Over the past year, my definition of salads has gone through a metamorphosis. I’m a purist, and I’ll happily consume tomatoes & lettuce dressed with olive oil, lemon or a good balsamic, and salt. But most of us stand still at that dead end definition. Behind that door lies a universe of possibility.
A few weeks ago, I taught a cooking class and made lunch at a friend’s home for nine beautiful ladies. It was interactive, light, open, and such a BLAST. I find genuine joy in teaching others the simplicity of good food. I’m a food purist, and find that if you can teach people the most basic of things, they are far better armed than with traditional “recipes”. I hope to do this full-time in a larger scale one day. I know I will; I think it’s where my true talent is. This is one of the dishes we made.
People argue that we should be eating paleo because our ancestors ate that way. I’m talking the WAY back ancestors, like the cavemen in the caves who ran amongst herds and killed their prey with their hands, raaaawwwrrr. Well, I don’t really care about that. It’s light years in the past and we’ve evolved since then. A lot of it is speculation; I mean, how do we REALLY know all of it, fossils?! I care about the reality, the hard evidence, the FACTS. And the fact is that paleo reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation of… everything. Heads up, people, inflammation is the new silent killer of humans. Eliminating the food groups listed below will achieve this. It will also make your body run like a fine-tuned machine. For reals. You’ll feel like you’re a porsche-y engine at all times of the day. Your digestion will be perfect. Your stomach will feel flat. Ever feel bloated after eating a meal? Yes, come on. Always, right? Well, na-nee-na-nee-boo-boo, I NEVER FEEL BLOATED. EVER. Unless, of course, I put my paleo eating on pause.
People think they need to go to a super fancy restaurant to get a desirable sear on their proteins. This is so false. Searing proteins is of the simplest things you could ever do at home but people don’t think it’s possible for them. The biggest thing standing between you and a beautiful crust on your piece of fish is your fear of doing it and thinking it’s elusive and unattainable. If you know how to sear, you can have an excellent meal every day in less than ten minutes.
Keep in mind that the tips below are true for ALL proteins of all shapes and sizes. My favorite thing to sear is fish and steak, but this works for chicken with or without skin. Chicken tenders or whole chickens. Steaks or chunks of steaks. Scallops. Fish sticks or fish filets. Lamb legs. Huge pork butts. Whole beef tenderloins. ALL OF THEM. Even vegetable steaks! Let’s get busy:
Fact: roasting vegetables is the best way to eat vegetables. Fact: as humans, we need to eat mountains of vegetables daily. Conclusion: we need to learn to roast vegetables and we need to get good at it now.
It’s easy. Sort of.
Simply put, you can cut up any vegetable into bite sized pieces, toss them in fat, and roast them in the oven until they’re done. But it’s a little more involved than that. There are different vegetable families, different cooking times, and (some) different temperatures for optimal vegetable roasting. Nuances exist within this large realm, and since I do this daily, I’ve learned all of the ways to roast all of the vegetables.
Some people can take a bite of refined sugar, forget about it, and move on with their life.
I am not one of these people.
This past weekend, I went shopping with my mom at Target and she bought a bag of Lindt truffles (little spheres of smooth non-gluten-free bliss) on the fly. As we were loading stuff in the car, she nonchalantly took a truffle out, ate it, savored it, commented about how delicious they are, ate another one, put them away, forgot about them, and got on with her life. She helped me do stuff around my home for hours with lots of energy. She looks amazing and I have never seen her overeat in my life.
Leave it to Nobu Matsuhisa to come up with a close to perfect template for Peruvian ceviche. The man is a raw and cooked fish genius; there’s a reason that a meal at one of his restaurants will leave you a few hundred dollars in the hole (and probably still hungry). I understand going out for sushi. Most of the population doesn’t feel like skillyfully stuffing rolling and cutting foods to get a stupid JB roll. In fact, it’s a beautiful art that should be celebrated and revered. This simple way of eating raw fish is way more involved than most of us think.
There are lots of people that resist eating healthy. The idea of it is shunned in the brain. If you’re not accustomed to it, I get how a plate of fries or cupcakes or breaded fried stuff would make someone want to throw a piece of fish steamed with lemon in the trash can. It’s simply not enticing when you’re used to eating those addictive, highly palatable foods. Some people don’t think eating healthy food is amazingly fresh and delicious ALL THE TIME. Well, it can be and it is.
Maya Angelou died last week. I’m sure you know.
She was a writer, poet, and straight up inspiration. You know that, too. You might not know she was also a great cook. She was. She knew what was up. Last week, social media was flooded with her quotes, each instantly life-altering at some point in my life. But something she said posthumously hit me the hardest.
Our growth as human beings is completely reliant on how we deal with and respond to pain.
This sucks. In fact, it’s ironically painful in and of itself.
You hear it all the time and see it on annoying mugs, magnets, and greeting cards: Life begins out of your comfort zone! You’re not living unless you’re living on the edge! Be gritty! All of these things are true. We say and spew these truths to others and they churn around in our own heads, but few of us actually put the pedal to the metal.