healthy mexican food & lifestyle
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Want To Be Calmer And More Creative? Look To Your Kitchen

Want To Be Calmer And More Creative? Look To Your Kitchen | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it

Like many, I was introduced to cooking when I started college at 17 -- to survive. Since then I have traveled many miles, experienced many cuisines, and cooked many meals.

Along the way I have learned a few things about food, the process of cooking, and the impact it makes on our mind, body, and soul during good times and bad times. Food is the most fundamental of needs for our survival and almost every major event in our lives revolves around it.

It plays a vital role in the development of social interactions and social relationships. I find food to be sacred and the process of making food to be awakening and insightful. Although I am not professionally trained, cooking has become a joyful passion.

The process of making food has taught me to be mindful, embrace creativity, and push for mastery. Below are a few lessons that might make you think differently the next time you enter your kitchen.

Ritualistic Cooking Can Enhance Mindfulness
Along with billions of others around the globe, I suffer from the daily grind of life. My affinity with mindful living is not grounded in any kind of scientific research -- rather from constant self-analysis. I have found cooking is a means towards that journey of mindfulness. It's been said that the only two jobs of a Zen monk that are more important than sitting zazen (meditation) are cooking and cleaning. Cooking is a great way to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. It simply means living in the moment and awakening to experience. And it takes practice to be mindful. I have found that when I ritualistically cook on a regular basis it enhances my ability to be mindful about everything else I do.

In the 13th century, Japanese Zen master Dogen wrote "Instructions for the Tenzo," or head cook. In examining the manners and methods of preparing a meal at the Monastery, he reveals how to "cook" -- or refine -- your whole life. In one such instruction, he says "When you boil rice, know that the water is your own life." How do we cultivate the mind that cares as deeply for an ordinary thing, like water, as it cares for our very own life? Sounds simple -- but it's actually pretty hard -- go ahead and try it. It comes from putting our entire mind into those simple tasks, concentrating deeply, and doing them intentionally and completely. And when we are mindful, it allows us to better connect with the:

Past -- What we have completed
Present -- The task at hand
Future -- How our task at hand moves us forward
I believe, if we consciously think about the ingredients we choose, their preparation, the way we cook and the way we eat, it can contribute towards the development of mindfulness.

Conscious Openness Is At The Heart of Any Creative Process
I don't ever follow a recipe for my cooking. I like to experiment, mix and match, and "design" my meals. I make my decisions based on availability, my eating companions, and the hour of the day.

Over the years this awareness (during cooking) of resource, audience, and need helped me hone how I think. When I started cooking at the age of 17, just like life, I was unsure of the kitchen. Now I try to "create" my food with confidence. It is entirely natural for me to mix Japanese mirin with Indian turmeric and Mexican chilies.

In 2006, chefs Ferran Adria of El Bulli, Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck, Thomas Keller of French Laundry and Per Se, and the writer Harold McGee put forward what they termed "the international agenda for great cooking," and while its focus is food, it could well serve as a manifesto for anyone who is in the business of creativity:

We believe that today and in the future, a commitment to excellence requires openness to all resources that can help us give pleasure and meaning to people through the medium of food. In the past, cooks and their dishes were constrained by many factors: the limited availability of ingredients and ways of transforming them, limited understanding of cooking processes, and the necessarily narrow definitions and expectations embodied in local tradition. Today there are many fewer constraints, and tremendous potential for the progress of our craft. We can choose from the entire planet's ingredients, cooking methods, and traditions, and draw on all of human knowledge, to explore what it is possible to do with food and the experience of eating.
Just like making music or poetry, cooking requires understanding interconnectedness and harmonies. Anyone can mix and match two random sets of ingredients together, but not everyone can cook. Understanding the relationships between the ingredients and their interactions is crucial to creating a successful dish. This conscious openness is precisely what is at the heart of any creative process regardless of what we do and the medium we use.

Mastery Comes From Enthusiastic and Devoted Practice
Most mornings I prepare my son a balanced breakfast and a lunch pack between 6 a.m. and 6:15 a.m.

I have about 15 min to cook eggs, toast bread, chop fruit, make a sandwich, etc. Not much time, right? Actually, it's plenty. It comes from skills, practice, confidence, and organization. It begins with breaking down the process into mini goals:

I first decide what I want to cook based on what's available
I do all the prep work needed to create the meal
I start cooking based on the cooking time and how I will serve the meal
Along with clear thinking, being productive requires skills. And mastery comes from enthusiastic and repeated, devoted practice. In the video clip below from the movie Julie & Julia, Julia Child demonstrates what 100 pounds of onions and deliberate practice can achieve. She began with one onion and continued to use deliberate practice to master one skill at a time until she became known as the best teacher in French cooking.



I have come to believe that whether we like to cook or not, these same principles apply to just about anything else we undertake. It's about the awareness we experience, the devotion we apply, and as a result, how we create. Happy cooking -- whatever you may be cooking up!


