerely hope your knowledge will help you unlock a door to a whole new world of enjoyment of French wine and cheese pairing.  At every step of the way our sommelier will also share unique tips and tricks to understand wines better and how culture and wine are so related in France; hopefully enriching your own experience as well.

And they do not have to do with what you will find in those markets. They have to do with when you can go shopping there. Open Air markets are only open in the morning. Typically from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. And they are not open every day. As a matter of fact for the vast majority they are open either open every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), or sometimes only twice a week. 

This is the case of the Bastille Market (Metro Bastille and Metro Bréguet Sabin )which is open only on Thursday and Sunday morning. We like to send people there because it is a very big market with over one hundred vendors. And it has a nice stand of Crêperie in the middle. Here you get a video of a lady preparing a crêpe there; and you can get that crêpe for only 3 Euros!
There is only one Open Air market open every day of the week, it is called Marché Aligre (Metro Ledru Rollin or Metro Faidherbe Chaligny) which happens on the eponymous street. It is an interesting market because you find all kinds of quality in that market – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also a nice covered market in the middle of it called Marché Beauveau – sometimes called Marché Beauveau Aligre. On the contrary, Covered Markets are open every day, and not just in the morning, but also in the late afternoon. Typically from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are blessed with two markets close to where Le Foodist is located, so we can walk to a market every morning – sometimes it is the Maubert market, and sometimes it is the Monge market. Both nice with their own specififies. Last but not least, none of these markets is open on Monday. Do not sign-up for a Market Tour on Monday, you might never see that money again …

Choosing Ingredients in Paris

While all markets are different, they also have some things in common. First they work on specific schedules as explained before. But also you will find always at a minimum the following vendors: a Maraîcher – this is the name we give to people selling fruits and vegetables, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesemonger and a baker. Normally you will find several of each, with different levels of quality, organic or non-organic, local or not local (but mostly not local unfortunately).
And we explain how to recognize each of those of course during our Market Visits and Cooking Classes in Paris. But choosing ingredients can be daunting at first, because of the variety that is on display. A typical fishmonger will carry 20 different types of fishes, and as many shrimp and shelf fish varieties. A good cheese monger will easily carry up to 100 different types of cheese and obviously you could get over 100 different cuts of meat at a butcher (from the type of meat to the cut itself). And a normal Maraicher will carry between 50 and 100 fruits and vegetables as well.
This is what makes these markets so exciting – the variety of products, the beauty of their display, and the exchange you can have with most of the vendors. We give you tips though on how to make sure that exchange with the vendors go well – a few magic words, and everything will be fine!

Cooking in Paris

Obviously going to markets is nice, but actually knowing that you are going to cook what you find there is even more exciting. It is not uncommon for Parisians to buy a little bit too much food because they get so excited at the idea of cooking it all! But as most of us have hardly any space where we live, that can limit the enthusiasm sometimes. Because of the lack of space, Cooking in Paris can be quite different from cooking in the rest of France. And there are also dishes that are typically associated with regions which the Parisian will not cook at home – but taste when they visit friends or families in the various regions of France. However our kitchen has plenty of space, so we can cook traditional French dishes without a problem – whether they come from Paris or any region. And the most important part for us is to ensure that we share techniques much more than just recipes. As a matter of fact, we love to share a bit of the science behind what we do so people can better remember the “what” by understanding the “why”.

Sharing Stories

In November 2010, some experts from the UN cultural organisation, decided tha France’s multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the “world intangible list” of the UNESCO.
In this list you can find all kinds of cultural practices, including Mexico Day of the Dead festival for example. Importantly this is not suggesting French cuisine is better than other cuisines (even though we the French tend to believe that …). It is only saying that the gastronomic meal and what it entails is a very vivid cultural practice which people in France partake into on a very regular basis. That is why the same experts indicated that the French gastronomic meal is a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. And in that social custom, there are many parts: the attention we pay to the way we choose ingredients, how we pair wine with food, how many dishes we will present to our guests, how we lay the table, etc… But one big part of the cultural practice is that commensality (the fact of sharing the food) is always accompanied by sharing stories about …. Well, you would have guessed it, Food of course!
To us it is THE perfect example of how Food and Culture come together – actually we decide to share food is a considered a cultural practice. I would argue that it is true of all countries, regions, etc… As the way we relate to Food is such a big part of anybody’s identity. But as a result and to make sure you have the most genuine experience of French culture, after the a coking class in Paris at Le Foodist, you will share a gastronomic meal at a common table with your Chef and fellow participants to the class.

French Wine and Food Pairing

As mentioned above, one of the big cultural practices in France is choosing how to pair Wine and Food in general and Wine and Cheese in particular. We actually have a class which focuses specifically on this. As it is so important though, we always make sure we share white and red wines during our meals, chosen to pair well in our opinion with the food we cook. And being at the table together is a good opportunity to discuss about wine as well, with concepts such as “terroir” (to simplify, terroir means “what you do depends on where you are”) which are essential to grasp the way the French think about Food.
And all this will always go with a cheering “Santé” – which quite simply means, to your good health!

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