A whole-foods feast

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All the veg on this (rental chalet) plate is raw and delicious together: green onions, flavourful tomato slices, cucumber spears, some lettuce, and a bit of parsley. For protein there is a gently boiled egg and sliced curried chicken. The seasoning is Tellicherry pepper and sea salt. I also shook a little Piri Piri hot chili sauce over top. The caloric wallop is relatively small but the nutritional bang is terrific, with a sense of satisfaction to match. I like pies as much as anyone -- and all that is fried, roasted, or slathered with cheese -- but the fact is that I can't eat those things on a daily basis (and I wouldn't want to). It's possible, I think, to over-stress cooking for oneself, in the sense of cooking to a recipe, in the pursuit of a slimmer and healthier self. I'm all for home cooking (and baking), but the fact is that cooking almost inevitably requires you to add more ingredients, and more fats and carbs, than you might otherwise have on your plate. The key to really 'cooking light' is not to cook at all, a few nights a week: instead, just compile whole foods to make a salad or a warm-cold combination. And: don't be so attached to dressings and caloric toppings (including cheese, butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and oil). Then, when a really wonderful calorie-rich dish is just what you are in the mood for, you can afford the splurge -- because that's not how you're eating all the rest of the week!