Saturday, March 6, 2010

You want me to chew HOW much exactly?

One of the main things that we talk about in school is about food- surprising I know. But not just about what food we're eating, but how it is actually fueling us. As Americans, we generally....ok, let's clarify that- I generally am always looking to the next thing and don't ever leave time to savor...this applies to almost every aspect of my life- my job, my living situation, and especially my food.

I certainly love to eat don't get me wrong but what I recently realized was that I'm a "scarfer." Pretty much I scarf down my food so fast that I couldn't tell you when I'm done whether what I just ate tasted good or bad. This could be one reason that I always put hot sauce on EVERYTHING!!! You can even see it my last post- right next to the bok choy and quinoa is a nice squirt of Siracha- an asian hot sauce which some people may actually know better as cock sauce - this is of course because of the picture of the rooster on the bottle--ha ha. I love to laugh at food.


So I came to a realization for me which is:
1) everything tastes bland because I don't actually chew my food enough (in the macrobiotic diet people chew each bite 100 times.....seriously-what dedication)
2) because everything tastes bland, I smother it in hot sauce, red pepper, what have you
3) because I scarf everything down that is smothered in hot sauce it irritates my stomach and I often feel like I'm choking when I eat

With this new idea I had I proposed myself a challenge:
1) Eat food with out initially smothering it with hot sauce-- Those of you who know me know that this is a sincere challenge!
2) Chew food consciously, slowly, and really taste the flavor of what I'm eating.
3) Let food gradually swallow down the throat this way I don't have to immediately chug water to help it.

And I'll tell you- this past week has been challenging! But my new recipe that I cooked was another one from the Integrative Nutrition book and then I actually got experimental myself a bit and tried something of my own creation!

Carrot Ginger Soup and Tomato Salad with Gouda Cheese

This was especially a fun one to make as my roommate Jess was there helping me literally every step of the way while supporting my insecurities around cooking and photographing the whole process- yeah she's the best! After all the giggling and spilling and having the blender top have a hole in it and therefore shoot carrot, ginger, onion water pretty much all over me, we had a really lovely meal. Jess even thought to bring the candle that was in the living room into the kitchen so we could fully celebrate our accomplishment!



Tomato Salad with Gouda-
I had just been in Ft. Myers visiting my parents the weekend prior and went tomato picking! It was so much fun and my mom and I were stepping in rotten tomatoes like crazy but in the end I brought home about 6 beautiful, organic, picked off the vine by me tomatoes. And honestly Jess and I can always agree that everyone loves a good gouda (shout out to John Fasulo here!) so it was a pretty easy match up.

Things I did for this meal that I never had done before:
1) peel carrots
2) use a tomato knife- I've literally had this for years but have never ever used it- go figure!
3) simmer something in a pot
4) Peel and grate fresh ginger/cook with fresh ginger...it was kind of scary looking but man was it worth it- the meal was so amazing because of it

So yeah, we had a feast and it was delicious and we had really great conversation as well. So again, I just hope these little anecdotes about my cooking experiments inspire some of you to just give it a try- it's really more fun and a hell of a lot easier than I ever imagined.

Carrot Ginger Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 (although actually it lasted me 6)
Originally prepared by Cara: March 1, 2010


6 carrots
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon of sea salt
4 cups water
6-inch piece fresh ginger
Fresh parsley to garnish

  • Wash, peel and cut carrots and onion into chunks.
  • Place vegetables and salt in a pot.
  • Add water. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid.
  • Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes
  • Transfer soup into blender, adding water if necessary to achieve desired consistency
  • When blending is done, squeeze juice from grated ginger and add to soup.
  • Garnish with parsley
Tip: For extra flavor, saute vegetables before cooking.
Tip: Substitute carrots with squash, parsnip or beets. Squash and beets need 35 to 40 minutes to cook.


After it's all done eat and enjoy with friends!

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