Our Pace is All Wrong
About a week ago, I pulled The Pace of Provence off my bookshelf. I bought the cookbook several years ago and remembered I hadn’t used it in a while. It’s a fascinating book written by a French woman who lives in Seattle. She is also a nutritionist. Her recipes are traditional, healthy and very tasty. All of her meals have been adapted to be low in fat and heart healthy.
With the South of France as my inspiration, we dined happily on Halibut with Honey & Oranges, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Glazed Carrots. OK, so I bought the brussels sprouts at Whole Foods, but I made the rest! I could write a whole post on the new Whole Foods in Austin. It’s sensational. But, I digress…
The premise of Yolande Matore Hoisington’s cookbook is the pace and leisure in which the French honor their meals. Perfectly balanced and enjoyed as a slow ritual, it is striking how opposite our eating habits are in America. Meals are on the go, super-sized and processed. Even if you don’t frequent fast-food joints (my kids still think McDonald’s is the farm with EE-I-EE-I-O animals), processed food is the major culprit. So, I’m not going to lecture, I’ll die of hypocrisy if I do. I’m just going to try to peel back the onion (so to speak) and keep meals natural and wholesome for my family. It won’t be easy. My kids have been asking for months now why they can’t have lunchables at school. The temptations are great which is why a market such as Whole Foods is so handy. It takes the guess work out of wondering what’s good and what’s fake.
In the meantime, it was a simple pleasure to dine with my family tonight. The children ate all their halibut (DD ate part of mine too!) and the glazed carrots were the second best I’ve ever had. My dear friend Claire made some a few years ago that were better. CFT – if you read this, please post the recipe. And, Whole Foods makes the best damned roasted brussels sprouts. OK so they are the only brussels sprouts I’ve ever had.
Here’s a healthy tip….I’ve been drinking a hot apple cider vinegar concoction every night: 1 cup hot water, 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) and 1 TBS honey. Read the benefits…can’t hurt.
I’ll end tonight’s post with a case in point. My DS (almost 6) protested going to kindergarten today. He wanted to play with his toys. He was tired. He never got to spend enough time alone with me. My fingers couldn’t dial the school office fast enough. We had the best hooky day! We went for a walk, he helped me pick out the eggplant and oranges at Whole Foods and we snuggled on the couch just for fun. It was a pace that couldn’t be duplicated every day or nothing would be accomplished. Or would it?
Halibut with Honey & Oranges (adapted from Pace of Provence)
- 4 (4 oz) halibut fillets, or firm white fish
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3 teaspoons honey
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup water or fish stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 4-6 orange slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the shallots in the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish. Arrange fish fillets on top of the shallots. In a sauce pan, mix the orange juice, honey, wine, and water. Simmer until well combined and sauce is formed. Pour over the fish fillets. Cover the dish with foil and bake 10 -15 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Remove fish from baking dish and keep warm. Pour the sauce from the baking dish back into the sauce pan. Over high heat, thicken sauce. Add butter, bit by bit. Whisk until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour sauce over fish. Garnish with orange slices and chives.