Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grown-up Gourmet

Every month (time permitting) I get together with a group of women to enjoy great food and company.  Most of us work in the nutrition and health industry, but that doesn't mean we get together and eat salad. We all take the time to choose, prepare, and bring a dish to share with the group. In my eyes, it is a great way to be mindful of the time and thought that went into the food, but also to savour the flavours and at times decadent ingredients. It's true, I'm one of those dietitians that was partially interested in nutrition because of my love of food. Some people have even coined the term 'fooditarian' which I think is quite applicable to the way I eat.

For our gatherings, we always pick a theme, and this month it was 'gourmet versions of childhood favourites'. With my husband's help I came up with about 10 ideas on my own, but had to narrow it down to one item. Knowing that we have a creative group, I was very excited to see what everyone else came up with, and of course, they were unique and delicious dishes. I was inspired by Blissful Basil and created a grown-up sandwich. I reflected on foods from my childhood in a previous post, but this was a different form of reflection and I always get new recipes from my group to keep things interesting in my kitchen.

We were mindful by enjoying small portions, pacing ourselves throughout the evening, and discussing why we chose the dish we did (sharing all kinds of childhood memories). One member who has a 2.5 year old at home was inspired by our bite sized renditions and stated that even though they were gourmet, she thought they would be great to share at home. It's amazing the inspiration you can find by sharing food and recipes with others.

Perhaps you can bring in mindfulness by tweaking an old favourite, changing an ingredient, or serving it in a new way. We enjoyed bite sized tacos, pizzas, pb & j sandwiches, and meatballs, as well as lobster macaroni, sloppy joe's, and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. Obviously it takes some planning and time to cook from scratch, but it's an important step to bring us back to enjoyment and a positive relationship with food. Next time you're planning a meal, stop and think about the package you're about to open and whether you can attempt it from scratch instead. Convenience items (canned beans, chopped vegetables, shredded cheese) can still help us put together a healthy meal in a hurry, but be aware of what you're cooking, have an intention behind it, and then slow down to enjoy what you've created.

What would you make as a gourmet (or grown-up) version of a childhood favourite?

"Keep fit and have fun!" ~BodyBreak

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching