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Falling In Love With the Beauty of Food: My “Edesia” Bowl (Recipe)

My Edesia Bowl is very special to me.  A warm, veggie filled bowl overflowing with taste and texture and chalk full of whole food nutrition. Gluten free. Vegan. 

 

 

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about what started me on my road to recovery from an eating disorder. 

It was actually, as anti-climatic as this sounds, falling in love with the beauty of food. 

Edesia Bowl

Growing up, I had always been a good eater and ate whatever my parents put before me.  Surprisingly, I never did much cooking. In fact I don’t ever remember cooking. When I first went away to college and found myself having to cook on my own for the first time, I remember meals of pork and beans, white rice, and meat balls with jars of sweet and sour sauce. A lot of white and brown.

Fast forward many years…

Edesia Bowl

At some point in the midst of my eating disorder, I began to learn about the the beauty of real food. I was vegetarian, so I had slowly taught myself all sorts of new foods and flavors. I learned how to cook, and began to take pictures of meals I felt proud of. Doing this made me want to make those meals. Meals that I would have disowned before. I wanted to make them so I could see the beautiful colors.

Soon…. I had a an overflowing folder of food photography. 

Edesia Bowl

I’m not sure why I’ve never said this on here, but I actually wrote a cookbook. 

Nothing huge. It was self published – just through an online publishing company. It consisted of all sorts of recipes I had compiled and created as I journeyed back on my road to loving food again. In fact, a number of the recipes I’ve brought to this blog have been ones from my book. I had taken pictures of all the recipes, and as amateur as they were, I was proud of those pictures. 

I named the book, “To Us.”

Making this book is what made me want to recover. 

It is what made me fall in love with food… and want to take care of myself. 

I sold over a hundred copies of the cookbook and gave all the proceeds to “Sheena’s Place,”  – a non-profit organization in Toronto offering free therapy for individuals and their families struggling with an eating disorder. It is a wonderful organization and if you are in the Toronto area and are looking for support, please see them out. 

One of my first recipes I put into the cookbook was what I called the, “Edesia Bowl.” 

Edesia is the Roman Goddess of Food and the “divine spirit of feasting.” She ensured that all the banquet feasts went well and that the food was enjoyed. Feasting was considered a magical and very important act by the Romans. The verb “edes” can also mean “to spend money on food.” ….. something I have a difficult time with. 

 

I have a really hard time treating myself. Specifically, I have a really hard spending money on myself. I know it may not seem it if you follow my blog, but believe me when I say it is work every time. This is why I started my blog in the first place. To celebrate taking care of myself.  

Ironically, the thing I have the hardest time spending money on is good food for myself. When I do choose to buy that thing I really wanted to try, or which I knew would excite me, or which costs more than my $1.99 head of broccoli, I have a lot of feelings come up. Feelings of…taking care of myself. Taking care of myself makes me feel raw. It makes me feel that strange mix of happy and safe, as well as soft, fragile and small. It feels hard. 

This week I bought a number of things that told me I want to take care of myself. 

Special grocery haul. I love these wraps. 

Creamy, whole food goodness 

Good quality chocolate.

These were things that I wanted, both for my body and soul.  Things that showed myself some kindness amidst a difficult week. Things that were expensive, but that are full of so much goodness for my body.

It can even be as simple as a pint of blueberries.

We are deserving of beautiful, nutrient rich food. We are deserving of showing ourselves love.… Click To Tweet

But another way I can show myself love is by giving my body meals like this one. 

Whole food, nutrient dense, healthy, and beautiful plates of food. They’re a gift to my body. A reminder to myself that I am worth it. That I deserve it. 

Edesia Bowl

I know that all sounds corny. Its “just a meal.” But something about this recipe feels very, personal, to me. I remember serving it to my family outside on our deck during my first summer stay, when I weighed a terrifyingly low amount, feeling completely lost, and was fighting tooth and nail to love myself. This was one of the meals that made me fall in love with how beautiful food can be. 

How beautiful it is to fill our bodies with nutrient dense, real food ingredients. 

How beautiful it is to see the bright colors of fresh produce pop and see the colors on a plate contrast each other.

How beautiful it is to eat from the ground.

To keep it simple. 

To create something with your own hands. 

Edesia Bowl

This bowl is the epitome of all things nutritionally good. It is a warm salad, in a sense, chalk full of flavor, texture and color. And it is very customizable. Sometimes I make it with sweet potato, sometimes I make it with a grain (my favorite is wheat berries but spelt berries or brown rice would also add a nice chew). I’m not usually one that thinks warm tomato sounds appealing, but I absolutely love it in this dish. I eat it as is, or I will sometimes add goat cheese or avocado or tempeh. Whatever your body is calling for. 

