x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emirati Life: Adding the 'love factor' to your food makes all the difference

The idea of “slow food” is to help promote a healthy lifestyle, which is not as hard as many people seem to believe. By making simple food choices, people are able to create change in their lifestyle.

Nowadays, fast food can be found on practically every street. In fact, there are several choices readily available to anyone with an appetite.

When these joints first emerged in the UAE, I remember going to them for a family treat every once in a while. As popular as they were back then, people still cooked their own food at home and enjoyed it with their family members.

That tradition has now changed immensely because many families do not meet for a meal as regularly as they used to due to their busy schedules. Therefore, many people resort to such fast-food restaurants for lunch or dinner.

The health benefits of these foods, which satisfy one’s hunger for a limited period of time, are non-existent. Processed and refined foods are tasteless, with little or no fresh ingredients that actually nourish the body.

Last week, a reporter from The National spoke to several people who actually prepare proper, clean food that is wholesome and healthy, using organic produce rather than genetically modified produce or with added -chemicals.

The idea of “slow food” is to help promote a healthy lifestyle, which is not as hard as many people seem to believe. By making simple food choices, people are able to create change in their lifestyle.

A multimedia producer also filmed Suzanne Husseini, who shared her ideas on the slow food philosophy while cooking in her own kitchen.

While demonstrating her recipe for lemon and garlic chicken, Husseini described the idea behind slow cooking: it is not about working all day to make a dish, but about putting in the effort and taking the time to prepare healthy, home-made food.

In the end, you are rewarded with enjoying a wholesome meal that you have worked hard to prepare. She describes how putting in the “love factor” produces a better outcome, and that is something “only you can put in, no one can put it in for you”.

I have a passion for cooking and I enjoy preparing a feast for my family and friends from time to time. Every step in any meal I am making counts, as that is what produces a delicious dish. While cooking, I love chopping, washing and stirring – and all on my own because I believe that is how I add my own touch to the food, adding in the “love” as Husseini puts it.

After spending days editing Husseini’s video and watching her create that wholesome dish, I decided to give it a try with my friends and colleagues, Asmaa and -Ayesha.

Let’s just say it was as good as Husseini said it would be. Adding the love factor to the food truly does make a big difference and, as the chef pointed out, no company adds it to their products. It is about time we started making a lifestyle change by starting to eat healthy and feel better.

Ayesha Al Khoori co-writes the My Year at The National blog, where this piece was originally published

aalkhoori@thenational.ae


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