Without a shadow of doubt, the food that you eat affects your entire wellbeing, including your emotional health. My partner is a strong robust kind of guy who sometimes (often) gets exasperated by my crusade to eat ‘clean food’ as much as possible, but even he has to admit that he feels a lot better for eating my home cooked food. Why fuss? He would grouse. We are in Asia now where it is often cheaper to eat out.
Pad Thai, green curry, massaman and other delicious Thai dishes cost less than GBP3 in this gorgeous beach restaurant that we often frequent. However I have done strange things like bring my own food here. Why? Simply because I prefer to eat food that I make from scratch. There is a lot of satisfaction from that. Thus, I am not a fan of restaurant food anywhere in the world. It’s not because of fear but simply out of love for home food.
These are the simple guidelines from the US Food Administration – formulated in 1917!
It is still applicable almost 100 years later. I think in this day and age it is even more important to eat simple, nutritious and locally sourced fruits and vegetables from small producers (pesticide free if possible, low carbon miles) to compensate for additives and preservatives added to food as a matter of course these days, and depleted soil that commercial vegetables are grown in. Here are three examples of one-step-from-farm-to-table food:
(1) Homemade pasta in rich chicken broth
Boil organic, free-range chicken with onion, garlic, tomatoes and some herbs. I served my rich soup with homemade pasta lovingly made by my friends Susan Choong and Michelle Woo. The colours came from pureed fruits and vegetables, nothing artificial.
(2) Aglio olio
I love sun-dried tomatoes for their intense flavour. We are lucky that here in Phuket, there is an abundance of locally grown, flavoursome tomatoes. I just dry them in the hot sun on my terrace and make the most delicious spaghetti aglio olio with them. Simply toss cooked spaghetti in olive oil, garlic, chilli and basil, and season with salt and pepper. You can’t get simpler than that.
(3) Bubble and squeak
English classic made with local vegetables. They are often leftovers from Sunday night’s roast dinner. The leftover veggies are then chopped up and fried in oil until they squeak. My healthier version is baked in the oven instead of fried. Delicious with runny egg on top.
If you browse in the Soul Food section on this website, you will find plenty of ideas for making food that will make a difference. Try it, love it ❤
Meanwhile, I received this text:
No, love, wish you were here, eating ratatouille with me on our terrace watching the sunset. And for me, that is the meaning of the saying, ‘keep the home fires burning’.