Food For Thought: Enjoy the process of cooking!

“Cooking is like Love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” ~ Harriet Van Horne

Do you enjoy yourself when you are cooking?  When I was home for the holidays, I had so much fun being in the kitchen cooking with my family and it reminded me to make an effort to enjoy cooking more often. I enjoy cooking the most with other people and socializing when I cook.  This experience of cooking is just as enjoyable for me as the process of eating, and the food is all that much better for it!

Sometimes with our busy lives, it can be easy to view cooking as a means to an end…in other words, we cook just so that we can eat.  But I truly believe that enjoying the process of cooking is just as important as the food itself.

How about you?  Is there one thing you can do this week to make the process of cooking more enjoyable for you?  How about putting on your favorite music or inviting a friend over and cooking together?

Let me know some of the ways you make cooking fun by commenting here on the blog.  Also, enjoy the following recipe for a delicious Vegetable Soba Lo Mein (and please have fun preparing it!!)

Until next week, Eat Well, Be Well and Love Every Bite!

~Jennifer

Vegetable Soba Lo Mein

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

This dish is SOBA good!!  Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, a gluten-free grain that contains a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cellular damage.  Right on!  Bring on the pasta!  For the maximum benefit (and to be completely gluten free) be sure to buy 100% buckwheat soba.

8 oz soba noodles**
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
4 scallions, sliced (reserve some of the green parts for garnish)
2 medium carrots, grated
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
1 cup vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons mirin (Chinese rice wine)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds for garnish

**Cook pasta according to package directions, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

In a large skillet, heat over medium-high heat.  Saute garlic, ginger and pepper flakes for about a minute, then add scallions, carrots, pepper, mushrooms and cabbage. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cabbage is wilted.

Add the broth, tamari, mirin and sesame oil and cooked soba noodles to the skillet. Simmer until heated through, serve garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.

This recipe and food for thought are from my weekly meal plan where you receive 4 healthy recipes, an organized shopping list and coupons to New Leaf Community Markets.  Subscribe today and get two weeks free!

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