Home' Nova National : June 2011 Contents WAY BACK IN February (my goodness
that seems like a lifetime ago) I promised
to carry on about the concept of a "proper
meal" this year, and it's taken me until
now. But it's important, very important.
So what exactly is a proper meal?
First, a proper meal should satisfy the
primary fuel needs of your cells -- it must
be nutrient dense, and secondly, a proper
meal should satisfy your soul -- it must
be delicious. It must meet your need to
stop and relax, to find a space of joy in
One without the other is not going
to nourish. This is the important bit -- if
you want to achieve all the things you
want to do, build, create, or be the kind of
full glowing person you wish for yourself,
you will need to be nourished. If you
want to be less tired and able to cope a bit
more you will need to be nourished.
In our very busy lives it is very
tempting and easy to take shortcuts, but
I promise you, you will pay for it at some
point. Snacking doesn't cut it. A snack
should be something that keeps us going
between good, nutrient dense meals --
namely, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many
people exist on snacking -- and coffee. Like
children going nuts and crazy, it's going
to end up in tears at some point (that's
when you pay for it).
But, while it's so important to put
some thought into every meal, I truly
know how, when the going gets tough
and one's head gets a tad fried, things like
that fly out the door. So, we need, at the
very least, to make sure we have a proper
meal at the end of the day.
Imagine these two scenarios -- coming
home after a busy day (either from
working, or with children) and taking a
frozen commercial meal from the freezer
and eating it, or having a home cooked
meal that tastes delicious. Very different
things and in imagining yourself in
those scenarios, I bet you could feel the
difference. That frozen commercial meal
will fill you up, certainly. But does it leave
you nourished? Feeling good in body and
soul? It may well have some nutritional
value -- some nutrients are improved by
freezing, some diminished. I can't tell you
how many people (women especially) I
see who exist on these frozen commercial
If you can manage, please try and
create a simple eating plan for yourself
and your family over the week and, where
possible, try and eat food as fresh as
possible over frozen. Not that I'm against
frozen homemade food, just not everyday.
A Proper Meal
From an Ayurvedic point of view, frozen
food has no lifeforce and I do notice a
big difference in myself and my clients
when they eat less frozen food.
It matters also what that meal is; there
is certainly a place for a simple pasta
meal, but that proper meal, on average,
is going to be more than a couple of
food groups. It can also include dessert
-- shock horror -- and, indeed, I think we
need to consider a proper meal is more
than what is presented on just one plate
-- it may actually run over two to three
courses. A typical French meal consists of
a few courses, including a salad, and
dessert (and often cheese), as does many
an Italian meal.
There is something very satisfying
about having a range of foods as part of
the whole meal; this may simply be a
main and a wholesome dessert, or soup/
bread and stew. Dessert isn't mandatory,
but consider that for many, a little bit of
something delicious does meet a need. I
see many clients who deny that aspect of
life on the premise that dessert is not
healthy (or they will get fat) and then hit
chocolate later in the night, or cheese,
or yoghurt. I can assure you, it is not the
dessert (or fat) that is going to make
you fat, but an overall eating pattern.
Hence a whole book written on French
women who don't get fat.
Please don't think I'm suggesting you
spend hours in the kitchen either -- but
realistically, it's not going to be quite the
30 minutes that Jamie Oliver manages it
in. But often, the cooking part doesn't
require much of your actual time, and
they are the meals to go for -- those
dishes where you get them started, then
leave them to do their thing. What I am
suggesting though, and encouraging, is
that you spend a small amount of time
planning your evening meals for the
week. Choose something that excites
you and you look forward to sitting down
and eating and feeling satisfied. Allow
yourself to have a small amount of
dessert if you'd like.
This fish pie is wonderful served with
a salad, and a great proper meal. It's one
of the easiest and quickest of meals to
put together -- yes, a little rich, but it's
getting cooler, so this is the time for it.
And dessert for the starving masses?
I'd head to my favourite Apple Brown
© NOVA JUNE 2011
'Snacking doesn't cut it.'
Fish remains one of the cheapest and most
nourishing foods available. I like to use cream
fraiche or cultured cream here, not only
because it's a great source of lactic acid to aid
digestion, but also the saturated fat ensures
optimum usage of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Use a fish that is sustainable where you live
-- this is a great place for an oily, high omega
fish like sea mullet, though black bream is also
great. Ask for your fillet to be skinned, and
check carefully for any bones.
It's also one of the quickest and most delicious
meals to put together.
• 2 medium potatoes, well scrubbed and cut
into 2-3 cm dice
• 100 or so gm broccoli - roughly cut
• 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
• 2 stems spring onions, roughly chopped or 1
small onion finely diced
• 2 tablespoons fresh herbs - lemon thyme,
parsley or basil
• Grated zest of 1 small lemon
• Handful of green vegetables - I use whatever
is in season.
• 4 - 6 tablespoons cultured cream
See our website novamagazine.com.au
for more of Jude's fabulous wholefood recipes
• Peas and asparagus are delicious, but right
now English Spinach is a good choice.
• ¼ seed mustard
• pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 300 gm fish, checked over for bones and
roughly cut into 3 cm chunks
Pre heat oven 190c
Steam the potatoes and when nearly ready,
add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli is
just soft. Take care not to overcook and dull the
colour of the broccoli. Add 1 tablespoon butter
or ghee and roughly mash.
Melt the remaining butter or ghee in a small
saucepan and if using onion, add this and cook
over a gentle heat until soft. If using spring
onion, just throw it in let it soften for a minute
or so. Add the lemon zest, greens, cream,
mustard, salt, pepper and fish. Stir through
gently -- the cream will 'melt' and relax. Spoon
the mix into a shallow, ovenproof dish and top
with the mashed potato.
Place in the oven and cook for approx 20
minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the
juices are bubbling.
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