Mindful cooking, how it can help you and a great Mackerel Pate recipe.

Mindful cooking, how it can help you and a great Mackerel Pate recipe.

Weekend is here, Saninsbury’s shop has been delivered!
It’s the perfect time for me to indulge my recently re-discovered love of cooking. But not just cooking: Mindful cooking. 

I like to plan our meals for the week. I’m a planner so it stands to reason that given food is so central to our family life that I plan what we are having. It gives me that sense of control that I know we are having for dinner, what I need to make and therefore keeps me relaxed.
It also means that I know what to buy and that ‘random’ things don’t make their way into my virtual shopping basket (well not that many!).
You could call this the first stage of mindful cooking. Thinking about what you are going to have, planning it.
I also think that this approach has many benefits.

For us it means I make better food choices. It keeps our weekly food bill down and also reduces our food waste (I hate food waste) as I haven’t bought as many random things that I then need to throw out as they are past their sell buy date!

I find cooking to be relaxing. I now find it exciting and invigorating. Mindful cooking, it’s calming and I enjoy making a meal for the family. I also enjoy eating so I think that helps.
Now I’m realistic enough to know that mindful cooking isn’t necessarily possible every single day. Especially if you’ve come home from work late or have kids playing up after school/nursery. But, if we can try it once or twice a week then I think that’s a good start.

It’s thinking about what we are going to have orcconsciously making the decision to try something new. Or including one new ingredient into the meals that you are making. Cooking this way can be helpful in re-thinking the way you approach food, cooking and your food choices.

I was recently speaking to Steve from Edinburgh school of food and wine. The school run lots of cookery courses and classes from kids masterclasses run over 3 mornings or afternoons to adult courses. The ‘quick and healthy course’ and the Indian and Thai masterclasses have caught my eye! I asked Steve whether mindful cooking is something that they cover in courses. A question they often ask is would you rather have 20 minutes of stressful cooking or 30 minutes of relaxed cooking? I know which one I’d prefer. Even if you don’t think you have the time to cook, you have to cook to live. You might as well make the time you are cooking as relaxing as you can, so you get something from it. Don’t see it as a chore.

As I’ve said I wouldn’t class myself as a particularly good cook but cooking is something that most of us need to do daily. At the end of the day all you need is few pots and pans and a bit of confidence thrown in. What’s the worst that can happen? The food doesn’t taste very good and you have to resort to pulling something out of the freezer to cook. Well at least you gave it a go.
Steve was kind enough to share with me the recipe for my canape of dreams.
Mackerel Pate.
He made this at an event I recently attended. It was delicious. It’s cooking but not cooking if you see what I mean.
Here’s the recipe. I made this a week ago – it was so tasty, even my toddler asked for more!

Smoked Mackerel Pate

Full of good omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12; great for brain function, total cholesterol- as well being great for the immune system!

Serves 4 as a snack, double it up for a starter

Smoked mackerel fillets x 2

Natural yoghurt x6 tbsp.

Zest and juice of one lemon

Chopped tarragon and dill

Salt and pepper

Creamed horseradish x 1 tbsp.

Flake the mackerel fillet, watching out for any bones. Mix through the remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needs be.

Go on, this weekend dig out the recipe books, go on instagram or online for recipe inspiration. Take your time cooking, enjoy creating something and enjoy eating it. There’s so much out there about what is healthy, what isn’t that sometimes food and cooking can be a bit of a minefield. Hopefully mindful cooking can help.

 Edinburgh School of Food and Wine offer lots of courses.

Some of the courses I’m interested in are:

Quicker, Lighter, Brighter

Quick and Healthy courses

Kids courses

There’s loads more though – have a look at their page to see the variety of courses that they offer. But be quick though – the course timetable is posted in September and courses book up fast.

Happy cooking!

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