Well folks, I missed a Wednesday! I don’t even have a really great reason as to why I did not. I was about to head to bed last Wednesday when Mr. Foodie said, “did you post on your blog today?” Well nope, I had not! Truth be told, my mind had been elsewhere all day. Maybe I’ll dive into that later, but for now, I want to encourage you toward a specific goal.
You see, I’ve spent a large part of my life plating dishes of food for other people…11 years actually. I love being the invisible person behind the kitchen doors. A beautiful plate is served and the recipient makes an exclamation like “I’ve never seen anything so colorful!” or “How beautiful!” I listen to and live for those kind words. Sometimes they are not spoken to me, but I hear them, nonetheless.
Now, in a time of life when I find myself not cooking in a professional kitchen, I find myself with a few more hours to cook for the people I love at home AND to cook for myself. Folks, this is a new concept to me. I have not packed myself lunches nor sat down to eat an actual lunch on a regular basis for, well, about 11 years (there are a few exceptions, of course).
So let me encourage you today to plate something for yourself. If you are like me, it is VERY DIFFICULT to be motivated to get a couple dishes dirty to feed myself. But let me tell you, it is deeply satisfying and rewarding.
Feeding your own soul with your creativity can be an incredibly refreshing experience
Need some ideas?? Okay! Here’s what I’ve been plating:
If you want a great lunch idea that involves some salmon click here for a well-seasoned salmon cake recipe. We have been trying to incorporate more salmon into our diet for a variety of reasons (I’ll give you a couple: it is the best source of Omega-3s, which build healthy brain cells, elevate mood, help reduce heart disease, lower risk of certain cancers, and improve learning, attention, and vision¹), but as you know, it can get rather expensive. So these salmon cakes can help stretch the dollars a bit. We plated them with a delicious salad and had some homemade garlic bread on the side.
Click here for our GO TO Lentil soup recipe. This soup is so fantastically easy and inexpensive to make! We can eat on it for a few days with different toppings such as a little sour cream, some shredded cheddar, or even some homegrown microgreens on top. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, so it’s an awesome choice if you have a guest coming over with restrictions. We do typically use chicken stock since we keep a good supply in the freezer and it adds flavor. But using the boxed stuff vegetable or chicken will work just fine.
Click here for a blueberry-filled breakfast! I love any breakfast that is low in sugar and allows me to make a big batch so it lasts several days. The slight hint of maple syrup and the natural sweetness of the blueberries made this baked oatmeal a winner.
Some ideas for you without actual recipes:
Taco night: shred a head of romaine, shred some cheese, add taco seasoning to your favorite meat of choice (chicken, beef, turkey), open a can of pinto or black beans, make or buy some corn tortillas, slice an avocado and start building tacos! Let me emphasize the corn tortilla part. Most store brands of tortillas have hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list. Hydrogenated oils (Trans-fats) increase your blood sugar, Increase LDL, Lower HDL, Lowers nutrition density levels, lowers visual acuity, and lowers the omega-3 levels in the brain². I’ve been working to remove all hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) from our diet, so looking at which tortillas don’t have them is a must. I’ve found that corn tortillas at a regular grocery store have no hydrogenated oils, so I typically pick those. Of course, when we have time, Mr. Foodie makes tortillas. And there are a plethora of options at health food stores.
Pita night: Make or buy pita (I’ll try to figure out what recipe Mr. Foodie uses and give you a link later if you want to make ’em), find some good feta cheese, olives, and other goodies at the olive bar (at most groceries), make some hummus, shred some romaine, slice a cucumber, and if you have time, whip up some tzatzhiki. Half the pita’s and start filling them with all the toppings. Drizzle a little olive oil, if needed, so your pita pocket won’t be dry.
¹Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Health Coach Training Manual, Nutrition, pg. 9
²Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Health Coach Training Manual, Nutrition, pg. 10