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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

wisdom for your knife and fork

In a world that prides itself on five minute meals and microwave dinners, it's easy to forget the beauty of real food.

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 your greens
they clall me yellow mellow

"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


Blogger Lacey said...

Cheers to that!! Health and eating well is a way of life... it seems in North America it is all an "in order to..."In order to be fitter, better, prettier... instead of incompassing the big picture... if we are at one with our eating and meals... there is no need to have the in order to. Ya know?

have you read omnivore's dilema yet???

12:56 AM  
Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

C'est trop vrai -- I hear you! And I definitely agree... It seems like a simple concept, and yet so hard to grasp sometimes. Ever since I moved to France I definitely think I eat healthier overall, incredibly enough, mainly because I get a lot of veggies and fruit at my local market and I've been trying to teach myself to cook more and do simple things in the kitchen. In the U.S. I did tend to take the easy way out, most of the time.

Here I've been cooking with lots of olive oil, and I have a weakness for REAL butter, especially the salted kind, with sea salt from Noirmoutier.

(But I have to admit that every once in a while I do still get a craving for something like Ben & Jerry's ice cream or some junk-food cookies, and I still feel guilty about it... I give in briefly, just for the moment!) It's incredible how fulfilling a simple homemade cake can be, though. I'm addicted to lemon pound cake now.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

I agree, there's nothing like a meal of fresh vegetables! It makes your body go "ah, she loves me, she really loves me". (smile) Enjoy!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Ben and Jerry's is an exception...I believe even our ancestors would dig in to some Chunky Monkey...

I haven't read omnivore's dilemma but I looked it up and am now on the hunt!

6:00 AM  

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