baking inspired by Cambodia

Once of the most inspirational things about being in Cambodia was rediscovering the joy of freshly prepared foods made from whole foods (rather than pre-packaged, convenience foods). As I sat down to meals that had 4 or 5 components–a soup, cooked vegetable, crudites, meat/protein, rice, and fruit-and noted how happily my dining companions and I grazed and munched our way through at a leisurely pace,  I had an epiphany: It is OK to spend more than 10 minutes preparing a meal. In fact, it’s absolutely OK to spend over an hour preparing a meal.

This lead to another epiphany: it’s OK to MAKE time (i.e., make it a priority) to prepare healthy, beautiful meals.  Time spent preparing an enjoyable, lovely meal that’s physically and aesthetically nourishing is time well spent.

So, I’ve been preparing lovely fruit and veggie-filled salads (think baby greens, torn spinach, pomegranate arils, diced apples, toasted almonds, slivered prunes, dried cherries, shredded carrot, and bits of broccoli sprinkled with a light Balsamic vinaigrette) to take to work, tea during the day, and simple desserts (like these Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shorties from Smitten Kitchen).

It takes time…probably 30-45 minutes a day…but it’s a new, lovely feeling….we’ll see where it leads.


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