Hobbies and Habits Around Food

By Monika Bock

Jordan recently posted on Facebook about how creating a new habit takes time. This is not a new idea; those of you who have participated in any of the 90 Day Challenges know it takes time. It’s not just that habit takes time to turn into a hobby; it’s also that you need the desire that will foster a change in habit. Have you been wanting to try out cooking and or or preparing something new?

Changing your habits about food could be the start of a new hobby. You may find it strange, but it’s true. There are so many ideas on the internet in this age of “immediate information at our fingertips” that sometimes the choices are overwhelming. It seems that the days of buying cookbooks are long gone; now you can type in the one ingredient in your refrigerator and you will get countless of ideas on how to prepare it. (However, there is something to be said about spending hours in a bookshop looking at cookbooks, and I have to say that I rarely leave without one to add to my ever growing collection – there’s just something about flipping through a cookbook and picking out a recipe to try – but that’s for another day…)

If you aren’t (yet) keen on cooking: the first step is always the hardest. Do you eat out a lot? Order in a ton? Buy ready-made or packaged meals? Figure out what your why not is first… what’s holding you back? Being busy doesn’t count. None of the above mentioned are “bad” or “wrong”- in fact all of them can be both nutritious and delicious, but what we’re talking about is fostering a new hobby. So the first step has to come from you. (There’s my tough love for today.) Pick a meal time and try a new ingredient this week. Head to the store and find a vegetable that you may have never tried before. Below are some of my favorites and easy ways to prepare them, so no more excuses. Then add them into your week. Test them out on your family. Maybe you need to assess the flavor profile to make it work for everyone. Never underestimate the simple yet delicious tastes of citrus, fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano) or greek yogurt (tip: mix these three together for a delicious dip/spread/dressing).

Sweet potato:

Found in most markets around Munich these days (yams are similar and can be substituted). The are larger than a normal potato, oblong in shape, and have orange flesh (Hello Vitamin A!!! and countless other vitamins and minerals). They have a sweet taste and can be prepared like a baked potato.

  1. Wash, poke with a fork all around the skin, and wrap in foil. Place in 200℃ oven for 45-60 minutes (until a sweet honey-like liquid drips out).
  2. Wash, poke with a fork and place on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes at 200℃ in the oven.

Then cut in two and serve with a greek yogurt dill sauce, or a tahini drizzle with sesame seeds, or simply some salt and pepper and some grass-fed butter.

A great side to a summer BBQ!

Summer Squash:

Zucchini, courgette, summer squash. These beauties are all the rage at the moment and are mild in taste, so they can accompany just about anything. There are over 15 different varieties of squash on the market. If you head to the Viktualienmarkt downtown, you can find some beautiful rarely seen varieties. If you can’t find them – ask the stand owners. This gem of a vegetable has a mild taste but still provides large amounts of nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and those energy building B vitamins.

It is so versatile and can be sauteéd, spiralized into noodles, used as lasagna noodles for a grain free lasagna (recipe in this month’s newsletter), grated and added to your favorite baked good. (Your kids will never know!)

Beets, Beet Root, Rote Beete:

Usually, when you think of beets, your mind might take you to the fall season, but these gems are in season now and early season beets are tender and tasty and can be enjoyed raw. Beet greens (the tops of beets) are also a powerhouse of nutrition and can be added to salads or sautéed to add to your next veggie dish. Early season beets can be eaten raw or roasted and also come in different colors and varieties. Be on the lookout for golden beets or striped beets (candy cane beets), which have their own flavor profile.

When roasted, they develop a candy-like sweetness, pair well with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or citrus flavors. You can easily make a beet carpaccio by roasting beets in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 180℃, either on sheet pan or on a grill in a foil packet until fork tender. Once cooled you peel the skin off and slice the beets thinly. Serve with goat cheese and arugula/rocket, sprinkled with walnuts and drizzled with olive oil.

If you need more help to get started, get into touch – that’s where working with someone like me, a nutritionist, can be beneficial. I can help guide, teach and show you the ropes until you are comfortable with trying out new foods and incorporating them into your daily life.

 

 

You can find Monika on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or sign-up for her monthly newsletter where she shares recipes & ideas and where it’s easy to stay in the loop on upcoming events and news. ( www.nourish-alo.com) She is the owner of Nourish-Alō Holistic Nutrition and whose motto is Nourish/Thrive/Sustain. Monika works with a diverse clientele with various health concerns and goals making changes that are both positive and sustainable over time. Her favorite summer fruit are berries of ANY kind and the fresh new crops of apples and figs that are popping up in the markets. Acknowledging that EveryBODY is different and people have individual needs, she addresses these needs through a whole food nutrition program and lifestyle change approach.

 

All images copyright: Monika Bock (Images may not be used outside of Übermoms without express permission)

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