Having a peak experience with food!

This week in my Eat for Life class I asked people to explore the world of food in order to so have more pleasure in their eating experiences.   You know how you can get in a rut with food–eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner day in and day out.  This week I implored them to really find out how much pleasure food can bring.   Try some new food.  Try a new restaurant.  Try a new recipe. Set the table with placemats, real napkins, flowers, candles, etc.  Do anything to shake it up a bit.

For myself, as luck would have it, the summer farmers’ market just opened up last Saturday and the Troutdale Farm folks were there with their unbelievably luscious fresh trout.  I invited a friend over and I grilled trout on the grill (only takes 6 minutes).  I grilled asparagus in the broiler (only takes 3 minutes).  And, I prepared a salad with fresh spinach and mixed greens (that I got from the market) along with avocado, tomatoes, carrots, red pepper, and pecans (topped with my favorite homemade salad dressing).  So first of all, we are talking about a QUICK meal and not expensive.  I bought four pieces of trout (skinned and filleted) for only $11 and change.  We only ate two pieces so I still had more left over for the next day.  QUICK and INEXPENSIVE but INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS and my dinner guest was duly impressed.  Not with me, necessarily, but with the quality of the food and the taste.  I had commented on how everything was bursting with flavor and he said, “except the carrots.”  This person has pretty refined taste buds and could tell that the carrots were a little old.  (Kind of embarrassing for me, but that’s okay).   I thought it was amazing that he noticed.  Talk about a mindful eater!

Anyway, I waited a little while to let our food settle and I remembered I had the most delicious chocolate in the world sitting in my kitchen.  I had ordered it for Valentine’s Day to give to all my favorite people and I still had some left over.  I pulled it out and offered it to my friend.  The expression on his face was priceless. He was almost moved to tears and described it as a  “peak experience.”  I almost fell over in my chair laughing.  What a pleasure to give someone else that kind of delight in food.

So the two things that you might be asking are:  (1) what is your favorite homemade salad dressing? and (2) what is the name of that chocolate?

Here you go:

(1) Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing

3 Tb. Orange juice, 2 Tb. Balsamic Vinaigrette, 2 Tb. Olive Oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and other herbs to your taste (I often use basil or herbs de Provence)

(2) The “Chocolate” – Olive Oil and Sea Salt Chocolate Bar by Poco Dolce, handmade artisan chocolates from San Francisco.  You can order it online.  Seriously—it is a “peak experience.” http://www.pocodolce.com

Come to think of it, I think there is just a little bit left in that chocolate bar and I’m going togo  mindfully savor it right now.

Go out and have your own “peak experience” with food!