The Secret To Eating Well Is Keeping Things Simple + Saucy
Routine is wonderful and keeps us in check, but stepping outside of our comfort zone is essential for growth - in life and food. And keeping things saucy is certainly one of my secrets to making meals consistently fun and tasty. I don’t know if I could eat chicken, rice and broccoli or the same one pot meal over and over again throughout the week - not without some special sauces.
If you like the kitchen and if you don’t mind getting in it, dare to keep it saucy.
A few days ago I mentioned that I used a spicy yogurt dipping sauce the other day on my spaghetti meatballs and it was also great in my vegetable laksa soup (all links below). I’ve always found adding an extra layer of flavor, be it spicy, smoky, sweet or sometimes 1 sauce with all 3 of those notes makes my mouth happy and I’m then less inclined to overeat.
Yes, I overeat as I am not a robot - and I still think I’m a healthy minded and bodied woman.
Adding sauce doesn't stop emotional eating and I can sometimes do that too. BUT, the process of cooking fills emotional needs in my life like creativity, art, love and joy. When I’m on a high note, I don’t have to fill that space with extra food. I eat because I'm excited to try something I've made, experiment and enjoy it and it makes me proud that I can eat with emotion, acceptance and excitement. It's not a treat. I'm not cheating, I'm living and eating food without guilt.
A few habit tricks when it comes to eating and building satisfying meals have been:
- Cooking: Without cooking food had a tendency to mean nothing to to me. Whenever food simply appeared or was “just there” I ate it as such - mindlessly and without much thought. When I cook, I’m aware. I shop for it, I pick it out, I prepare it and I know what I like. I don’t look at it as something that takes too much time … it’s my body, it’s my mind, what goes in it and how I treat it is important. At least I’ve learned that over the years. My love for cooking came with time and learning. The more time passed, the more interested I became, the more space it took up in my life because I felt the physical and mental benefits. Stick with cooking long enough and I promise you will feel the benefits of your habits transformed.
- Flavor: I don’t mind eating the same vegetable three times in a week, but I may need to use it different ways. Keeping spices in my home and jazzing up dressings with anything from herbs to dried spices allows my mouth to stay happy. When we take in new flavors instead of eating one note all the time - salt is not a seasoning or flavor booster - our palate expands, food tastes different and takes on a new meaning.
- Texture: Does my mouth feel things or is everything on my plate soft? Do I have crunch? A pop? A snap? Something to keep my mouth engaged with my food. Nuts and seeds on a salad does it. Toasted breadcrumbs on roasted broccoli or cauliflower can also play that roll. Making a stir fry with various veggies is not only simple but semi-cooked veggies and meat/tofu have different textures for your mouth to work with, keeping it curious and satisfied.
- Color: Am I eating rainbows and feeling as such? Eat in color (yes, vegetables and fruit) and you will live in color - even if your produce isn’t organic and it can even be frozen. Use color as a guideline and your emotions will also change, I guarantee you'll be brighter, more positive, connected to yourself and mother earth. Sounds like some crunchy hippie shit, right? Cause it is. And if I didn't do it and feel it, I'd be all like - bitch, you're crazy.
This yogurt dip allows for all 4 of the above notes to be hit:
- It’s no cook cooking at it’s best, simple and has many uses. AKA: a great cooking starting point if you like yogurt and spice, if not - please don't start here and blame me for gross food and not enjoying cooking.
- Laced with citrus and spice, this yogurt is boosted with flavor.
- Jalapeno, scallions, lime zest and garlic are woven through this for texture that is there but not in weird giant chunks.
- This dip is white and speckled with green and gold when olive oil is drizzled on top.
Get in the kitchen.
- 1 c. greek yogurt
- Zest of 1 lime + ½ of juice
- 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 jalapeno, chopped and deseeded
- Handful of scallions
- ½ tsp of salt
- Place all ingredients in the food processor and whiz until combined and textured (but not too chunky)
- Test on spoon (like I would) or veggie
- Use in soup, on spaghetti squash meatballs, roasted veggies, frittatas/eggs, grain/squash bowls or salad
- Sauce it up
- Cant stand the heat? Take out the jalapeno! Don't dig lime? Stick to lemon? Don't dig citrus period? Go straight for olive oil, truffle oil, salt and black pepper! Makes the ultimate dip or spread and can go with any of the above!