Putting delicious dishes together doesn’t to be complex. I always wonder why people say they don’t’ like to cook, but coming from a tradition of cooks who spend the whole day in the kitchen, I can understand when people think cooking has to take to much time out of a busy day.
That was my experience until just recently. I started using the Healthiest Foods in the world cookbook a few months ago and realized that the meals were very simple. While I was used to having at least four sections of a plate filled with a different dish, I noticed that only one or two dishes were presented in each meal. This downsizing was odd to me at first. The question was would there be enough food? Would the eaters be satisfied with only two tastes instead of multiple ones?
As I gave into this way of cooking I soon realized how much the palette enjoys the simplicity of pure flavors brought on by only a few tastes. For instance, a piece of salmon on a bed of pureed peas. A scoop of Lima beans cradled in the hollow of low-fat mashed potatoes. Very comforting and providing the ability to actually taste the foods.
Simple cooking protects the meal from being too muddled with so many seasoning that you can’t guess what’s in them. Of course, there are times for complex seasonings, such as in curries or some Southern foods. But as I think of it, I know that I was always amazed at how simple the cooking was in Creole cooking from New Orleans, yet the tastes were so rich and hearty. There was something about the skill of molding flavors together in just the right way.
After this month of eating simply, I’ve learned the pleasure of eating only one food at a time. A baked sweet potato with just a teaspoon of coconut oil and a bit of sea salt. A salad of simple lettuce, tomatoes and avocado with a squeeze of lemon. A baked squash pureed with a dash of cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Simple, pure and delicious. The whole mouth feel is different as this allows you to really taste your food.
There’s a lot to be said for the simplicity of foods. Perhaps approaching cooking and food preparation in this way will make a difference for the home cook who depends on take-out instead of firing up the stove or learning a few quick and easy no-cook raw recipes to satisfy the taste and nutritional needs.