Kindness in cooking
Jan./Feb. 2015 California Bountiful magazine
Story by Barbara Arciero
Photos by Matt Salvo
Dietitian Erin McCarthy shares healthy delights
Tips and Recipes
From Erin McCarthy's perspective, everything relates back to food, including relationships built in the growing, cooking and sharing of it.
Perhaps that's why the registered dietitian, who grew up in the country yet worked primarily in the city, seems so comfortable—joyful even—in the boutique kitchen store she opened a few months ago on Red Bluff's historic Main Street.
"I've got so much connection with people, so much interaction," said McCarthy, who sells kitchen tools and healthy salads and snacks to local residents as well as to people traveling through Northern California along Interstate 5. She also hosts cooking classes.
Everything she does, she said, stems from a desire to help people improve their lives through their food choices.
"As a dietitian, my goal has always been to heal people," she said. "Food is connected to our energy levels, moods, stress capacity and overall health and resilience. Every time we eat, we have the opportunity to do something really kind for our bodies."
McCarthy favors whole-food ingredients that require minimal preparation, such as the following recipes that yield warm, flavorful results.
"They don't feel like you're eating something that is overly healthy, if that makes sense," she said with a laugh. "You're eating them because it's a fun way to play with different ingredients. You should enjoy your food."
The next time you're cooking, registered dietitian Erin McCarthy suggests you mince the garlic ahead of time. Why? Nutritionists at the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that letting chopped or crushed garlic sit for 10 or 15 minutes before heating helps it retain more of its cancer-fighting sulfur compounds than if it were cooked immediately.
"That's one of the most interesting things I know about garlic that I like sharing," said McCarthy, who uses garlic generously in her cooking.