Conscious Food #1 : my zen cuppoard
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
It is always difficult for us to consider that the spiritual resides in the material and yet when we simply redefine the purpose of any religious approach (in the first sense of connecting / religare) we can sum it up as a reconnection with all that constitutes it, including and especially in the ordinary of daily life, including that of our kitchen.
We can see Life as a movement between all the elements we encounter, a fluidity that crosses everything it encounters and that, in encountering, interacts with what it touches while being touched. In other words, to arrange and organise the ingredients and utensils of one's kitchen in a thoughtful and delicate manner is to BEINGWITH everything one touches in presence.
BEINGWITH is to transform one's relationship to one's purchases and general consumption, to connect with the inanimate in the awareness that everything is alive.
It is to perceive oneself in the relationship more than in oneself and to realise that we are made of what we need to live, we are deeply constituted by everything we are in contact with: the hair of the other person that we caress as much as the car that we drive or the pan that will allow us to cook. We literally live off ... all these objects.
But all this is getting a bit too abstract, so let's go straight to the illustration of the principle of fluidity and its opposite: obstruction and how
how caring about the things that contribute to our daily lives is profoundly transformative.
First of all, cooking when you don't have a kitchen floor can be unnecessarily energy consuming. Constantly checking to see if we have this or that in our cupboards, especially when we haven't taken care to make the ingredients in the jars visible, can literally pollute our minds.
On the other hand, we have become accustomed to doing things the wrong way round in our cooking: we look for a recipe and go and buy what we need to make it, and then do it again several times a week.
Putting common sense back into the kitchen by lightening our minds means we no longer have to focus our minds on repetitive, time-consuming shopping lists in order to create space.
Organising your kitchen background is also an opportunity to revisit the history you have with food, to decide to affirm it or to change it, and by paying attention to it, to nourish the care you want to give to your life.
Finally, by choosing to tidy up, it is a way of honouring our ingredients and ourselves at the same time because
In the mirror of a well-ordered cupboard, it is our dignity that shines through.
In other words, organising and cultivating a kitchen background and taking care of it is to help movement, the circularity of fluid interrelationships, it is
to create the space of practical harmony from which creative intuition can emerge.
Here is a suggestion for a 100 per cent plant-based kitchen base that you can adapt to your taste. This is the one I use and it allows me to create delicious and caring dishes.
LCB cooking base
Create a kitchen base with the main elements that will allow you to express a maximum of textures, flavours and colours so that you only have to let yourself be guided by the fresh produce found at the market, in your garden or in the organic shops.
Think of your kitchen stock on the basis of 3 varieties per type of ingredient and gradually increase to 5 according to your possibilities (financial, space, time, etc.). Having the choice by category puts us in the appreciation and recognition of abundance and offers our body spirit all the variety necessary for its joy.
- Cereals: bulgur, brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, basmati rice
- Pulses: green lentils, coral lentils, beluga, white lingots, mussels, chickpeas
- Oils: sunflower/ olive oil/ toasted sesame/ hemp/ soy sauce or tamari, deodorised coconut oil
- Vinegars and condiments: cider / balsamic vinegar / wasabi / raifort / mustard
- Sugars : (everything but white sugar to be thrown away) unrefined cane sugar, agave syrup, molasses, rice syrup, or nothing (applesauce, dried and fresh fruit)
- spices: cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, Provence herbs, chilli (espelette), pink berries
tonka bean, vanilla powder, paprika, curry, yellow and black mustard seeds.
- Oilseeds: plain cashew nuts (or cashew nut puree), white and half whole sesame puree, black sesame puree, hazelnut puree, white and whole almond puree, peanut puree
+ black and blond sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate nuts, hazelnuts
Umami : konbu, dried shitake, malted yeast, brown miso, white miso, red miso, dried seaweed or mushrooms (adds depth to the taste)
- various seaweeds (Breton), fisherman's salad, nori, beans
- Soy proteins: smoked tofu, silken tofu, plain soy yoghurt, large and small soy proteins, tempeh
- vegetable soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, cooking soy cream, vanilla soy milk (avoid buying expensive vanilla)
- flours: small spelt flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour, millet flakes, wholemeal rice cream (pre-cooked flour),
- starches: corn, kuzu, arrow root, kokoh
For simple desserts
- yeast (or acid vinegar and baking soda)
- chocolate chips, macha, rose water, orange blossom
- bicarbonate of soda
- millet flakes
- almond powder
- to make flavoured milks = turmeric, macha + oat or rice milk
- teas: green, hojicha, sobacha (kasha roasted buckwheat),
- herbs: fresh or dried for herbal teas + kasha (soba cha)