And a side of red is always welcome

Love your body.

We are deserving of real food. Beautiful food. A surplus of nutrients for our bodies to use and thrive. Sometimes, when we feel lost, this can be a scary thing to feel – this giving ourselves something good. But compassion is not something to be scared of. It is to be invited to the table.

I hope you enjoy my Edesia bowl

….and maybe even feel some of the love that I feel every time I make it.

My “Edesia” Bowl

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

A warm, comforting bowl of whole food goodness. Packed with flavor and texture. Gluten free, vegan.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cubed and steamed
  • 1/2 a medium red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3-4 cups kales, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley OR coriander, chopped (based on preference, very good with both)
  • Salt and peper to taste
  • 1 batch Tahini-Lemon Dressing (below)
    TAHINI LEMON DRESSING
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (may also use marjoram, basil or parsley. I've changed around the herbs numerous times and all of these work)

Instructions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Peel and cut sweet potato into semi-large cubes. Steam until just fork tender. Set aside.
  3. Cook lentils (no need to soak) in 3X the amount of water, at a light rolling boil, for 15-20 minutes until cooked but not mushy.
  4. In a lightly oiled wok or large pan, sauté garlic, onion and pepper until beginning to soften. Add chopped tomatoes and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Now add chopped kale and sauté until just tender. Dump in cooked lentils, sweet potato and dressing. NOTE: You may not need the entire batch of dressing. Stir well and sauté for another few minutes until everything is well combined and heated through.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in minced parsley or coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Garnish with extra lemon wedges.

Notes

Note: Sweet potato, lentils and dressing can all be prepped in advance to save time. Simply keep in fridge until ready to use.

I sometimes make this with a grain instead of, or in addition to the sweet potato. My favorite is wheat berries but brown rice, barley or spelt berries would also add great chew. If using, use 1 cup uncooked grain of choice and make sure to pre soak before cooking.

Serve warm.

Can be served as is or with added goat cheese, avocado, tempeh.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://mylittletablespoon.com/recipes/beauty-of-food-edesia-bowl-recipe/

Thank you to Deborah and Sarah for hosting Meatless Monday and AnnmarieFarrah + Esther for Foodie Friday

 

My Edesia Bowl Recipe. A bowl of beautiful, whole food goodness. Because I am deserving.… Click To Tweet

Tell me,

What foods remind you that you are deserving?  

What “treats” do you love to buy for yourself?

Do you find it hard to spend money on yourself? Take care of yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 COMMENTS

  1. chasetheredgrape | 17th Mar 17

    That’s awesome that you wrote a cookbook! And even better that you are sharing some of your recipes with us – that lemon tahini dressing sounds incredible!
    And you know I am right there with you on spending money. I am a little better when it comes to spending money on food but it is nothing apart from the essential. That crunchy cacao Lindt is one of my favourites… Yet I only buy it when it’s on sale! I definitely think the two of us are getting better at this though 🙂

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      You know I’m not even a fan of tahini but this dressing and in this recipe I absolutely swoon over it.
      Yes. You and I are getting better and better and better. I love how David encourages you to always treat yourself and spend money on yourself when you need it, and I love how that then helps me. Its just money. We deserve it.

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 17th Mar 17

    So many thoughts. So many feels. I want a copy of your cookbook!
    <3 <3 Food really does have healing powers.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Wicked Awesome Healthy Baked Kale Falafel (Vegan, Gluten Free)My Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      It does. Thinking of you lots this weekend, Suz <3

  3. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 17th Mar 17

    So beautiful, Cora! I can relate to your love of the beauty of food as well. I fell in love with cooking healthy foods that were also beautiful which led me to have a much healthier relationship with food, my body, and I also learned so much about food and health! Congrats on that cookbook–I want one!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Foodie Friday: Vegan Breakfast PizzaMy Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Exactly, Heather!! Seeing the beauty really does strengthen our sense of self love and compassion.

