Growing up it was just the traditional feast with ham and turkey, green bean bake, stuffing etc. It was what was expected. We all took turns at different relatives houses and we knew what we would be eating. No questions asked. We would bring our dish and maybe it was our turn next year to have everyone over. Times have changed haven't they? From what I hear, it is not just in our house.
Our family is divided these days, and I don't mean we are not spending quality time together, it's just that we have so many differences in our diet. Gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian, and total meatlovers. It makes it close to impossible to have one person put together most of the meal without going crazy. We now divide and conquer! This seems to work best for us. These days my sister is making homemade 'tofurkey' while my sister-in-law is making a turducken! (For those of you who don't know, it is a chicken inside a duck, inside a turkey). Can't get much meatier than that! I am lucky because I just make a cute food art and everyone gets distracted and is happy. The good thing is everyone is kind, and doesn't judge. They eat what they choose and enjoy the company. I think it is really nice to try new things. Who knew tofurkey could be so good! The sound of it really sounds awful, but our family loved it! I would even opt for it over turkey now. You might want to try it!
Here are the ingredients for my artwork below. I took some of my husband's fantastic mashed potatoes, white onions, radishes from the salad, raisins, some ginger and peppers. We had one prune too for his mitten.
Have a wonderful holiday season everyone! I have been working on two of my kids books that are coming up. Can't wait to share with you all! If you have any new recipes I would LOVE to hear from you! Try something new this year. It is fun!
Here is the article. Hope you enjoy!
By Sandra Marshall, Owner, Be… An Artist
My family had zebra for dinner last night, and the night before we had cheetah. Both were truly delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare. I am not a hunter, or a nutritionist; I am an artist. Whenever a friend says, “Eating healthy is boring,” I get excited! I invite them to the grocery store produce aisle where I teach them to look at those gorgeous fruits and vegetables through the eyes of an artist. All those fascinating, colors, shapes, textures, and flavors can make eating a healthy, fun, and exciting adventure!
It’s time to take a break from all the complicated nutritional advice, forget going on a “diet,” ignore all the research studies that often contradict each other, and instead, lets “play with our food.”
Yes, I am saying what many of our mothers have told us over and over not to do. Let’s allow our kids to explore that beauty we just don’t really see anymore. Let’s create awareness and appreciation for the natural gifts we have been given and learn to see and experience in a whole new light. Be creative and start eating in an artful way.
Most of the grocery store food has been “played” with. Now it’s our turn, but without adding artificial color, flavors, additives, chemically altered fats, and sweeteners. This is fun and pure. The colors are all right there, coming from nature. The flavors will astound you with the addition of the right spices!
Our fast-paced lives often prevent us from connecting over a good meal. We tend to eat for convenience and speed, not health and pleasure. Kids want to have fun, so why not bring a new vegetable to the table and allow them to explore, research it, and taste it. Talk with them about what to make, how to make it, and what it could be. It’s our turn to play with our food.
Find a way to prepare it. Get them off their technologies and to the dinner table earlier to embark on an artistic journey. Make it a contest! Who can make the most unique piece of art and who can find the most interesting recipe? It doesn’t have to take much time, just enjoy the journey.
Eggplant is something my kids never really loved, that is until last night. We created a zebra out of our eggplants, and then found a recipe and baked our eggplant in some olive oil. Super easy, simple, and delicious! The zebra was made with three eggplants. We scored the skin and just removed the scored parts to show the white. We used a black olive for his eye. After we took his photo, we got to work on the recipe. I added a side of marinara sauce for dipping, but it was delicious without the sauce. It was super easy and a great night with my daughter.
Some recipes in my art have lots of colors and flavors, some are simple like our eggplant zebra, and some are true under-the-sea adventures! Whichever route you choose, we hope you enjoy the creative adventure!
Sandra Marshall is a mom, wife, author, professional artist, and owner of Be...An Artist/Be...A Chef studios in Ahwatukee. Her first book of food art was just published in October 2016. It is called One Hot Night at the Veggie Bar. This is the adult version with fun, steamy stories in the adventures of food art. The children’s book is on its way and is expected to arrive in January of 2017. Please feel free to contact Sandra Marshall at 602-369-4555. Visit www.FunkyFoodArt.com or www.BeAnArtistAZ.com.
ZEBRA EGGPLANT PARMESANIngredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup vegan cheese
1 tsp basil
1½ tsp oregano
2 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
Sandra Marshall is a professional artist. Currently she is the proud owner of Be...An Artist/ Be...A Chef Studios which combine all types of arts under one roof. Be...An Artist/Be...A Chef combines fine art painting, with performance classes, comedy nights, yoga, health classes for the mind, body and spirit, as well as the the art of cooking. Please check out Be...An Artists website.