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A recipe has no SOUL. As a cook, you must bring soul to the recipe!
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Robyn72.350
I'm truly grateful you've taken the time to check out my website. My name is Robyn Johnson. I am a Food and Wellness Educator, Holistic Health Coach and Healthy Cooking Coach. I teach individuals, families, kids, and even couples how to eat healthier, cook awesome homemade meals, and make tiny yet significant lifestyle changes. You deserve to be happy, healthy and confident in your body. Let me help you find what works for you.




 

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Baby Kale Health
Baby Kale Health

Practicing Mindfulness in Restaruants

My husband and I recently decided that we aren’t going to waste money on crappy food served with mediocre service at restaurants anymore – unless absolutely necessary. We RARELY eat at fast food restaurants. I mean RARELY – and only when there are NO other choices. We have gradually transitioned to packing snacks and lunches or going to grocery stores when we’re out ‘n about. And now, we’re looking at transitioning to “mindful restaurant dining”.

We want to be mindful about the restaurant, the food, the atmosphere, the service…the total package. Instead of on a whim, saying “There’s nothing at home to eat, let’s just go out.” And then proceeding to go have a mediocre experience and so-so sodium rich and calorie-ridden meals. It’s just not worth it to us anymore.

Instead we will work through those times to look for something awesome hiding in the cupboards (I LOVE making up meals with whatever’s on hand!), and save our money to go out to one of the many restaurants that are part of Denver’s new and rapidly-growing foodie scene!

I LOVE to cook, my family likes what I make, and it’s much less expensive. So why not just stay home? We do eat at home probably 95% of the time. However, there’s something about going out to a restaurant, right? Especially if it’s a good restaurant that pays special attention to quality of ingredients, exhibits creativity in menu planning, and sets the standards high for exceptional service. I’m also looking for inspiration for my own cooking. Yes, I want the total restaurant experience.

There are so many restaurants out there that could set themselves apart from the rest, but instead they sit on their laurels, complain about customers, and try to cut costs by using lower quality ingredients and not being properly staffed. I don’t want that for my family anymore. We work hard for our money, and when we go out for a meal, I want to feel like I’m spending that money in the right place.

This conversation all began after Mother’s Day brunch a few weeks back. We went to Linger in Denver. The food was so good – taste, presentation & creativity – paired with such exceptional and professional service that the combination brought tears to my eyes (seriously). In my opinion, it was the total restaurant experience.

Lola dumping donuts

My youngest daughter ordered donut holes that came out in a paper bag on a simple white plate with a special dipping sauce. Her eyes were bright with delight as she chose to dump the donuts on to the plate and watch the powdered sugar sprinkle on top like glitter.

The energy and excitement grew as my whole family began reaching across the table and over booth partners –yes, manners went out the window- to try different elements of each other’s meals.

My oldest daughter, who wants to start a baking business this summer, ordered waffles with Nutella pastry cream and cherries. She took all sorts of mental notes on how tender the waffle was, the texture of the pastry cream and the punch of flavor that the cherries added.

Breakfast Dosa

I ordered a Breakfast Dosa, which had eggs, masala potatoes and sambar curry all crowned in glory with a special crispy crepe. I noted that even the peas “popped” and played a special role where they could’ve easily been lost.

And my husband ordered an amazing chile relleno with this crazy good candied kumquat & tomato salsa. I’ve had raw kumquats before, but now I’m totally inspired to get creative with them the next time I see them in the store.

Linger Chile Relleno

I felt so warm and happy and comfortable and even confident when I left Linger that day. It was #thetotalrestaurantexperience. Will you join my family and me on this search for the total restaurant experience? Something to ponder!

Baby Kale Health
Baby Kale Health

A Few Tips for Herbaceous Meals

Herbaceous

Pssst! Do you want to know the real deal trick, the absolute secret to great tasting food? Here it is…(at least one of the big tricks)…I’m spilling the beans right now! Wait for it…

Fresh HERBS, baby! That’s it. Done and done.

“But wait,” you might be thinking “…how do I use them? What do I do with them? Which ones go with my meal or dish? Why even eat them?”

Not only do fresh herbs add interest, complexity and beautiful flavor, they also add a huge nutritional punch. Fresh herbs hold just as much if not more nutritional value than all the different fruits and vegetables in the garden. Many contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. “Ounce per ounce, there is as much nutrition, or more, in raw parsley as there is in lettuce. In fact, parsley has 33 times the amount of vitamin C, 16 times the amount of vitamin K, six times the amount of iron and four times the amount of calcium as lettuce.”*

Some herbs are even used for medicinal purposes. Essential oils from Basil, for example, have anti-infective properties that inhibit different types of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, Enterococci, Shigella and Pseudomonas**.

Here are a variety of ways to add fresh herbs to your daily meals:

1. Add herbs to your raw vegetable or fruit salads.

2. Sprinkle chopped herbs over steamed or roasted vegetables right before serving.

3. Add herbs to your water, lemonade or tea! (Think Mint & Lime or Lemon, Basil & Strawberry or Blackberry, or even Lemon & Thyme) You can add them and leave them in your water, or strain them out.

4. Sprinkle them over soup before serving.

5. Top butter pasta or grain salads with herbs.

6. Mint goes great in a berry smoothie.

7. Make a compound butter.

8. Add herbs to your scrambled eggs or omelets.

9. Cilantro adds pure awesomeness to guacamole.

10. Herbs add zip to any sauce, dip or spread.


This should get you started with some HERBACIOUS ideas, and great tasting meals!

 

*http://health.heraldtribune.com/2014/09/02/nutritional-value-fresh-herbs/

**http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/basil-herb.html



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