On Eating In Color: From Cooking At Home To Dining Out
Aren't vegetables pretty? Part of learning to eat well is making the time to get curious and grocery shop, from farmers markets to your local store. Notice I wrote making the time to get curious. Feeling well, learning to shop and cook 1 or 2 things (as I always recommend having a beginners mindset - start by roasting a tray of vegetables on a Sunday) can change your eating in no time. Sure, it takes some effort, it takes committing and it's not always easy - but we make time for what we want. Sit with that thought for a moment. Do you want to feel good about the food you put in your body?
These watermelon radishes came from a friends CSA and they're too beautiful to not share here. A CSA is another great way to get local, seasonal veggies into your life without having to visit store to store. It can be pricey depending upon where you live, but the most fun part is that you'll have new vegetables pre-selected for you at your fingertips. CSA's are likely a better bet for intermediate to advanced home cooks who enjoy new veggies and finding ways to use them throughout the week.
Apply a beginners mindset to your shopping this week. Make a list of veggies you enjoy eating or ones you've always wanted to try and go get them. Eat a rainbow, feel like a rainbow. Gravitate toward color and know you don't have to eat them raw. When in doubt, roast, roast, roast, or give a light steam and dress with some olive oil, lemon and garlic like my grandma would. Simplicity is the key to cooking and sticking with it when it comes to home preparations.
And if the thought of shopping and cooking seems too daunting of a task, when you go out to eat try ordering something veggie friendly, get your feet wet. No one is taking away the foods you love, just encouraging you add some new ones in. Go for the purest option, like a veggie medley or salad, look for preparations that inspire you and eat from that place instead of a mindset of what you've been used to eating.
Here are some tips for eating well, whether you're out and about or looking to cook at home:
- Seek Color: Try something new! Dare to prepare the prettiest vegetables you see. When in doubt, roast with olive oil in a 425 oven - that makes most all vegetables sing.
- Start Small: Buy 1 or 2 veggies so you're beginning somewhere. You don't need to go whole hog meal prep Sunday if you're new to the kitchen, in fact you shouldn't, that'll be some scary shit. I'm 16 years in to the cooking game, so I wouldn't expect you to be where I am - but I promise you'll get there if you keep trying.
- Try Something New: This is a watermelon radish and, honestly, it's no different than a regular radish - it's just waaaaayyyyyy prettier and colorful! Radishes have a mild peppery flavor, add crunch to salads when eaten raw, can be dipped in hummus or roasted and tossed in salads. If you see something new, give it a try, nothing bad is going to happen. In fact, you might love it.
- Apply Tips 1-3 To Take Out or Dining Out: If you're not a cook and it's intimidating to you, start somewhere - like by making smarter choices. Get curious when you order out, moving from same old same old to new options. Take out and restaurant dining have come a long way in the health game and it's possible to eat well when we eat out - it's all about the power of choice.
To roast these radishes I did what I always do, I heated up a 425 degree oven, cut the radishes, gave them a toss in some extra virgin olive oil and added fresh herbs because I had them on hand.
2 Major Roasting Rules:
- Don't Overcrowd Your Roasting Tray: If you pack on too many veggies, your goodies will never brown. Better to use 2 trays or roast in smaller quantities to get the desired color.
- Don't Salt Until AFTER You've Roasted: Salt releases water from veggies and when you pre-salt what's on your tray, chances of giving your veggies a proper tan will be slim to none. What you'll also some to find is that you may not need any salt at all, as a roasted veggies often times tastes sweet and has a flavor all its own - one that needn't be masked with lots of salt.
Sending all love from my kitchen to yours.