Sunday, July 13, 2008

Groovin' in the Kitchen

Cooking is therapy.

I can be an artist - creative- and as an added bonus, at the end of the day, my belly is full. What is it about cooking for yourself that is so satisfying? Is it a link to our more primal identities, back when humans had to hunt and prepare every single thing they ate? Is it that you're doing something good for yourself, treating yourself after a long day or week? Every now and then you can't beat some good carry-out, but in all honesty, I'd much rather take an extra 15-20 minutes and make myself something healthy, fresh, and fulfilling.

I'm so tired of the state of this nation's diet and health. Fast food, Taco Bell's "fourth meal", Doritos, margarine, Splenda, trans fat, turduckens, I'm sick of it all. Give me food that is pure and real - food you've prepared from start to finish. The renewed interest in gardening and fresh eating, not to mention the emphasis on eating less meat, has really spoken to me. Granted, it takes an enormous amount of time (and $$$) to eat a truthful diet, and I'm just as guilty of eating processed foods, but it's empowering to have a culinary identity.

I have a cozy habit of making a nice dinner on Sunday nights. Not sure where I picked this up, but I find that it's nice to have at least one good meal a night to look forward to and plan for. Some weekends I cook more than others, and this weekend saw me in the kitchen for several hours.

Saturday night I made my previously-mentioned Red Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, in addition to a Fusilli, Zucchini, Corn, and Pesto dish. I wanted to use my first zucchini from the garden. This is a perfect classy summer entree - I'd definitely make it for guests:

Tonight I made another new dish: Middle Eastern Couscous Salad with Feta and Mint. Another refreshing dish that combines many of the wonderful tastes of summer. Think mint, cumin, coriander, jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, edamame, olives, and lemon...

I spotted the first two crookedneck yellow squash this morning. It looks like they'll both be blooming in the next day or two...exciting!

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