Give Me the Real Deal!

Crabmeat SaladThere’s an old saying, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery”, and perhaps that’s true when it relates to actions that bless and encourage others, but not so much when it applies to food. Imitation means it’s not the real deal . . . and a good case in point is crab meat. Fake crab meat does not contain any crab meat at all. It’s actually a processed food that contains various artificial ingredients, flavorings, sodium and monosodium glutamate, or MSG. The nutritional value and overall quality of imitation crab meat is inferior to real fish and seafood because of its ingredients. A 3-ounce serving of imitation crab provides 51 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, 0.4 gram of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 715 milligrams of sodium, which corresponds to about a third of all the sodium you should eat in a day.

So what do you say we use some real crab meat and put together a fantastic tomato-stuffed crab and avocado salad?

You’ll need the following ingredients:

4 Alaskan crab legs
½ cup mayonnaise
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of snipped fresh chives
1 dash Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper
2 ripe avocados
The juice from a fresh lemon
2 sprigs of fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the crab legs in a shallow baking pan in a single layer. Place hot water in the pan about 1/8 of an inch deep. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake the crab legs for eight to ten minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Mix the mayonnaise, celery, chives, Tabasco sauce, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and set aside. Cut avocados in half lengthwise, separate the halves by gently turning them in opposite directions and remove the pits. Using a spoon, remove the avocado meat and dice. Immediately sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside.

Split the king crab leg shells and remove the crabmeat. (The best way to split the shells is with a good pair of kitchen shears or scissors . . . an important tool for every kitchen)! Coarsely chop the crabmeat. Gently mix the avocado and crabmeat, and then fold in the mayo sauce. Serve over a quartered tomato, garnished with a sprig of dill.  A wonderfully delicious meal, serving 4!

As I continue to share more recipes with you in the coming months, you will see I often prefer to use real food items over imitation. Imitation foods may be less expensive and caloric, but often the end result is a poorer quality and less gratifying taste! Furthermore, a reduction in calories doesn’t necessarily result in a health benefit; often the opposite is true.  A good example is butter! The ingredients of butter are cream and salt. The ingredients of imitation butter (margarine) are liquid canola oil, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, plant stanol esters, salt, emulsifiers (vegetable mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin), hydrogenated soybean oil, potassium sorbate, citric acid and calcium disodium EDTA to preserve freshness, artificial color, DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, vitamin A palmitate colored with beta carotene . . . the equivalent of a Molotov cocktail for your arteries!

If I were to research other food items and their related “imitation” counterparts, I’m sure I could provide you with some equally unappealing information.  To avoid writing an expose the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, however, I will end my research here and just recommend that when it comes to cooking, it’s best to avoid imitation products!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
The same holds true when it comes to living our lives for Jesus; it’s best to avoid imitation products!  “If someone comes and proclaims another Jesus other than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you originally received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11: 4, 13-15) “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) “But test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) “Carefully examine the Scriptures to be sure what you are being told is true.” (Acts 17:11) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I (Jesus Christ) have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

Be careful what you’re “eating”, what you’re taking into your spirit, and what you’re imitating in your daily life.  It can kill you . . . as well as the ones who are watching and imitating you . . . for eternity.

–Cheri Henderson