Gourmet Everyday. / by camille broderick

GOURMET EVERYDAY.  I cannot take claim to this ingenious tagline and perfectly short food philosophy.  It is the tagline from the former, long-running and food savvy Gourmet Magazine.  However, I do enforce it and I will try to enlighten anyone who thinks about cooking in this way... and for that matter, living in this way.  

There are many ways to think about how we eat.  In fact, how we eat and what we eat can tell a lot about who we are and even more, what we believe.  The most famous of all gastronomes, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”  This principle is also connected to the concepts of Ayurvedic medicine.  Through Ayurvedic practices, a person uses what they eat to balance their bodily systems, from the inside out.  More often people think about eating too little or too much.  When in fact we need to learn to be thinking about what we should be eating first and foremost.

It is in our nature to think about food.  If we were to think about our pre-historic selves, we simply only thought about eating, sleeping, surviving, and reproducing.  People then ate to live, rather then live to eat like we might do today.  But eating doesn't just help you live but effects how you live.  The beautiful things in one's life; a family, a spouse, your work- cannot be experienced fully if you are not well and healthy to enjoy them.  How we feel is our health and our health determines how we live our life. 

In the book Culture Codes, author Clotaire Rapaille surveys and studies different societies around the world and how they feel about social topics and human emotions.  There is a range of psychological connections a.k.a "culture codes" from each survey that "codes" that society and their thoughts towards ideas like food, sex, work and so on.  But the one "code" everyone had in common was health- "mobility".  Food is fuel, but good food is high octane.  And this mantra, gourmet everyday is a start to defining what is "good" food for a healthy life.

Gourmet everyday really translates to two practices "care" and "quality".  It isn't about loads of preparation, but rather the  simple, thoughtful combinations you can do in the kitchen.  Utilize leftovers, for easy preparation.  Like a sandwich from a chicken you roast yourself and leave in the fridge.  Simple pasta with fresh sautéed grape tomatoes, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (a block of parmesan cheese will end up costing you the same and tasting better than packaged grated cheese).  Think frugal and more bang for your buck, not necessarily more expensive.  Yogurt, nuts and fruit can be breakfast or lunch.  This is care translated into practical routines for day to day living. 

And meals aren't about quantity, but "quality".  Try just two-three ingredients- a beautiful bowl of sautéed lentils, herbs and a piece of chicken sausage is scrumptious.   Think less ingredients, and finer ones.  Like basmati rice, fresh chopped herbs and a fried egg is so simple and satisfying.  Better fats and fewer steps.  Chop up sweet onions, squash, place in a roasting pan drizzle extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and add six chicken thighs and bake all at once.  Or classic tartines (an open-faced sandwich with a homemade spread) like toasted artisan sourdough bread (worth the extra dollar or two) with ricotta cheese and local honey or a mash of avocado, thin sliced sweet onion, olive oil and salt and pepper.  All meals in themselves.  And if you need more protein, add a purée of white bean, tuna with cayenne for a kick and a condiment.  

Do think about food more, you have only body in this lifetime and the better you take care of it, the better it will treat you and work!  And for more tips do make extra of your favorite things to use for leftovers, it will save you time.  Keep some cooked quinoa in the fridge, or extra roasted potatoes to use with eggs or for cold salads.  Sauté a bunch of peppers, onions and tomatoes, a classic peperonata to add to grilled meats or fish.  With simple and thoughtful food, you will have gourmet everyday.  You don't need a big traditional meal everyday.  A simple bowl of homemade soup (simply simmered water with carrots, celery, s&p, and leeks) and a grilled cheese is special when done with good bread (look for bread with less than four ingredients) and yummy cheese (just milk and enzymes).  You can make a meal out of the classic basics.  A little extra thought and care (a.ka. love) will slowly began to make eating more enjoyable and transform your everyday into something to savor, like life itself.