Friday, September 16, 2011

Pho Satisfaction

Have you noticed your diet changing as you age? It’s a slow process, but before long friends will question your identity. You’ll hear things like, “Aren’t you the same person who used to eat a whole cake? Now you won’t touch sugar and you only use Splenda?” I supposed it happens to the best of us.   
One day, while discussing our morning routines, an older relative and I shared what we ate for breakfast.  I used to eat very little for breakfast, but with kids in the house, my morning meals have ramped up to include anything from scrambled eggs to French toast or waffles, and don’t forget the fruit and/or yogurt. My relative remarked that he often ate oatmeal, and sometimes…soup! I didn’t see that coming. But later I started thinking, “Why get locked into the same, old routine?” Shake things up a bit—go ahead and have soup for breakfast. Actually, I haven’t eaten it for breakfast yet, but I am reaching for soup more often. It’s light, yet filling. Last year I discovered a wonderful, new soup. If you’re ready for something a little different, try a bowl of pho.                         
Beef Pho (pronounced “fuh”) noodle soup is a Vietnamese dish. Our community has several new Vietnamese restaurants and, from what I’ve seen, some of the Vietnamese dishes resemble Chinese food, but pho is special. The hot, rich, brown broth hides a tasty mound of rice noodles, and you get to order one or two types of thinly-sliced beef such as brisket or flank steak to include in your soup.
Fresh basil, lime, chili peppers and bean sprouts comes on a separate plate so that you can add them to the pho as you wish. Usually Vietnamese restaurants keep several sauces like Hoisin ( a sort of Chinese barbecue sauce) and Sriracha (a flavorful hot sauce) on the tables to enhance the food. Mixing these sauces into your pho adds layers of flavor and gives the soup a savory, spicy kick.
Still looking to add adventure to your meals? Imagine yourself dining with these people at Trump Towers in NYC:    

I never encounter scenes like this when I’m out for lunch. Improv Everywhere filmed this prank for the Today Show, look closely and you’ll see Ann Curry.    
Despite the warnings to cut back on salt, sugar, fat and various meats, there are some foods we’re just not giving up. It’s interesting how we can become emotionally connected to certain foods and many times our favorite meals evoke our best (childhood?) memories. So, what’s your favorite food and why?

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