  4. Kat | 17th Mar 17

    You, my friend, are a beautiful human. First off, thank you for sharing the story of the cookbook and how it helped lead you to a road of recovery. Second, the fact that you donated all of the proceeds from said book just 100% proves my initial point – you are a beautiful human. And that is such a wonderful idea that I may have to copy one day. I would love to publish my own small cookbook [for my family, friends and such of recipes they always ask for] and give the proceeds to a cause!
    Kat recently posted…17 Gluten-Free St. Patrick’s Day RecipesMy Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Thank you Kat. And this reminds me… how is/did your cookbook go?? Didn’t you make one that was all muffins? Is there a way I can buy one? Sorry I don’t remember the details but I do remember I wanted my hands on one. I have a sneaky suspicion you are going to have a big-ol published cookbook one day with your name spacked big and loud on the front cover. And I want to be first in line at the launch. As long as I get an autographed copy 🙂

  5. danielle | 17th Mar 17

    lovely, the colors are so vivid and inspiring. truly a gift.
    i take eating a grapefruit to a level of personal luxury but using a good knife, a plate, and removing all the peel slowly… then removing the segments. Chef tricks from school that carried over. I love the act of eating a ruby red grapefruit in season, or at least a good one. Going through that process is the only way I like to eat a grapefruit and it makes me feel very relaxed for that small moment. Refreshed.
    danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Oh daniellleeee this is such a romantic image!! And I don’t mean that in any weird way. It reminds me of that scene in Eat Pray Love where she is enjoying her pasta. I think food can be something to truly savor and can bring us a lot of grounding and appreciation if we take the time to be still with it. I so wish I liked grapefruits….

  6. Carrie this fit chick | 17th Mar 17

    I have that problem with treating myself too, but I’ve been making it a HUGE goal of mine for 2017 and so far I’m doing well. Even small things like a manicure, one new top I’ve been wanting etc… It really helps! This bowl looks so so comforting!

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Absolutely! It doesn’t even have to be big – for me its that scone at that cafe I like or buying one new piece of clothing. Whatever it may be I think it needs to be priority and something we practice daily/weekly. I’m getting better at it too. Fist pump to US. Keep doing it girl.

  7. Jamie@TheMomGene | 17th Mar 17

    I LOVE that you wrote a cookbook! I would buy one. You know I’m not a fancy cook (apart from that amaretto cake…I can bake a cake), but every single recipe of yours I’ve made I’ve raved over. Jody loves them and I usually go on a kick and make them a few times a week…a special nod goes to your alfredo sauce and the slow cooker chicken with artichokes and ricotta. As for special treats: they know me and love me at Baskin Robbins.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…On Being an Alien in the Land of MothersMy Profile

    • Cora | 17th Mar 17

      YOU MAKE ME SMILE.
      I love ice cream. I want to go on an ice cream date with you. First just us, then we’ll go get the kids. Then we’ll all go home for a slice of one of your homemade cakes.

  8. Patricia @Sweet and Strong | 17th Mar 17

    Aw I love the idea of your cookbook and the name of this bowl. So fitting! I always want to try new recipes, but have a hard time if they involve a bunch of ingredients I don’t have. I always don’t want to spend too much on food. But I’ve tried to let it go, treat myself every so often to the products or recipes I’m dying to try.
    Patricia @Sweet and Strong recently posted…Thinking Out Loud, 29 To Do’sMy Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Yesss that is a tricky one. Sometimes its not so much the matter of self care but rather spending money on things that you know you may only use once/go to waste etc. But sometimes even that is worth it if it is something you really want to try. I’ve definitely spent money on ingredients to make a recipe that totally wasn’t even as good as I hoped. But the satisfaction of crossing it off my list of things I wanted to do for myself always make it justified.

  9. Ellie Pell | 17th Mar 17

    This is beautiful Cora. My Edesia bowl would have black beans, nutritional yeast, white rice, coconut oil, red onion, avocado and corn. Topped with salsa of course. That is probably my favorite meal (outside of the mac and cheese I am eating right now).
    I do struggle to buy things for myself, or if I do, I feel bad about it. Like I should be saving money. Stems from childhood, my family was super frugal!
    It’s funny because now my mom shops all the time for her business. I guess the oppressed shoppers eventually go the complete other way 😉
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Living the dream?My Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      I’m loving the sounds of this combo. Just all thrown into a bowl together? I know you and I both share the same thoughts on spending money, especially when we aren’t working. Its scary. My family was always very frugal, and we were never well off growing up, and yet now my parents and brothers are the ones who are always inspiring me to spend more money on myself. “Its just money,” has been my dad’s new favorite saying.

  10. Casey the College Celiac | 17th Mar 17

    Girl, this post – and its pictures – are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I had no idea you published a cookbook but it doesn’t surprise me at all considering your brilliance in the kitchen and behind the camera. When I became scared of food after my celiac diagnosis (because food, specifically gluten, had made me sick in the first place, right?), exploring different types of foods I’d never tried before (my diet, ironically enough, is more varied post-celiac than pre since I used to be a plain meat/potatoes kinda girl) and making beautiful food helped me love eating again.
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…13+ Natural Energy Boosting Foods for the Modern WomanMy Profile

    • Cora | 18th Mar 17

      Thank you Casey. This is amazing!! Its crazy how an illness can actually make your diet MORE varied. Its like it forces us to see all that is out there and really appreciate the variety of foods that make us feel good. You rock.

