How do we sustain inspired and healthy cooking and eating in daily life? It’s not always easy! In this blog post, I'll give you tips and inspiration for healthy, creative, and wholesome eating.
Cooking to let go of the day
Sometimes for me, it helps to see cooking not just as something that needs to be done, but rather as a way to unwind. A moment to let go of the day. Especially when I sat behind the computer for a long time or when I had many meetings with people, cooking could be a beautiful way to calm down. It’s a way to work with all my senses and to be in the moment, enjoying the smells, colors, and warmth.
It requires a little mind shift, but it can really bring a more calm and more enjoyable quality to cooking, especially on busy days. Of course, it helps when we have some practical pillars that can help support this.
Tips for healthy, creative and wholesome everyday eating
A good mix of easy and more challenging, creative recipes.
It’s good to have a whole bunch of easy and fast recipes for daily life, that take under 30-minutes of preparing time. These are the go-to meals on a daily basis: think of vegetable soups, salads with good grains and nuts in them, a simple curry or Indian dal with lentils. We can save the more challenging or time-consuming recipes for weekends and special occasions. You can make the daily recipes more festive by adding some easy but wonderful toppings, like sunflower seeds, sesame, dried cranberries, nuts or fresh herbs.
Have easy healthy and yummy ingredients and snacks always available.
Some of my favorite go-to ingredients for easy and good eating, are: canned butterbeans, dried fruits, frozen tempeh by Bärta, hazelnuts and walnuts, frozen green peas, apples, cucumbers, red paprikas, baby spinach and other lettuce, good olive oil. The great thing about many of these ingredients, is that all you have to do is to combine them on a plate, and you are ready to go.
While you are making a soup, a curry or a salad, just make extra! Then you immediately have a good lunch (or another evening meal) for the next day.
Make the Farmer’s Market, visiting a local farm or buying at REKO-ring (regional networks and markets for local farms) part of a fun (bi-)weekly excursion. This way, you can combine exploring local, healthy and seasonal ingredients, with a nice day out with family or friends.
Photo: Sara Vitale
Foraging and walks in nature.
I have a puppy that needs to go on a daily walk. Since I am out every day, I have discovered the amazing amount of edible plants that grow in the Swedish countryside. Not only is it really fun to pick wild plants for eating, it is also very tasty and healthy! So if you love nature walks, I would highly recommend studying edible wild plants, such as berries, herbs, mushrooms, leaves and flowers. Some of my favorites are wild pea (gökärt), sorrel (ängssyra), lingonberries, pine sprouts (granskott), ramson (ramslök), parasol mushroom (stolt fjällskivling), lilac (syren) and dandelion (maskros).
Grow your own!
For those of you who love to also work with plants, you can grow your own food! Why only grow decorative plants? There are so many plants that are both beautiful and edible. Only have a window to grow in? Then go for sprouts and herbs. Especially sprouts of mung beans, lentils, and yellow peas are east to grow. If you have a garden, the sky is the limit (and the climate ;)). Lazy gardener? Go for berry bushes, fruit trees, rhubarb and edible weeds. These take care of themselves.
And… last but not least: Be kind and patient.
It’s not easy to change eating habits! It takes time to find new ways, discover what works for you. And sometimes that frozen pizza is the best option for you that day. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t get it right every time. You’re on a journey, enjoy the ride!
Recipe – easy, tasty and healthy
The recipe of the month is one of my favorite and easiest recipes to go to:
Creamy tomato soup with lemongrass and lime leaves! So easy and yet so tasty, as well as delicious. Guaranteed within 30 minutes on the table!
Mundekullas Gröna Kök – want to buy Stephanie's book?
Mundekullas Gröna Kök won the Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2021 for Best Vegetarian Cookbook in Sweden and Best Hotel Cookbook in the World. The book features more than 70 vegan and vegetarian recipes and 10 chapters on playing with flavors and textures, how to design and plant-based meal or buffet, the love for cooking farm-to-table. Buy the book here.
Read more: Inspiration & recipes from Stephanie Verstift
- Back to Basics – How to eat sustainable, plant-based and delicious?
- The most important ingredients for creative cooking – love & curiosity!
- Salutary qualities of cooling foods on a hot summer's day
- Recipe: Panzanella with fennel, orange & plums
- Recipe: Lukewarm gnocchi with broccoli, spinach, radish & tarragon
- Recipe: Millet salad – with roasted veggies, orange and almonds
Videos for creativity and healthy living
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Mundekulla retreat center
Mundekulla is an ecological course and retreat center in the Småland countryside. At Mundekulla, people meet for courses, conferences and festivals, focusing on personal development, mindfulness, creativity, nature and of course beautiful nutritious food! Since its start over 20 years ago, the center has been built on sustainable principles. With traditional building methods and green energy, as well as with a focus on social justice and promoting various peace projects. The whole idea with Mundekulla is to create and co-create learning, art, music, community and health. The best thing is all the wonderful, meaningful encounters with other people. That's the core. Find out more at mundekulla.se
Photographer: Sara Vitale