Wednesday is a good day to start the blog with a rant. When I was at dinner last night with a good friend of mine, she and I conversed about the current alternative/commercial view of modern-day diets. We as a society are so mixed up. For example, earlier this week I received a message that we should no longer eat algae because of the mercury content.
Who do we trust?
I have studied Ayurvedic cooking, nutrition, chinese elemental cooking, and finally I blend all of these wonderful modalities to ultimate trust in the idea of nourishment. There are so many diets around to: anti-age, lose weight, maintain health. But we forget that our bodies need nourishment. Webster defines nourishment as “The substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.” This is a very different approach to what we know in the Alternative community as Wellness/Spa Food.
In my humble opinion, Nourishment equates to a flowing food plan that balances your intake of vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates. If one day you eat chocolate brownies and fried foods and the next day you balance with a quinoa salad, for me, this is nourishment. Balance will create the good condition that our body needs to sustain and maintain in the best way possible. The experience of the food, being cooked or served, brings another other element to the idea of total nourishment. Eating or preparing food with family, friends, or alone is part of an experience that brings precious foods into the place of wholeness and thankfulness.
I would love your feedback. Sunday I will be answering questions, so if there is anything that you would like for me to focus on please feel free to email me.
Please join with me virtually to share a recipe from a wonderful chef Alice Waters. As we are passing through the season of Fall, soups become my favorite nourishment.
Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup
makes 2 quarts; 4 to 6 servings
Young turnips with their greens are in the markets in spring and fall. The two together make a delicious soup or side dish.
Remove the greens from:
2 bunches of young turnips with greens
Trim and discard the stems from the greens. Wash and drain the greens and cut them into 1/2-inch strips. Trim the roots from the turnips. If needed peel the turnips (taste one to judge if the skins are tough), and slice thin. Warm in a heavy pot over medium heat:
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
Cook until soft, about 12 minutes. Add the sliced turnips with:
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Cover with:
6 cups chicken broth
Bring to a boil, then turn the soup down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the turnip greens and cook for another 10 minutes or until the greens are tender. Taste for salt and add more as needed.
• Garnish the soup with grated Parmesan.
• Cook the soup in water instead of broth and stir in a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil at the end for richness.
French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked. Sort and rinse:
1 cup lentils
Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through (adding more water if necessary), about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the lentils with:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Fresh-ground black pepper
Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed. Add:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions or
3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Stir to combine. If the lentils seem dry and are hard to stir, loosen them with a bit of the reserved cooking liquid.
• Add 1/2 cup diced cucumber.
• Dice very fine 1/4 cup each of carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until tender in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Cool and stir into the salad in place of the scallions or shallots.
• Garnish with 1/2 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese.
• Toast and crush 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and add to the salad. Substitute cilantro for the parsley.
• Dice 1/4 cup flavorful sweet peppers, season with salt, and let stand to soften. Stir in with the scallions or shallots.
Excerpts from “The Art of Simple Food” Copyright 2007 by Alice Waters, Clarkson Potter publishers.