But first a quick science lesson…
What makes the human brain unique?
Okay, not entirely new news. The orangutan in Disney’s the Jungle book knew there was value with “man’s red flower” but here’re some fascinating findings from brain researcher Susana Herculana-Hozel.
What makes human brains different – why are we the smarted animals on earth?
It’s not just the number of neurons in our brains, but where they are located within our brains that makes all the difference.
Regardless of overall animal brain size, us humans have a higher concentration of neurons in our cerebral cortices. That’s the portion of the brain associated with higher brain functions including thought and action.
About 16B of them!
Even though an elephant is bigger than ours, we have about 2.9x the amount of neurons in our cerebellums and almost twice as many as an apes.
So what does this have to do with cooking?
All of those neurons in the cerebral cortex require lots and lots of energy.
Susana estimated that if we had to hunt and gather for food we would need to spend about 9.5 hours/day obtaining and eating food to support this brain size.
COOKING is what provides the ENERGY to allow us to have such advanced BRAIN FUNCTION.
And with all of this advanced brain function – we’d like TIME to do INTERESTING things with it.
There wouldn’t be any time for playing tennis, reading, chatting and laughing with friends or enjoying a good rom com without cooking.
So basically, cooking is pretty damn important.
COOKING IS SACRED.
So, CHEERS to COOKING
HAVING TIME for (and the ability to do) FUN and INTERESTING THINGS!
See – Calories are GOOD!
Want to learn more interesting facts about the brain? Check out this week’s podcast listen in the lower section of your weekly email update.
Not on the list?
And Now – Your New Favorite Recipe:
GARLIC CHICKEN & RED POTATOES
A crowd pleaser, with a twist on the more common versions – this super yummy rendition has no added sugar.
4 Chicken Breasts – boneless, skinless (quantity can be adjusted based on # of people)
5-6 Red Potatoes, chopped into 1/8ths
1T Olive Oil
6 Cloves Garlic, chopped and divided
2T Lemon Juice, about ½ lemon fresh squeezed or from jar
½t Crushed Red Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Toss potatoes with olive oil, 2 cloves chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste
Spread potatoes in large pan or baking dish – I either use a Dutch oven (without the lid) when making this for two or for more dinner guests I use a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan lined with foil for more cooking surface and easy clean up.
Cook for about 25 minutes – you want the potatoes to get a bit brown and crispy
While the potatoes are cooking, combine butter and remaining garlic in sauce pan.
Melt the butter in a skillet on low heat.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, red pepper and add a few turns of salt and pepper.
Remove potatoes from oven and use a spatula to move the potatoes to the sides of the dish (you can pile them up if needed).
Place the chicken breasts next to each other in the center of the dish and drizzle with lemon-butter sauce.
Return the pan to the oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
All ovens are different so a thermometer is your best bet. According to most health safety sites, chicken should be 165-170 degrees in the thickest spot.
I love this meat thermometer.
Remove dish from the oven. Move chicken to cutting board and slice.
Serve chicken and potatoes while warm.
Pairs well with salad or asparagus.
For a fancier look garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro and a lemon wedge.
PLEAE SHARE THIS RECIPE WITH A FRIEND 🙂
Courtesy of the RECIPE NUTRITION CALCULATOR from VeryWell.