  11. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 18th Mar 17

    CORA MY DEAR – you wrote a cookbook? You never stop amazing me. Can I purchase a copy? Also, I love that you share some of your food memories. Food is so emotional and so many of my pleasant memories revolve around food – I can remember what we ate, and I loved sharing that with people. Have a lovely weekend!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Kombucha FYIs and Friday Favorites #16My Profile

  12. Good good links #181 – Let's get living | 18th Mar 17

    […] “Edesia” Bowl via My little tablespoon […]

  13. Kristy from Southern In Law | 18th Mar 17

    How cool that you published a cookbook – and sold so many copies! Though I’m not surprised because your recipes are amazing!

    This weekend I treated myself to a giant carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Usually I don’t make cakes unless we have company over (because we struggle to get through a whole cake with just Jesse, my parents and myself) but I decided to forget the wastage and treat myself and meeeeeeee oh my was it good. There’s now only like 1/3 left so I’m not really sure what I was worrying about 😛
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Red Sky Warnings, Persistent Pushers and Shopping Up a StormMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Mar 17

      Yes you did!!! I treated myself to carrot cake last week but it definitely wasn’t homemade. This was you gave yourself the satisfaction of having made it all yourself AND the amazingness of taste. Mmmmmm its my favorite.

  14. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday | 19th Mar 17

    Oh my goodness all the feels! That’s such a cool story – I want your cookbook (and that bowl). I definitely have strong food memories; I remember what I ate and who I was with for sooo many meals.
    This weekend I treated myself to an enormous piece of peanut butter pie with a brownie crust and chocolate ganache. It’s the kind of dessert I’d always share (as I do at restaurants), but it came with my birthday dinner and was so good that I totally just went for it. 🙂
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 03/17/17My Profile

    • Cora | 19th Mar 17

      I’m not sure why it is – I guess because it is a sensory memory – but meals/food really do work the strongest to create and keep memories. Its pretty special. As is that dessert!!! oh my gosh that sounds heavenly Ellen. I’m so glad you didn’t share. You deserved all that goodness.

  15. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 19th Mar 17

    Love, love, love everything about this post and this recipe. For me, food is a celebration. It’s something I look forward to and inspire to eat. I thing whole foods are beautiful and works of art all on their own. I am also amazed you write a cookbook. Go you. You are even more bad ass than I realized.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Vegetarian Lentil MeatballsMy Profile

    • Cora | 19th Mar 17

      Food is celebration. Its something to appreciate, gawk over, and create memories with. Its pretty special like that.

  16. Kaylee | 19th Mar 17

    I can’t believe you wrote a cook book. Your talents keep on coming. Where can I get one??? I love its title btw. I also love that there’s a real word for “to spend money on food.” And yes it is a struggle of mine to buy myself things, including food. Because of this, I try to stretch my food out as much as possible and consequently don’t always get enough to eat. Some of my “splurges” include ice cream, nut butters or just taking myself out on fancy dates. A food that makes me see the beauty of food and the beauty is myself is homemade bread. I value its simplicity and how its a testament to the work one puts into making it.

    Another beautiful post, Cora, to match the beauty of food.

  17. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 19th Mar 17

    I had no idea you wrote a cookbook! That’s so cool, Cora!
    Food is beautiful. Just as our bodies are beautiful. Your food is always espcially gorgeous.
    I definitely want to try this Edesia bowl–I would have no qualms spending money on this food!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…5 Habits that Help Your Budget, Your Health, and the EnvironmentMy Profile

  18. Week In Review: Baking, Writing, Meditating and Pushing Through | 19th Mar 17

    […] I wrote two posts and simultaneously published two recipes. My favorite Thai Peanut Sauce (and Buddha Bowl) and my very special Edesia Bowl.  […]

  19. Annmarie | 21st Mar 17

    Wow. What a gorgeous bowl, looks absolutely amazing! And so awesome that you wrote a cookbook!

  20. Eating From a Box: What I Ate Wednesday | 21st Mar 17

    […] think that’s hard. In fact its incredibly easy. And can be very inexpensive. Take my Edesia Bowl, for example. The simplest whole foods thrown together to make one easy, beautiful and nutrient […]

  21. Curried Chickpea Dosas (Gluten Free, Vegan) | 13th Apr 17

    […] love topping my dosas with my tahini lemon dressing, tomatoes, shredded coconut, green onion and/or cucumber. You could even drizzle on some thinned […]

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