We love a fresh start, renewing goals of improving ourselves. Exercise, finances, career goals, quality time with friends and family and of course, eating better. Many of us have a repertoire of menu items which are manageable to produce throughout the week but we’d love to incorporate healthier options or at least try to eliminate unhealthy take out or quick service restaurants. A health centric food culture has exploded in the last five years making it easier to source healthy food that not only competes in flavour but offers a superior health benefit.
PLANNING, EDUCATION AND KNOW HOW
Cookbooks, blogs, apps, social media, classes and even Pinterest are packed with healthy choices to inspire and assist us in achieving our goals. From memes that remind us of “whole food” options and “quick hacks” to up the healthy quotient in your current family meals, there is so much information at our finger tips. What does eating fabulously healthy look like? Simply follow any number of healthy focused Instagram or Twitter feeds. Beautiful photos feature easy to make foods, not to mention good quality videos to help you with technique.
Every family has a different approach to eating. Some center around cooking and others need help due to time constraints or dietary needs, not to mention fussy eaters! In Ottawa, we’re blessed with an amazing array of stores, markets, and food professionals with a focus on healthy delicious food. Our local grocers offer a greater variety of vegetables, grains, and sustainable proteins. We have access to restaurants, specialty stores and delivery services offering organic or local produce and proteins, prepared foods, meal ingredient packages, and pantry items. The variety of choice allows us to tailor what works best for us. Our neighborhood is home to several specialty stores, a seasonal market, butcher, bakery, café’s, and restaurants who focus on local healthy handcrafted food and ingredients.
An added health benefit is good but for most of us flavour is the bottom line. Good news, wholesome eating has never been so flavourful. Creative food pioneers have taken the guess work out of healthy combinations and showcase pairings of vegetables, grains, pulses, and proteins with the bursts of flavour found in spices, herbs, and techniques such as roasting and pickling. The satisfaction found in eating our indulgent favourites can be replaced with more complex combinations of whole food ingredients and flavouring agents. Eating seasonally and layering fresh high impact flavours; citrus, salsas, pickles, chilies, fresh herbs, and nuts will soon have you addicted to your favourite bowl of goodness.
Here’s to a happy healthy and delicious year!
Copy by: Tracey Black – Executive Chef/Owner, Epicuria Fine Food & Catering.
Lead Photo: Cori Horton