The art of simple food

Despite my very bubbly and positive personality, our current world saddens me. Wars, political tensions, economic woes are at the front centre of our life every day. Disastrous as they are, there is something else that saddens me even more. We have forgotten to simply be. Instead, we steamroll on autopilot in many aspects of our life.

First, relationships. We prefer to spend time with our electronic devices than with our loved ones. Need to tell them something? Let’s text them! What about enjoying a nice meal together? Wait, I am too busy checking my Instagram and Facebook profiles! Kids want to play with you? No, sorry, I need to play Candy Crush. Connecting on electronic devices disconnects us from the people who matter the most to us.

Second, happiness. We believe that, to be happy, we need to reach the goals, success and lifestyle instilled to us by our parents, our friends and our culture. Seems like we forgot that happiness must not be dictated by anyone; happiness is our choice, a very personal one on top of that. Driven by what we are prescribed, we chase personal and professional dreams that we, in fact, despise. We pursue to have a lavish lifestyle because we think that’s the cool thing to do. We accept a promotion because we think that makes us successful. If, deep down, we know that’s what we should aim for, we still do it. And we feel empty, lifeless, unsatisfied. We are not doing what we are meant to do.

Third, food. Between all the fast food options readily available, can we remember how homemade prepared oatmeal taste like? Agreed, not everyone likes cooking. Yet, most of the fast food options are made of ingredients that are very bad for our body and our mind. When we feel bad, you can’t perform well. We feel sluggish, unmotivated and less confident. Every time we eat fast food, we should ask ourselves: Would we put bad oil into our car?

I am a strong advocate of cooking. Cooking allows us to control the quality of the ingredients and we can season our meals the way we want to. Lots of recipes are low maintenance for those of us who don’t like or don’t have lot of time for cooking. Some others are extremely easy to make but, I do admit, require a bit of planning. One of them is gravlax. Gravlax is a Nordic dish where salmon is cured in salt and sugar for about two days. This dish is extremely versatile – we can use it in any meal we would use smoked salmon. We can also make a big batch and freeze it.

Try it! I guarantee, there is no coming back.



2 pounds skin-on fresh salmon

1/8 cup kosher salt

1/6 cup sugar

30 mL freshly ground pepper

30 mL paprika

30 mL cumin

30 mL ground coriander


  1. Mix salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, cumin and coriander together in abowl.
  2. Add half of the mixture in a shallow dish.
  3. Add salmon on top of the mixture.
  4. Rub the remaining mixture on top of the salmon.
  5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  6. Refrigerate the salmon for at least 2 and up to 3 days. Turn the salmon every 12 hours and baste it with the liquid.
  7. Once ready, wash, dry with a towel and slice.


Makes about six to eight portions