I have a very special and rewarding job. I teach cooking to two adorable (future heartbreakers) 13 year old boys. Their enthusiasm for food and trying new ingredients gives me faith in humanity. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I love seeing them waft their hands over a pot of soup, inhaling the scents, and sighing excitedly over the aromas. I love how badly one of my boys wants to put cumin into everything. They love cracking eggs, and rolling dough and trying new flavors. On one of our lessons, we cooked lentils, they kept snacking on little fingerfuls of the freshly cooked lentils that were cooling in a colander, excited to discover a new food they hadn’t had yet.
I try to come up with nutritious recipes and dishes that boys their age would eat. While they are certainly more ambitious with their palette than one assumes of the average child and teen, they are still kids, and love pasta and pizza and burgers. My goal has simply been to pack these same dishes with tons of vegetables, and to make the pasta and bread products with whole grain alternatives. Below are some of the dishes that they have prepared in our lessons.
I have some ridiculously special friends. And in all of the Valentine’s Day hullabaloo, I just want to stop to acknowledge the people I love, and will always love, past the “in love” and the “end love” and all that other kind of love. These dear ones, and my family is certainly included, root me down when all I want to do is fly into a murky abyss. They see my best side, encourage me to see it too, and remind me to love myself first and foremost. The beautiful thing about our love, is it flows freely, without expectations. It ripples out into every action and interaction, and continues to flow into unimaginable distances. This is the kind of Valentines I’m inspired to embrace. It is a pure love that makes its way into the Earth, nurtures the soil, which then gives birth to our food. This is a love to feast on!
My dear friend April (whom most of you know as the Co-Creator and Director of The Healthy Delectable Show) asked her friends on facebook to post a poem on her wall. I am so so so grateful she did, because it inspired me to write this poem, which helped me write this blog post! I would like to share it with you:
racing by i didn’t see,
i am for you,
you are for me,
and now i’ve moved far up ahead,
just past your shadow left to shed,
and not knowing what’s in store,
i keep looking out for more,
when all there is to do is stop,
and find you standing in full bloom,
so easily my heart fills up.
Hoping your heart is full and nourished this Valentines!
P.S. If you like a daily dose of love, I highly recommend signing up for The Daily Love, to receive lovely quotes, messages and affirmations in your inbox every day!
The other day, as I put on a skirt and modest top for Rosh Hashanah services for my bi-annual visit to the synagogue, it occurred to me that I was wearing sort of a costume, to honor and respect the Jewish tradition. Then I had an epiphany. If we are what we eat, what costume do we want to “wear” to look how we want to feel on the inside?
While I studied acting at NYU, I learned to physicalize my characters first, in order to inform their emotional life. Each time, it was fascinating to discover so many layers of feeling and depth, just out of a certain way I held my body, how I stood or sat, or which way I was looking, for instance.
Today, I want to look and feel healthy, vibrant and happy. I want to look and feel full of life. If I start from the inside by eating colorful fruit, tons of greens, organic goat cheese, eggs, and whole grains, I’m pretty sure I can achieve that look, and step into that “character”! What character do you want to play today? As an experiment, bring awareness to how you look and feel depending on what you eat. I dare you to find the perfect costume for your character!
Don't worry, you won't turn blue if you eat a bunch of blueberries!
This is from a viewer who watched Episode One of “Healthy Delectables”, Stuffed Squash Blossoms:
Well, we have had a nice little crop in our garden this year so, since we were having a few people over yesterday, we thought it would be a good opportunity to harvest our flowers and try your recipe. Delicious!
Steve’s Stuffed Squash Blossoms
IN THE NAME OF LOVE
Years ago, I worked at a restaurant that was known for it’s healthy menu. However, when I consumed the food, there was something missing for me in the way of my feeling nourished; in fact, I often felt sort of empty, and not necessarily all that healthy for eating it. Meanwhile, when I lived in New York, I frequented a little Mediterranean restaurant near my apartment in the East Village, Cafe Mogador. My friends and I were treated with grace and gratitude for our frequent patronage, which was almost weekly. I recall craving their food, that was simple, delicious and irresistible. In my opinion, LOVE was the main ingredient.
Over this past 4th of July weekend, I was hired to bake desserts for a newlywed party. As a guest at the party, I watched people consume the Flourless Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Lavender Cupcakes, Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes and Pistachio Cranberry Wedding Cookies. As if we weren’t drunk enough on the champagne, it seems that we were also drunk on the Love emanating from the wedding festivities.
The morning after the wedding, back in the kitchen, I think Love made it’s way into the brown sugar, floated into the Kitchen Aid mixer as I sifted flour, and cracked eggs. And then it made it’s way into people’s hearts and stomachs.
In the name of LOVE, whether you’re baking, gardening, or paying your bills, infuse your LOVE into what you’re doing. You will feel satiated, as will the people who receive it from you.