To stay excited about eating, I save up my pennies and go out to eat once in a while in places that know how to make really good food. It helps me remember to be a more creative cook, and it helps me remember how incredible food can taste from the hands of a really good chef. Friday I took a trip to Kansas City with a friend for a birthday celebration. We went to a good vegetarian restaurant on The Plaza called Eden Alley, to the Nelson Atkins Museum for the Frida Kahlo exhibit, and then to a nice restaurant afterward.
At Eden Alley I had gazpacho and I remembered how fresh and wonderful a gazpacho tastes in the summer. So, I went to the farmers market this morning and picked up the ingredients I didn’t already have at home and made a gazpacho for lunch. I didn’t look up a recipe but just used what I thought would be great and what I had handy. I chopped up cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. I squeezed the juice of a lemon over it and cut up some basil to throw in as well. I put a good splash of olive oil on it and some sea salt and pepper and I was done. I also put some chunks of goat cheese on top when I served it. This would qualify as one of my “healthy fast food” recipes. It tasted great; wasn’t expensive; didn’t take long to make; was great for my body; and had local, organic, seasonal ingredients!
At dinner I had ordered smoked duck empanadas on black beans and avocado. The first bite was so filled with flavor I actually had to stop and warn my friend to really pay attention or he might miss how wonderful the food was. Well, he didn’t miss it. He actually had tears in his eyes over how good his lamb tasted. He is more sensitive than most men, but it was really amazing. For dessert, we ordered the German chocolate cake. OMG! That’s all I can say. The last bite was as good as the first and I savored every one.
I know that every meal can’t be a gourmet event, but perking up your taste buds once in a while can help re-inspire your delight in food. Find a new restaurant to try, buy a new type of food to cook, or get out some of those old favorite recipes that you love. I was also reminded that when food is really good you don’t need a lot of it to satisfy you. That’s good for your taste buds and your waist line.