Meal time with family. New meaning+ recipe to enjoy
As lockdown steals us access to our local delicatessens, bars and restaurants, so too does it gift us the richness that comes from families eating together around a table once again.
The luxury of time that this pandemic has brought us, combined with our drive towards optimising health, has seen people the world over move in the direction of their kitchens.
For the first time in recent years, people are preparing nutritious, home-cooked meals where they themselves can recite the list of ingredients. Families are able to enjoy the authentic flavours of whole foods instead of the synthetic flavours of convenience goods - all because our take-out lunch & coffee are no longer on offer.
Above all else, meal times have become sacred meeting spaces again. As we commune with those we love most and enjoy the nourishment of a home-cooked meal, we realise how much we have to be grateful for.
Meals prepared at home, bring us one step closer to the source of our food, which clearly shows fundamental health attributes. Primitively when we were hunting and gathering we had a deep connection with ecology of life. This was due to living nature being a natural resource to facilitate the very essence of us staying alive. Like all mammals, we purely relied on what was around us. Therefore we had deep sense of value for all living creatures & plants. Not to say that we did not gather and hunt. It was a different connection, a connection of what we hunted and gathered was deeply valued as it helped us thrive as a species amongst biodiversity (all living things).
Research shows us, that not only did this deepen the value of our food, but was essential for our health and mental wellbeing. We got in the nutritional value needed to sustain and thrive but there was physiological aspect proven to further assist with our well being. Call it spiritual or call it nutrition, in my opinion they are equally important. The connection to what we hunt or gather, followed by the preparation and then the digestion.
How does this relate to us in the modern world. The majority of us don't hunt or gather our food. We go to the grocery store, restaurant or get take outs. How can we be modern day hunter and gatherers and still have the benefits of the health and spiritual well being? We can do this by getting closer to the source of our food and preparing our meals at home.
How do we get closer to the source of our food when buying at grocery store? When you are in the know of where your food comes from, you physiologically agree with it, and therefore stimulates similar neuron patterns in the brain.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 handful of fresh parsley or basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tins chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
- In a saucepan gently fry the onion & garlic in olive oil
- Add the celery & carrots and saute until very soft
- Add the herbs, tomatoes and the brown sugar and simmer gently for 30 minutes
- Season to taste
- Roughly puree
4 Aubergines (sliced into 1cm thick discs, brushed with olive oil & salt, and grilled until soft and golden-brown)
200g Mozzarella (grated)
120g Parmesan (grated)
Napoletana sauce from above
Brush a casserole dish with olive oil. Place the cooked aubergine slices, napolitana sauce & both cheeses in alternate layers, finishing off which the cheeses at the top. Bake at 200 for 1 hour.