Good food, good company, and a great conversation–and especially the three in combination are among the greatest of life’s pleasures. I like to help others create space for such joyful experiences in their lives.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind. It’s worth using the highest quality “real food” ingredients, locally grown or produced if possible. Try not to surf on the latest fad-based dietary wave. Savor ingredients that have been favored by long cultural traditions. For the best-tasting results, use healthy traditional fats (yes, fat makes flavor!), and remember– salt is your friend. High quality sea salt draws the flavors of a dish together; and furthermore, it’s good for you. Seek out animal food - whether it’s dairy, eggs, or flesh - from an animal that was raised humanely and traditionally, and consumes what it was designed to eat. Products from traditionally raised animals are now becoming increasingly available from local farmers. It is, in fact, getting much easier to find pastured eggs with bright orange yolks from hens that have been foraging outside.
What is healthiest for you is also what is healthiest for the planet. Local food is fresher, picked riper, and often grown without excessive pesticides. It also requires a minimum amount of fossil fuel to get to market. Furthermore, it just tastes better. Compare a peach so ripe and juicy that it falls apart as you eat it to the mealy versions so common in most supermarkets.
Nourishment is not only a matter of what we eat, but how we eat. Slow down, pay attention, and really taste your food. Keep in mind the pleasure, or “hedonist” factor. Also keep in mind that a meal should make you feel satisfied and lively after eating it. Splash love into your food, call down blessings on your kitchen, your family and friends, even as you wash and chop and slice. Nourish yourself and others as deeply as you can.
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Myra is the Head Chef & Content Manager of this food and healing website - MyFoodMyHeath.com. She is the author ofThe Healthy Hedonist Holidays; A Year of Multi-Cultural Vegetarian-Friendly Holiday Feasts (October 16, 2007, Simon and Schuster Publishers), The Healthy Hedonist; More than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes for Relaxed Daily Feasts. (Simon and Schuster, 2005), and The Voluptuous Vegan: More than 200 Sinfully Delicious Recipes for Eggless, Meatless, and Dairy Free Meals (now in its seventh printing from Clarkson Potter, October, 2000).
Myra teaches classes in ethnic, classic, and vegetarian cooking at The Natural Gourmet School of Food and Health and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She has been a guest instructor at numerous schools including the New York Jewish Community Center, Classic Thyme in New Jersey and at Sur la Tables around the country. She frequently teaches individual and group private classes and coordinates cooking parties. Myra specializes in corporate team- building events, with clients including Jurlique, The Gap, Credit-Suisse, Colgate-Palmalive, Alliance Bernstein, and American Express. She is a frequent contributor to Vegetarian Times and has contributed articles to Natural Healthmagazine and Organic Style. A veteran restaurant chef, recipe developer and editor, private chef and menu consultant, Myra worked for six years creating innovative vegan cuisine at New York’s Angelica Kitchen.
Books authored by Myra Kornfeld
The Voluptuous Vegan
The Voluptuous Vegan offers more than 200 recipes that are meat, egg, and dairy free, but also easy to follow, exciting, and full-flavored. This is luscious vegetarian food that everyone will love, no matter what your diet is. Although everything in the book is fitting for vegans, even non vegetarians will enjoy it.
The Healthy Hedonist Holidays
The menus in The Healthy Hedonist Holidays will entice every guest - vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, carnivores, omnivores who can’t eat dairy, and people who just love good food with delicious, satisfying “flexitarian” meals. Each menu offers both a vegetarian and fish or poultry main course, and a range of side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that can be used in any combination to accommodate individual tastes.
The Healthy Hedonist
The Healthy Hedonist serves up dishes inspired by a world of ethnic flavors, including India, Morocco, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, El Salvador, Lebanon, Greece, Italy, France, Iran, China, Vietnam, and the U.S.A.