by: Lisa Harrington
Summer invites the opportunity to explore the unknown, which we often fail to realize can be achieved inside ourselves or within our own homes. One of the best places to make new discoveries with our friends and families is in the kitchen. Summer is an excellent time to seek out a culinary adventure inspired by health and curiosity. Exploring new recipes, cooking techniques or foods can be much like an exploration into an unknown land which individuals find reward via a variety of approaches.
Some will embark on a quest with an adventurous itinerary where every step has been planned in advance to achieve the maximum benefit that is available. If this is your style of exploration, then your culinary adventure could begin by identifying areas of your diet that are boring, redundant or lacking in health. For example, if you have the same ten recipes on rotation that you crank out over every two weeks, then your goal might be to peruse the internet or visit with friends to identify a new recipe each week this summer. Or perhaps you have noticed that your family does not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day; therefore, your challenge might be to bring new varieties of vegetables into your home more often. The summer offers a bounty of in season vegetables, such as beets, broccoli, cucumber, kale, turnips, tomatoes, radishes and a variety of herbs—there is something for everyone.
What if you are not a planner? Are you the type of woman who would love to spin a globe, apply friction by way of your index finger, and set off to travel to the location identified when the globe stops? You have no plan—part of the adventure is the unknown itself – and the opportunity for spontaneity provided by the lack of structure. Your appetite might best be served by making a trip to your local grocer and selecting a handful of new ingredients—a protein source like an unknown fish, with some fresh herbs you have never tried, or some obscure spice mixture. Pair your new main course with a twist on stuffed peppers that use a new grain like millet. When your family asks what you are having for dinner, tell them it doesn’t have a name yet. Kids are remarkable taste testers, and often times offer the most raw and valuable advice; so, enlist their help in tweaking your recipe – and utilize their carefree imaginations in developing a new name for your summer 2016 recipe invention. What a great way to share your adventurous spirit with your kids and ignite their sense of curiosity without even leaving your own kitchen!
As women, sometimes we are challenged by the limitations of everyday life and breaking out on that adventure that our hearts yearn for can be difficult. We have jobs with finite amounts of time for vacation, we manage the schedules of multiple people which is often more complicated during the summer. So we encourage you to create your own adventures and what better place to start than in your own kitchen.
Oh, and speaking of millet stuffed peppers …