A Note from the Chef
When it comes to cooking delicious food that is also super healthy, creativity and resourcefulness are must have skills if we want to eat. What’s that saying?
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
During the last year or so I’ve had to adapt many dishes to suit various diet restrictions in my cooking classes, published articles and other professional services. I’ve come to see how these challenges have helped me to exercise my creative muscles and force me to think outside the box.
When it comes to gluten-free cooking, especially, creativity has to be cranking or we can end up with dishes that taste like cardboard. And this pasta loving Italian gal has eaten too much cardboardy spaghetti to ever want to again – so I made my own. Here’s the recipe in case you missed it.
In the process of reinventing some of the recipes in my archive, as well as coming up with new ones made to appeal to a diversity of diet and lifestyle choices, I realized one thing.
If it doesn’t taste good…I’m not eating it. (or cooking it again)
And I bet you won’t either – at least not for long.
It’s in my chefy blood that taste be paramount. If something’s really good for you that’s great. But if it doesn’t taste good, is it something you want to set the table for?
If you drink it, swallow it, chew it because you have to, then it’s medicine, not food.
Food is meant to nourish our senses as well as our body. It’s meant to delight us with it’s intoxicating aromas, motivate us to celebrate the pleasure we get from sharing it with loved ones. It creates memories and connects us to the earth and with people everywhere. We could be the political enemy of a country, but if we love their cuisine, we’re united there.
In my quest for creating recipes that totally please the palate while offering a high level of nutrients that saturate our bodies, I’m being put to the test. So when I come up with a super healthy recipe, you can bet…it’ll also taste good.
But now, I want to let you in on a little secret…
Most good cooks are masters of reinvention – not just chefs. We all need recipes that work for our particular preferences and lifestyle choices so we’re always fussing with them; adapting them to fit our family needs, our personal moods, cravings and our precious time. But first we have to find something tempting enough to warrant making a mess of the kitchen. That’s why a recipe has to make our mouths water and inspire us to cook it. When it’s said that we eat first with eyes…it’s true.
People always put their individual stamp on everything – especially what and how they cook. Even when we follow a recipe exactly, use the same ingredients and cook it on the same stove, it never comes out exactly the same as someone else’s. I’ve seen this happen consistently in my classes over the years. Why? Because, each of us does each step of a recipe a little differently – even when we’re shown how: How consistent are your slices and dices? Are you stirring with a wooden or metal spoon? What exactly is a pinch, or a medium dice, or how high is high heat? See what I mean? And there’s more…
How we feel about what we’re cooking and for whom, effects how it tastes and how nourishing it is.
A bold statement – I know. But this is even more significant than one might think because it invokes the power of intention – an essential ingredient in inventing or reinventing anything – not just food – but life itself.
What I know for sure is that the mind-set, or intention with which we approach our time in the kitchen effects what comes out of it.
Are you approaching the task with a “have too” attitude, or are you embracing the challenge with the energy of creative inspiration, patience and faith that even if you mess it up, you can always start over?
What gets you inspired to cook?
Do you find cooking healthy dishes that also taste good a challenge?
What kind of recipes would you like to see more of?
I won’t know unless you tell me, so leave a comment.
photo via eatocracy.cnn.com