Real slow Sunday: The Mindful Foodie Recharge
Since the Slow Sunday series started in the beginning of the summer I have been pickling vegetables, baked sourdough breads and preserved my garden herbs with pesto making and brewed deliciously funky kombucha sodas. This Sunday I'm doing the slowest of things: taking a paus! Much needed, it's time for a vacation and I'm on way to the south of France for an inspiring sun drenched time and ventures into the wild mountain area of Provence. That said, I'm bringing my camera and I will for sure bring back plenty of inspiration from Cote d'Azur and the Alpes Maritime.
I'm a great believer in pausing and reflecting with regular intervals. It's a great way to refresh and refine visions for life and work. Being mindful and taking care of ourselves is crucial in our modern society, especially with an online life that never sleeps. All of us, bloggers, productive instagrammers and devoted foodies, need to learn how to tune in to rest and drop out of the daily spin to keep the creative spark burning. So with this post I'd like to encourage you to take a well deserved break from striving and working hard for a moment. And I'm going to use food as your subject of rest.
Tips for devoted foodies on taking a break from kitchen ambitions.
For a week or so, try reducing your drive for new heights. This will make you appreciate and produce even better culinary creations when you step back into your daily tempo again:
1. Rest your mind from searching for recipes and don't try to impress your friends, partner or family by cooking new dishes for them to try on a daily basis. Have yourself a week where dinners are easy. Make yourself and everyone else happy by remaking some absolute favorites that you can make, standing on your head almost :) Also, if the kitchen is your domain normally, let's someone else impress you with well cooked meals.
2. Don't let everything drop by eating out at McCrap everyday just because your recharging your creative juices. Eat simple and healthy. Juices porridges and smoothies, etc will make you feel (and look) great, while you're mind is getting prepared for future food discoveries.
3.Rediscover simplicity. Eat simple and familiar food, take the opportunity to make friends with your favorite flavors again. This can create new ideas in the future for dishes.
4. Don't invite people over for dinner if you're the cook. Meet up at a favorite cafe or restaurant instead or make a picnic where you can bring fresh fruit and bread and cheese.
5. If you travel in foreign places or even in your own home town. Be open to trying new foods that is offered to you, take interest in new food without having to immediately turn it into a new recipe or blog post :D. Later when you are ready to be in full productive mode this can be a wonderful source of inspiration.
6. Don't chase inspiration online or read to many cook books either. Let it rest a little and you will enjoy it much more later after your time out.
7. Reflect on the big picture instead of the daily cooking. What does eating mean to you? Thinking about this can refine your vision about food and what you want to cook for yourself and others. Are you happy with your daily rituals around food? Do you see ethical and social values that you want to bring into your style of eating? Can it be healthier? More inclusive and curious about other cultures? If you cook for others and share inspiration around eating, how can you improve their lives with better food?
This is how I'm going to lower my kitchen ambitions during my summer holiday. I'm not inviting a bunch of people or hosting parties, which I love, but it burns energy quickly. I'm looking forward to discovering and not planning meals too much while traveling. When I make my own meals, it's mostly going to be real simple, like market finds of olives, cheese and fruits. I'm also going to have countless cups of coffee and occasional glasses of wine on sunny french terrasses and think about all sorts of other things than food too.
In the spirit of this post, I'm going to repost one of my favorite recipes again. It's one of the most pinned recipes from the blog on Pinterest, and has been featured on other blogs since posting it a few months ago. It's easy and one of the tastiest egg dishes I know. If you want to read a bit more about Shakshuka, I have written a post about this deliciousness here.
serves 2-3 people
In the pan
olive oil or coconut oil
1 red or yellow onion, or a couple of shallots, or why not mix them all.
2 garlic cloves, crushed and mixed with a teaspoon salt
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
4-5 cherry tomatoes halved (optional)
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 handful of fresh herbs like coriander, mint, parsley and basil, chopped
400 g (a regular tin) plum tomatoes 1 tbsp runny Honey
ca 1.5 dl water
4 free range eggs
optional in the pan:
1 tbsp Harissa or 1 tsp chili paste
1 handful fresh herbs, chopped
garlic yoghurt sauce
A small handful of fresh herbs, preferably coriander and mint
A handful of feta or goat cheese crumble (optional
Zaatar spice mix (optional)
garlic yoghurt sauce
2 dl yoghurt
1 tbsp runny honey
I clove garlic, crushed in a little bit of salt
1 tsp extra virgine olive oil
Chop the onion in small even pieces. Oil your pan, and fry the onion on medium heat for 5 minutes while stirring. Add the bell pepper strips and the ground cumin and the halved cherry tomatoes if opted for that. Fry for another 5 minutes, keep stirring.
Add plum tomatoes, the garlic salt, honey, coriander, fresh herbs, and the harissa if you opted for that, and let it all simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally, and add a little water if it starts to burn and dry out. Prepare the yoghurt sauce by mixing the ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Return to the Shakshuka and before adding the eggs, add a bit of water if needed. With a spoon make four little shallow deepenings in the surface and crack an egg in each. Leave the whole loveliness for 10 minutes on low heat.
Serve with sprinkled fresh herbs and zaatar (if you opt for that) and drizzled garlic sauce, scoop up the shakshuka with bread. Enjoy!