I’m a dedicated home cook, so when I do dine out, I opt for cuisines like Indian, Thai or Vietnamese that I have yet to delve deeply into at home. Their rich, balanced use of various spices, chiles and other flavoring elements pleases my palate, and it’s easy to order dishes rich in veggies or legumes. Even though I enjoy eating meat, for health and a daily feeling of well-being, plant foods, especially vegetables, take up the most real estate on my plate. Let’s put it this way: I fill my freezer each fall with 1/4 of a grass-fed steer from a tiny local ranch, but my favorite cookbook is vegetarian.
I have no need of gummy white bread, snack foods that leave orange dust on my fingers, or cheap baked goods that leave a greasy film in my mouth. What I crave is the chew of whole grains, the crispness of raw vegetables, the tang of artisan sourdough, the juiciness of fresh fruit, the burst of umami when I take a bite of grass-fed beef, the pleasure of a square of dark chocolate or a cookie baked with real ingredients, eaten mindfully. Balance, variety and quality…that’s the taste of eating right!