Via Charles Tiayon
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Ceviche Ítalo-Peruano da chef Renata Vanzetto - Superchefs.com.br | Chefs de cozinha

Ceviche Ítalo-Peruano da chef Renata Vanzetto - Superchefs.com.br | Chefs de cozinha | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
Receita de Ceviche da chef Renata Vanzetto, prodígio e autodidata, a paulistana Renata Vanzetto, chefia o Marakuthai e EMA Restaurante.
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This is What Wicker Park's Tijuana Food Truck-Turned-Restaurant Looks Like

This is What Wicker Park's Tijuana Food Truck-Turned-Restaurant Looks Like | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
There's lots of wood and bright colors—and lots of seafood tacos.
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Baja food laid bare at Común Kitchen & Tavern - San Diego CityBEAT

Baja food laid bare at Común Kitchen & Tavern - San Diego CityBEAT | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
The most exciting development on the San Diego food scene is the ongoing Baja invasion—a distinct, high-end cuisine known as “BajaMed” and the influence of an equally exciting brand of street food.
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EL COLEGIO BAJA MED

Dirección: Calle 5ta. Esquina Avenida Revolución Zona Centro Tijuana Horario: Martes a Jueves de 12 a 11 pm, Viernes y Sábado de 12 a 12 pm y Domingo de 12 a...
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Behind the Baja Story - San Diego Magazine (blog)

Behind the Baja Story - San Diego Magazine (blog) | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
I grew up surfing in Baja's most beautiful places and drinking in its seediest ones. I just returned for the first time since all the blood and found a whole new world of food and wine.
Carmen Lucero's insight:

So excited to read article's on Baja, the gourmet scene and not the violent scence

 

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Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
By Kath Dedon . The Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork on Simply Recipes has been on my “to-do” list ever since I first saw it. The mouth-watering photo that Elise posted and her description about how...

Via Anne Papina
Carmen Lucero's insight:

Mmmm, gotta try it!

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Tartare di tonno e guacamole in salsa di arance - Stile.it

Tartare di tonno e guacamole in salsa di arance - Stile.it | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
Quando il pesce incontra gli agrumi: una ricetta fusion dedicata a chi non ama i fornelli
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Angie e le ricette di Violetta: L'ultima ricetta 'Cestini di guacamole e gamberi' - meltyfan.it

Angie e le ricette di Violetta: L'ultima ricetta 'Cestini di guacamole e gamberi' - meltyfan.it | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
Angie è tornata ai fornelli! Dal lunedì al venerdì, in onda su Disney Channel, la zia di Violetta, interpretata da Clara Alonso, ci stupisce con le sue ricette originali, semplici e creative. Cosa avrà preparato venerdì 21 novembre?
Carmen Lucero's insight:
se ha avocado , non potete sbagliare

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Plancha Baja Med: The Chad White Experience

San Diego chef Chad White hosts a monthly pop-up dining experience known as Plancha Baja Med. Watch this video for a taste.
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Baja Cuisine

Chef Miguel Milland at El Colegio in Tijuana, sophisticated tacos at Chef Fuillermo Moreno's Kokopelli Food Truck, and Tijuana's only culinary school. From t...
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Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor - U-T San Diego

Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor - U-T San Diego | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
Region's gastro scene is boosting tourism and its image.
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Vitamina T: Mexican-Style Grasshopper Tacos at Guelaguetza

Vitamina T: Mexican-Style Grasshopper Tacos at Guelaguetza | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it
Grasshoppers have long been enjoyed for their flavor (and high protein) in Oaxaca. Here in L.A., Guelaguetza serves them up right.

Via Ana C. Day
Carmen Lucero's insight:

Love it when restaurants get alternative , even though in Oaxaca it might be ubiquitous to eat grasshoppers, for us it means having an exclusive possibility.

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Ana C. Day's curator insight, February 14, 2013 12:24 AM

"

You can have the chapulines fried up as a snack, Oaxacan bar style, but better to go all in and order thechapulines a la mexicana, a guisado-style stew of sautéed grasshoppers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. A generous helping of Oaxacan string cheese (quesillo), a few wedges of lime, and a fan-cut half of avocado add symmetry to this Oaxacan hash. Arrange the proportions to your liking on a handmade corn tortilla, and sit back and enjoy a sustainable protein snack that doubles as a pre-Hispanic delicacy."

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A Beginner Guide to Mexican Tacos - Twenty-Something Travel

A Beginner Guide to Mexican Tacos - Twenty-Something Travel | healthy mexican food & lifestyle | Scoop.it

II have wanted to write about the incredible, diverse and delicious world of Mexican tacos for awhile, but it took me some time to gather enough information. A couple of weeks ago Mike and I spent a delightful morning walking ...


Via Hugo Loredo
Carmen Lucero's insight:

I'm glad that other non-mexican people understand that mexican food is not as cheesy as it is represented in other countries!

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