Mindful Meals

Have a Social Hour

Spring is in the air and peas and favas are at the market. Now some will look at those piles of pods, shake their heads and think ‘too much work’, and I’m the first to agree that frozen peas can be a saving grace on a busy weeknight. But there’s another way, too, to view the labor-intensive process of prepping spring produce–as a treat in and of itself to be relished rather than rushed.

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It all started with a box of salt cod I bought on a whim on Friday. By 8:00 on Saturday night we had a festive crew nibbling on fried salt cod fritters with skordalia (kind of like super-garlicky mashed potatoes beaten with olive oil), vinaigrey beet salad, charred lamb chops and the pungent yogurt dip called tzatziki.

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Take a Trip

When my wanderlust wants to whisk me away but I don’t have the time (or budget) to climb on board I turn to my cookbooks for escape. Do I feel like going to India with a simple lentil dal or is it off to Thailand tonight? Here’s a flavorful Thai chicken larb to transport you.

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savor food

Savor One Thing at Each Meal this Week

Savor one thing at each meal this week. It could be the sharp, lemony aroma of cilantro in a salsa. It might be the way a tannic red wine grips you by the back of the throat. Whatever it is you choose to notice, I promise it will take zero extra time out of your day. Yet it will have a profound impact on how you feel walking away from that meal.

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Eat Half of What You Normally Do

This sounds radical, I know. But the truth is, most of us eat too much, albeit unwittingly. So for the next week, if you usually eat a bagel in the morning, bag half for the next day. If you eat a tuna sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend instead. And enjoy the full-sized flavor or these mini spiced lamb “sliders.”

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Try Something Totally New

Stand on one foot while tossing a salad, experiment with a new spice, try a new preparation of an old stand-by. Sometimes we get so–well, let’s call a spade a spade–bored with the same-old routine in the kitchen that we end up barreling mindlessly through a meal. Break out of the humdrum with this pomegranate-glazed cornish hen.

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Plant Something

Sure, a garden gets you the freshest of vegetables and taste alone would be reason to start one–there’s nothing like an heirloom tomato still warm from the sun; even lettuce has a ridiculous amount of flavor when it goes from backyard bed into the bowl. But there are bonuses with gardening that go much, much deeper.

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