My daughter Sabrina came home from college one summer with a goal: lose 15 pounds.
For lunch, I made a different salad each day. I'm not talking about iceberg lettuce, either. We had field greens, fresh seasonal vegetables or grilled Mediterranean vegetables, perhaps sun-dried tomatoes, plums, various cheeses, roasted macadamias or almonds with unusual garnishes. We tossed our salads with exotic oils and vinegars. We had fun, while Sabrina learned about new ingredients.
I maintained a full and healthful pantry and trained Sabrina in the fine art of cooking with a nonstick griddle. I gave her an education in spice mashes, dry spice rubs and marinades. We experimented with fresh herbs, ginger root and lemongrass. A fresh selection of home-grown chili peppers became the condiment of choice.
I dropped Sabrina at school confident and fit, her self-image healthy and positive.
She called to let me know that she was cooking for her roommates and to let me know that some of her friends' moms prepare recipes from this column.
She went on to ask, "How do you know how to do all of this?"
I replied, "Sabrina, it's what I do. How do you know how to find such fabulous shoes and then match them with impeccable outfits all the time?"
This simple saute is one of Sabrina's favorite dishes.