Just about every culture spanning the globe partakes in some sort of thanksgiving benediction before consuming their food. Thornton Wilder once said, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” And in that way, the act of pausing to give thanks for a meal is a blessing in and of itself.
With mid-winter’s chill stoking our appetite for hot, hearty meals, we often turn to long, slow braises and gently gurgling stews. Given our hectic lifestyles, though, it’s not always practical to babysit a meal for hours as it cooks. The answer? Embrace your slow cooker.
In wintertime especially, there’s nothing more comforting than coming home to a pot of simmering soup. This carrot version has a secret ingredient–a cup of diced, kabocha squash–which plays beautifully with the spices and citrus drizzle.
In this month’s theme of giving you tools and practical strategies for eating smarter throughout the year, this one is low-hanging fruit; a super-easy step that will radically simplify your meal planning. Rather than start from scratch each week with what you’re going to make, designate two or three nights as themes. The beauty of this approach is that it allows you to structure your meal planning while still leaving you open to creative interpretation. For instance, I’m not starting from scratch when deliberating what to make on a Thursday night; I already know I’ll be making seafood. But that could be as varied as Curried Mussels or Blackened Catfish or Barramundi with Shallots and Chile.
Back in the day in San Francisco, when A16 was Zinzino, we lived just a block and a half away on Chestnut Street. One of our all-time-favorite dishes there was parchment-baked spaghetti and meatballs. It was, truly, the ultimate comfort food. The noodles were shot through with flavor with an altogether unique texture—chewy in a good, satisfying way. Zinzino turned into A16 not long after we left the city and that dish disappeared along with it. Until now. I’m happy to report that, after all these years, I’ve successfully replicated it here.
Last weekend, the Nourish Network crew scoured the aisles of the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco looking for companies that really embodied our values of enjoying food that’s healthy for our bodies and the earth. Here, the first in my three part series (I’ve got a lot to say and didn’t want to overwhelm you) on our 18 favorites:
Brussels sprouts get an Asian spin with sweet chile sauce for a scene-stealing side dish.