The Art of Cooking Beautiful Food

When I cook, I need there to be a purpose behind it other than "I need to eat something." At the grocery store, I ask myself: What am I creating today, and why? Sometimes, it's for the pure fun of it. I so enjoy watching my bag of groceries transform into whatever vegan dish is on the menu for the evening. Other times, I need something fast. Maybe something fresh. Something cleansing. Something healing. Or like right now, when I feel the need to cook something beautiful. I’m thinking, color.

Step 1: Look in fridge. What looks fun and colorful? I found a zucchini, some carrots, romaine salad. There is quinoa in the cupboard. Let’s make a ourselves quinoa tower (yes, I just made that up. This is how great recipes are made!).

Step 2: Start cooking. Zucchini is nice and green. Slice and put in pan. Like this:

Orange is beautiful. Chop, and put in pot. Like this:

I like to experiment with different textures. To cook beautiful food, think opposites; pair crunchy with soft, wet with dry, round with long. I decided to make a mash with my tower. Carrot mash! What goes well with carrots? Look in fridge again. I have ginger. Ginger is good. Not very pretty though.

So I just took a little piece. Like this:

Boil carrots, chop ginger, put in blender. Mash! At the same time, tare (yes tare, don’t chop. You want it to be asymmetrical, for beauty!) the romaine and put in a nice-looking bowl. Take the nicest bowl you have. Pretty is key.

Prepare the quinoa. Bring to boil in double amount of water, add a little bit of vegetable stock. Let it simmer until ready. Chop tomatoes (I like red!). Add to quinoa. But, look! It’s not beautiful enough! Look in fridge again. Need more color.

Found red cabbage. Why do they call it red when it’s actually purple? Or, do they in fact call it purple cabbage? Beats me (by the way, I’m not stupid, just Swedish). Anyway, I adore purple. Chop it up good, squeeze in some lime juice for taste. Add fresh basil, salt, pepper.

Mix with quinoa.

That’s better.

Step 3: Time to start building! Romaine will be the foundation. Add one or two layers of sliced zucchini, a big scoop of quinoa mix, and top it off with carrot-ginger mash. Presto!

I told you! Beautiful!

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