JANUARY 10th, 2018:
There sure is a lot of diet talk in January! Anyone else feeling like it’s too much? Of all of the cleanses, challenges, regimes, and plans being talked about on social and mass media today, the only one that momentarily caught my attention (and it really was just for a moment) was the #Cook90 Challenge from Epicurious. To be honest, it caught my attention because I thought it was crazy—cook three meals, everyday, for 30 days! Yeah, right. In theory, I love the idea. But, in reality, it sounds terrible! I love to cook, but I love to eat out too—it’s one of my primary sources of cooking inspiration.
I think there’s probably several good reasons behind the #Cook90 Challenge. Save money. Eat healthier. Eat together. Explore your culinary creativity. All reasons why I love this challenge. Then I think about the reasons that compel me to want to eat out. Number 1: I don’t want to do dishes or clean-up the kitchen. Good reason! Number 2: I simply want to get out…be in a new environment, around new things, with new people (and some old people too—wink, wink). Also a good reason! And number 3: I’m in a cooking rut and sick of making the same ‘ol same ‘ol. Okay, not a good reason.
We all get the cooking blues and blahs. I’ve so been there. To shake it, I sometimes play a little game that I affectionately call (to myself—because I’ve never outwardly admitted this until now) the cooking alliteration game. Literally. I challenge myself to make a dish with main ingredients that all start with the same letter. This week’s recipe is a result of this silly game, and it’s delicious!
My letter of choice: “F”—inspired by my favorite healthy, hip grain, farro. (Grains, pasta, or greens are often a good ingredient to start the game because they’re highly versatile.) I season the farro with a bunch of aromatics while cooking and then add roasted cauliflower (or broccoli) florets, dried mission figs, and crumbled feta. For good measure, I top it with a little freshness (mint) and some healthy fats (avocado and pistachios). You can see that I stretch the rules a bit, but that’s okay—my kitchen, my rules. It’s your kitchen and your rules too—have fun, break free!
Click here to give my Seasoned Farro with Florets, Feta & Figs a try and tell me what you think!