The world of food can be a complicated place. There are many different diets jumping at us from every direction. Each claiming to be the best form of nutrition only to dissipate within a few years being replaced by the next up and coming fad.
At times, I think it would be neat to be a nutritionista. To understand what happens once food enters the body. How vitamins and enzymes work synergistically.
The only downside to that is if I understood more, I’d probably try to control more. I’d purposefully create new super powered vitamin drinks and rocket fueled concoctions to make sure every thing that entered my body was beneficial in some way.
I’d no longer turn to the seasons, rather my own knowledge.
Knowing me, I’d probably learn about some intricate grains with super human vitamin power that grows in only one part of the world and source them for my own benefit.
My own purpose.
If I traveled this road, I’d soon start making foods that didn’t coincide with the living dirt outside my front door. My food costs would soar, waste would increase, and the pleasure of eating simple food would be lost.
Worse yet, my children would only know of diets and “health food” yet not know how to cook. They would not understand that God has given us every single herb, fruit, and vegetable to work with each other harmoniously.
That what is growing in the now is enough to produce simple, wonderful, brilliant, tasteful, amazingly good food.
No, I think it’s probably better that I don’t dive into that world of nutrition. That instead I keep my head grounded in what my traditional family in Spain has taught me.
To eat everything, in season, prepared at home. To understand the basics in cooking. To know that it takes time to learn how to manage a kitchen and its ingredients, but to remember that one day I will own it.
To take joy in learning how to save every bit and scrap that I make to use and re-use. Understanding that by doing this, I will save on waste, make my dollar work for me, and best yet… create depth and flavor that would otherwise go unused.
To understand that this simple concept of using and re-using is what cooking seasonally is all about.
Oh the joy to buy a bunch of kale in the winter time.
The stems can be chopped up and pickled (fermented) while half of the tender leaves are boiled and reserved in the refrigerator for a later use during the week. Its cooking broth is saved in a mason jar to mix into rice or an end of the week vegetable or bean soup. The remaining half of the leaves I can save and later in the week saute in garlic with extra virgin olive oil for a quick ridiculously good lunch for kids.
Smothered on toast and topped with soft creamy gouda cheese makes a delightful lunch or dinner.
Simple and flavorful, this is what seasonal cooking is all about.
Pleasure and satisfaction that what I’m eating has nourished my family for generations and will continue to do so for my own as long as I keep to the basics of simple cooking.
I’ll leave the diets behind me, the restrictions behind me, and look towards my simple garden, baker, and butcher.
My 93 year old great aunt is in Spain right now cleaning, going for walks, and cooking. I’m sure a puchero is simmering on her stove right now ready to be enjoyed with freshly baked white crusty bread.
Now that just makes me happy.
This simple melted cheese and garlic kale sandwich is packed with flavor and creamy. It makes a perfect light lunch or supper.
- White crusty bread
- 4 generous handfuls of chopped kale leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shredded Gouda cheese
- Cut your bread into sandwich sized pieces and toast them in a toaster.
- In a small pan or cast iron skillet, heat 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or until it starts to sizzle. Add the kale and saute for 4-5 minutes or until it begins to soften and wilt.
- Top one side of toast with kale, then shredded gouda cheese broil on a baking dish for 2 -3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with the remaining toast and enjoy.
This simple way of cooking is what makes up the heart of my Traditional Menu Plan on a Budget. Remember, if you haven’t signed up yet, the first two weeks are free!