Tomatoes to Unwind
Finding the love for cooking
The pace in which we live has never before been so fast. Times have changed and so have our lifestyles. We are surrounded by technologies designed to make the things we do more efficient and faster. You would think that this creates the opportunity to have more free time since we can speed up other tasks. The opposite often turns out to be true. Instead of having more control we open our doors to a hectic place. With one new invention to safe more time, there are tons of other things we have added to our to do lists. It’s not just family, sports and work anymore and no matter what tool is there to help us, we always seem to want extra hours in one day where we can finally just sit back and relax.
Everyone needs me-time. Time to arrive and fully be with yourself. The best would be to have a bit of that moment at least once a day. I am sure that most of us are familiar with the feeling of not wanting to cook because you are tired and you just want to sit back and relax. You might feel that cooking a proper meal would take too long and you really don’t have that time right now. Sounds familiar? Well, what if we told you that you are perfectly capable of making a tasty and healthy meal in only a little time without being a trained chef. And have you ever considered that cooking by itself could actually become your time to unwind from that hectic day? Instead of throwing a ready to go meal into your microwave and waiting for that beep to go of while you restlessly wander through your house busying yourself with anything you can get your hands on. Getting all wound up and ending up eating your meal in a hurry too. We learned by experience that getting our ass in the kitchen and preparing a home made meal, even when it’s just a 20 to 30 minute recipe, will make us much more aware and allows us to be present in the moment. Letting our mind turn in to a meditative state while cooking and allowing ourselves to enjoy the food when sitting down to eat. Obviously these are two written extremes, but I am sure that you get the point.
Easier said then done? The way is simple: Start Cooking. It’s really not that challenging and it’s perfectly fine to start with easy recipes. No need to be a top chef, no pressure. As with everything in life, take your time, accept where you are at this moment and work your way up from there. Easy homemade recipes are often just as tasty as those three star recipes anyway (we all know that mom cooks the best.)
Look around you! You are surrounded with mouth watering inspiration everywhere. Cookbooks, blogs or even courses can add a great deal to your journey in the kitchen. (Personally we love the approach of Jamie Oliver towards easy recipes). I was never a big fan of running until someone said something that changed my mindset. The same applies to cooking: Don’t look at it as something that you must do and get frustrated with yourself. Instead, make sure that it is fun! Priority number one is always to enjoy what you are doing!
Make your kitchen your Temple and cooking your Meditation
It is not without a reason that according to the philosophy of the five elements cooking (and eating) with attention is considered one of the best ways to get your feet back on the ground. And feeling the ground beneath your feet helps you to let go of that hectic day.
Take time to love your body by cooking for yourself, take it easy and start fully enjoying your dinner. The below recipe is one of the easiest ones we know. You don’t even need a knife! It is one of the quickest ways to wind down by getting in touch with the food. Prepare to get your hands dirty and make sure when the food is in the oven to enjoy that relaxed evening.
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Olive Oil
• Balsamic Vinegar
• Cherry Beer
• Bay Leaf
• Rosemary / Oregano / Basil
• Peper and Salt
Amount (1 person)
500 to 750 grams (colorful mix!)
2 to 4 tablespoons
2 to 4 tablespoons
(*) You can always change the amount to taste as long as you put at least some of every ingredient in the dish. Adding the ingredients in the right order is very important when you cook according to the five elements creating that free energy flow.
How to make
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees. Take a large oven tray (the largest you have) and throw in the Tomatoes. Pour in the Cherry Beer (and enjoy the rest of the bottle) followed by the Olive Oil. Crush your Garlic (this is the only thing we usually take a knife for, but any way of crushing will do) and throw it in the mix. Crush or grind the Pepper and Salt over the entire tray. Sprinkle the Balsamic Vinegar over the tomatoes, add Rosemary, Basil and/or Oregano to taste (at least one of them). A handful of Raisins and a single Bay leaf before you mix the whole together. You should really use your hands for this, the tomatoes really prefer the delicate touch of skin over the hardness of any kitchen tool. Make sure you have all the tomatoes covered in the liquid and herb mix and try to spread them out in a single layer (no harm if you don’t succeed). Put the tray in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until most tomatoes have burst. Eat with a fork to prevent the tomatoes from popping in your mouth (this is really hot) and make sure you have some bread available to enjoy the delicious cooking juices. We prefer a good focaccia bread to absorb the juices with.
For those meat lovers among us: Lams sausages are a great addition to this dish. Just put them in with the tomatoes right before mixing. Make sure they end up on top of the mix and don’t forget to turn them half way.
Did you know?
Only in the late 15 hundreds the tomato was imported from southern America into Europe. Surprisingly enough in the 17 hundreds the tomato was believed to be highly poisonous. This due to its kinship to nightshade (a highly poisonous berry). Luckily for the tomato it turned out to be only a bad combination with pewter plates instead of the fruit being bad by itself. Since then the tomato has been found to be a rich source of vitamin C and therefore was used quite often in battling scurvy on ships (next to the citrus fruits that actually became famous for it). Seeing Mark loves the Italian kitchen (where quite early on they started experimenting with different kinds of tomatoes and usage) he can’t think of a world without tomato’s and this lovely recipe is an ode to this special and extremely healthy fruit (or vegetable, we won’t start that discusion).