wisdom for your knife and fork
When I cook for other people I like to work on presentation and technique, but when making food for myself I keep it as simple as possible. I like to use good produce and let the food do the work for me.
It's surprising how good food can taste when you let the natural flavours shine through. Steamed vegetables, if fresh, only need a dash of salt and pepper to taste great. A good salad with lots of fresh herbs can explode in your mouth with fresh lemon and a wisp of balsamic vinegar.
While living in France I learnt that the most simple dishes are the best. The secret is good ingredients. Some of my favourite dishes included carrotte rapées (grated carrots with oil, lemon and vinegar), salade nicoise (tuna salad with hard boiled egg, green beans, anchovies, capers and vinaigrette), and meat dishes that were cooked in one magical ingredient: butter.
When I eat simply my body thanks me. I don't crave junk food or pre-packaged satisfaction. My body thrives off all the vitamins I'm taking in, and I don't get sick as easily.
I have pounded my feet on treadmills in the past and filled up on protein bars and diet soda, but it seems there's an easier solution. These days I walk to the market or the grocery store, pick up some fresh ingredients, and give my body and food the attention it deserves.
The end result is a happier, healthier body, and a personal relationship with what I'm eating.
It's just some food for thought.
"Eat food. Though in our current state of confusion, this is much easier said than done. So try this: Don't eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. ...There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn't recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these."
— Michael Pollan, Unhappy Meals, New York Times Magazine, 1/28/07