Cook from your heart, not your head – Step 3
Written by Chef James on 07/03/11 am31 11:33 AM
For many people, cooking is the number of minutes food gets heated in the microwave. Others judge themselves so harshly in the kitchen that they feel paralyzed and refuse to try something different. Well, if you’ve joined us for step one (getting in touch with your naked self – your body’s innate wisdom) and step two (shopping naked), hopefully you’re feeling courageous enough to take the third step: cooking naked.
Step Three: Cook Naked
First things first: take a breath. You’re back in your kitchen. You’ve got some lovely fresh food with which to make a tasty meal. Whether you’re following a recipe or your instincts, take your critical judge’s hat off. Use your senses to explore and prepare your meal. You were extra conscious in buying produce that was colorful and visually appealing. Don’t stop now. Continue choosing foods for your meal that make you hungry.
Your plate is your canvas. It’s just you and this naked food. Smell it, tear it open with your hands (or if you must, a knife), and taste the natural goodness. Remember you’re in experiment mode. Let your mad scientist out. Start putting foods together from instinct.
Put all the fats on your counter that you own (or go out and buy different varieties): butter, ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, lard, avocado oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil. Put them all out and notice which one tugs at you. Not sure, then taste each one until your body provides the answer. Look at the food you bought then back at the fats. Which ones do your instincts tell you to use together?
Without hesitation, go with it, combine ingredients with fat. If you’re sautéing things, proceed. If you’re baking, go for it. Eating it raw, then make it so. Beyond remembering which oils can be heated (butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard) and which are better used cold (extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, sesame seed oil), don’t think about it, just do it. You can’t go wrong when you’re experimenting since everything you do is a learning experience. So go wild, add ingredients together that your mind has never allowed you to mix, yet your primal voice is screaming for you now to do.
When you’re cooking with foods that are organic, the flavor is usually already built into the food. Keep any seasonings to a minimum so that the flavor of the produce can still be tasted. Maybe a little sea salt and pepper; a few fresh herbs. Keep it simple this first time as you focus on cooking naked.
When we cook from our hearts and not our head, it’s imperative that we use our senses as much as possible. Our sense of smell is just as important as our sense of taste when we’re cooking. Listen and watch your food as it cooks: it just might reveal to you how to plate and eat your food.
When the food is cooked and ready to be eaten, sit down and take a full minute to honor that beating heart of yours. Hold space for all the energy that contributed to providing this meal, whether from the sun or the farmer who planted and nurtured it; thank these synergies for creating this delicious, naked food.
Now taste this mad creation of yours. Savor the natural goodness. If something tastes particularly good or maybe even a little off, allow your instincts to reveal why. Maybe you’re inspired to add something else in the moment or maybe you just file the data away for another day. No matter the outcome, you’ll find when you release your inner judge, you quiet the noise around you and listen to the primal voice inside, you’ll find every aspect of food to be more enjoyable and far healthier.
- Cook From Your Heart, Not Your Head – Step 1
- Cook From Your Heart, Not Your Head – Step 2
- Cook Happy