29 July 2009

Small Plates

I grew up in a family of 7, my parents, 4 siblings and myself. Informal meals were always served on a long counter with 4 bar stools on either side. The counter was actually a half wall between the kitchen and dining room. Food was always served "family style" with lots of dishes and platters placed in the middle of the counter. We would pass the dishes around so everyone could load up their plate for the first serving followed by seconds and sometimes even thirds. This is how I developed my early relationship with food.

When I married and had children of my own, I kept the same habits and found myself serving food to my family the same way I learned as a child. Once the boys got a little older, we all started loading our plates up in the kitchen so we could eat in front of the TV. I know, I know.... this was a terrible thing to do, but it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Now that we are older and wiser, we have developed new methods to help us stay focused on our new relationship with food. I have retired all the 12" inch dinner plates and started using the 9" inch salad plates to serve all our main entrees. I now plate all food in the kitchen and carry the plate to the dining room table. Serving dishes and platters are left in the kitchen with the pots and pans, so there is no going back for a second helping. The only exception to this rule is when we have company.

I find it really is true... "We eat with our eyes first." So, presentation has a lot to do with meal satisfaction. Here is the photo from last night's home cooked dinner. We split an 8 ounce Ahi Tuna steak, seared rare on the panini grill, dipped in toasted sesame seeds and a sugar-free teryaki sauce. This was served over a bed of stir-fried garlic spinach with key lime juice and a side of brown & wild rice. We also had a small cucumber, onion and grape tomato salad tossed in a creamy Greek yogurt & cider vinegar dressing. It wasn't a lot of food, but it was delicious and more that satisfying. Total number of calories: 397


  1. Nick still fights me on using smaller plates. For myself, however, I've been using smaller plates.
    I wish I liked tuna! That looks yummy!!

  2. Properly seared Ahi tuna has no fishy taste whatsoever. It actually tastes a lot like a rare beef steak. Trust me, this is not the tuna casserole taste we all knew as kids.