Welcome Spring with Citrus, Veggies, and Something From the Sea

I love food. After battling multiple eating disorders as a teenager and finding that many of the men in my life have tried to control my diet over the years, I can finally say it: I fucking love food. There is no life worth living without food in it–along with sex, sandy beaches, and the occasional cocktail. We should eat a variety of foods, foods that are brightly colored in the summer, foods that are hearty and comforting in the winter, and foods that nourish us and make us feel good every day. And here’s a zany concept: if we have a craving for sweet, salty or otherwise, we should just go for it. There are in fact healthful ways to listen to our tummies without going overboard. The old adage “Everything in moderation” will always be true.

I've been eating lots of bread, cheese, and fruit for breakfast.
I’ve been eating lots of bread, cheese, and fruit for breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instilled in girls at a young age: don’t overeat, don’t take up space, and do leave some food on your plate. We rarely see attractive women eating on television, even when they’re sitting at a table with a full meal before them. This bothers me. Eating is sensual, so why don’t food and sex appeal always mix? Because food is too often deemed an enemy, when our bad habits and insecurities are what truly brew a dysfunctional relationship between us and what we put in our mouths. When I take the time to gulp water after waking, grab a banana as I head to work, and prepare a meal slowly simply because I enjoy it, my food and body thank me in return; my skin clears up, my hair feels stronger, and I have more energy.

Karen knows what's up.
Karen knows what’s up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this recipe for Arctic Char with Couscous and Citrus Salad in April’s Real Simple, a really lovely magazine I began picking up within the last month or so. I’m a salmon nut, so I substituted that for the arctic char, which I’ve never even heard of. I’ve had salmon prepared on a grill and in an oven, but I find it’s best to cook it in a bit of olive oil on the stovetop and season it well with salt and pepper. I typically plop it into some yummy miso soup, which is always amazing. I’ve also never tried couscous–I bought a small box of seasoned couscous, and I was shocked that you simply boil water, pour in the couscous, and remove the pot from heat. I even looked up a video from Real Simple on my iPhone as I stood in my kitchen just to ensure that I wasn’t misunderstanding this process.

Real Simple is super colorful and over 200 pages.
Real Simple is super colorful and over 200 pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew the salmon would turn out well, but I was uncertain about the citrus salad. I had never tried endives before. After a bit of searching at the grocery store, I found a basket of them, picked one up, and thought This is it? Cute! I substituted toasted hazelnuts for the almonds the recipe calls for. I also felt odd about adding the vinegar to the juicy rounds of oranges I had sliced, I guess because I haven’t used vinegar in my cooking and I have some trouble viewing it as a pantry staple. I once watched a friend of mine dip his fries in vinegar at the Jersey Shore as I sat quietly gagging.

Endive leaves serve as cute little boats for just about anything:  more veggies, smoked salmon, or blue cheese and diced apples.
Endive leaves serve as cute little boats for just about anything: more veggies, smoked salmon, or blue cheese and diced apples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything turned out superb. Ever hear anyone say they hate a particular food, but when you ask them if they ever tried it, they admit they haven’t? Well, couscous and endives are my new fave foods at the moment, thanks to this recipe. I feel like the endives were really the star of the meal, probably because I’ve prepared and eaten salmon so often. I ended up eating the citrus salad with my hands, and I can’t wait to incorporate endives into more dishes. Here’s a great assortment of endive recipes, and I’m sure Pinterest has some goodies as well.

The couscous served as a nice bed for the salmon.
The couscous served as a nice bed for the salmon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had some of the best food ever at a cute little place in Kansas City called Classic Cup Cafe, where my boyfriend and I celebrated V-day this year. I ordered mushroom ravioli, and it was probably the most delicious meal I’ve ever had, so I may try my hand at that or another creamy mushroom dish next.

Cheers.

-J

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