The word cooked has a few different meanings, the one definition we are all more familiar with would be "food or meal prepared by heating", the informal definition "altered dishonestly, falsified". A slang version would be when you are tired or finished an exhausting job you might say "I'm cooked" meaning done!!! In this blog I will use the word "cooked" to mean I am hooked in a food kind of way. "Cooked" is also the name of a great book I read by Michael Pollan, in this book Michael explores the uncharted territory of his own kitchen. He discovers the enduring power of four classical elements fire, water, air and earth, to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. I highly recommend it to give you a lot of insight into the food we eat and preparing fresh Whole Foods.
I use "cooked" to describe my relationship with food, my love for eating food, preparing food, growing food, even buying food. There is nothing more rewarding than putting a delicious healthy meal together for the people I love. I have learned that there is something built in the labor of cooking that will allow you to eat better. Cooking takes some time out of your day, there is no way around that, but it doesn't have to be difficult or labor intensive. Let's take French fries for example, it is easy to go out and buy French fries, you can get them every day of the week, but making French fries takes work. So, chances are you will not choose to make them at home, the cutting, seasoning and all that frying. If you do choose to make them the easier method is cutting them (you still need to do that) a little salt and pepper and bake them in the oven, easier, cleaner and healthier. My point is cooking your own food at home helps you know what is in your food, and where your food came from. Buying food that corporations have prepared for you can mean a lot of salt, sugar and fat. The three things that keeps your body wanting more salt, sugar and fat, they don't want you just satisfied they want you coming back for more.
Being in the kitchen is also a way of being present with yourself, this is where you can reclaim yourself. It is hard not to be present while you are cooking, paying attention to what you are doing, putting together, and what you are creating, you shouldn't be thinking about anything else. Appreciating your food, the sacrifices that were made in order for you to have this meal. It really is amazing when you stop and think about it, all the fresh fruits and vegetables available to us, the meat, poultry and fish, what was given up and the effort that goes into getting it to you. Growing your own food helps you understand some of this, holding soil in your hands and realizing what it can do with a seed and water can fill the soul. Being grateful for your food, GRACE before you eat, grace is the institutionalization of eating consciously, thank you for that Michael Pollen. So get in the kitchen and feed your soul with all the good things there are out there for us to eat. And be grateful for every mouthful.
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
1 head cauliflower, riced in blender or food processor
1 lb ground turkey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of chipotle powder
1 red bell pepper diced
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and minced
1 bunch cilantro, or less is you prefer
Avocado (optional) or guacamole
Heat skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil
Put in the ground turkey and sprinkle in some salt and add all the spices, cook until browned.
Once browned add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and jalapeno cook for another minute or so then add the cauliflower rice, stir it in well and cook for 5 more minutes. Take it off the heat and cover so the cauliflower can soften a bit more. Stir in the cilantro at the end and serve with the avocado on top (or guacomole)