Many people tell me that they do not cook dinner or that they do not cook at all. The usual reasons are: “I don’t have time”, “I don’t know how to cook” or “I am too tired to do it.”.
I respect everybody’s reasons and wouldn’t argue at all. But I also believe that it is our beliefs and attitudes that make our reality. If you believe that cooking is time-taking, it will be. If you convince yourself that this is a tiring, mundane or difficult task, it will be.
However, I believe in something else. I might not be universally right but this is my reality. And those of you who like my beliefs, may turn them as well into their own reality. For me, cooking is Health, Beauty, Meditation and Love.
When I prepare my food, I may choose the ingredients, the combination and the preparation method, so I make sure that what’s on my table is not only tasty, but wholesome, healthy and nutritious.
Everything that Nature creates is unique and beautiful. Everything that we do afterwards, might only take away from the beauty of Nature’s creations. When I cook, I try to preserve as much as possible the natural look and taste of the ingredients. I also arrange and serve the food beautifully so that we feed not only our stomach but our eyes as well.
Most of the things I do in the day require mental work. Most of my daily tasks take lots of thinking and concentration. So in the evening, I need to do something manual – something that shifts the energy from my head to my hands. Cooking frees my mind and helps me relax. I try not to think on anything else and just to enjoy what I am doing. Thus cooking becomes an act of meditation.
It matters whether food is cooked with love or not. Even if you couldn’t feel it, your body does. It is the energy of your mood and thoughts that can either poison the food or make it divine. So if you are angry or frustrated, do not start cooking immediately. Think of something beautiful instead, envision your dream or a nice place where you want to be, hear the sounds of this place, sense its smells, relax. Only then you could start cooking and you will do it with love. Then feed your family with your love.
Cooking is not necessarily difficult or time-consuming. Most of the things I prepare for dinner are easy and ready in less than half an hour. Of course some special moods and occasions might ask for more exquisite techniques and longer cooking time but this is not everyday’s call.
So if you want to try, I offer you a simple recipe for a humble but healthy and nice-looking dinner. If you do some pre-preparation in the morning, it will only take you about 20 minutes to be ready in the evening. Give it a try and serve your family a plate full of health and your hearty love.
Polenta with olive tapenade
(yield 2 portions)
- 1 cup organic polenta
- 1 cup black olives (pitted)
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbs of capers
In the morning boil the polenta as indicated on the package and leave to cool for a while. Line a small rectangular tray with plastic folio, pour in the polenta and smooth it down to form an even layer, not thicker than 2 cm. Leave it in the fridge.
In the evening, prepare an olive tapenade. Put the pitted olives in food-processor or chopper and process until the mixture becomes smooth. Transfer it in a bowl and add the basil leaves and tomatoes (both finely chopped) as well as the lemon juice and capers. Mix well everything.
Take the polenta out of the fridge and remove it from the tray with the help of the folio. Cut into squares, triangles or other shapes you like. Arrange the pieces in a serving plate and top them with the olive tapenade. Put some extra colour and freshness on the plates by adding fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.
Ready you are! How long did it take you?