At the end of 2019, I began thinking about a particular goal for 2020. I wanted to start hosting monthly dinner parties for small groups of friends, mainly so I could introduce them to some healthy recipes which would be easy for them to replicate. I was excited to get going, and began looking for recipes to try.
I was following a low carb keto diet at the recommendation of my nutritionist. I had met with him that summer, and due to my desire to get better control of my Type II diabetes, he felt the keto diet might be easy for me to follow and have positive effects. Although I was not able to pull off a January dinner, I had set one up for the end of February and was really looking forward to it. Then Covid hit, and with a speed which still shocks me, the world as we knew it changed and life was anything but normal.
Now, here we are in February of 2021, and I’m back to planning future dinners for small groups of friends. In my area, Covid cases continue to decline, and many people are being vaccinated every day. Because of my age, my guess is that I won’t get the vaccine before fall, so my dinners will be up and running as the weather cools and heartier meals are called for. So, where to start? How about Julia Child’s famous Beef Bourguignon!
Now, I have to admit that I’ve never tried this dish. I know it’s hearty and I know that to make it right, you have to follow the recipe closely. Or so I thought. Thanks to the internet, I quickly realized that everyone and their brother/sister have a version of this much beloved French recipe, including the famous one from Julia Child, but also one (and not so fussy), from Ina Garten. For my first experiment, I settled on the Julia Child recipe on Epicurious. I loved that it was a pretty straightforward recipe using simple, easy to find and inexpensive ingredients. Coming in at around 700 calories and 24 carbs (with 4.8 grams of fiber), it met my nutritionist’s basic guidelines to keep my three daily meals to about 30 carbs per meal. I could serve it over Cauliflower Rice (4 carbs) and be under my target. The results were great and I enjoyed the meal immensely. Two days later, I made Ina Garten’s recipe, and I found it also delicious! I have to admit that with the isolation with Covid, I had not been taking the time to cook well.
The next day, I was talking to a friend and told her about my Beef Bourguignon meal and how delicious it was. She asked, “you made all that food just for yourself?” Hmm. I responded, “no, I made it for the people who will be coming to my dinner in October.” Now, I have to say that I’ve already eaten what I cooked the other night, but that meal was in anticipation of a future meal when my life gets back to some sense of normalcy.
So many people are stuck in place, with so much uncertainty and worry. We’ve all been there, and it’s time to get unstuck. I believe we need to start planning for the future, when we can start gathering with friends and family, without fear. That time is on the horizon, and won’t it be wonderful to share a beautiful and healthy meal with those we love? Let’s get cooking!