I know what you’re thinking, that meal must have been pretty bad huh? No, quite the opposite actually. This post is to bring to light a new perspective on food and cooking.
The old paradigm on cooking is, find a recipe that appeals to you, go to the store and obtain required ingredients to make said meal, go home make it. Even under this condition, you can try to make the same meal again, but won’t be able to. Unless you’re cooking from completely boxed, canned products, this is unreal. The vegetables you choose will be slightly different, the quality and taste will be different, maybe you add an extra ½ teaspoon of salt or oregano to it. You get the point.
What I am suggesting is a new paradigm. For most of my adult life, I have cooked with out recipes. I know this idea scares a lot of people, and once you get past the mental block, its such a beautiful pasture to live in! It also makes shopping at the grocery store and stocking your pantry a lot easier and relieves stress in the kitchen.
When I go to the grocery store, farmers market, etc, I browse and let my eyes do the wandering and shopping. Oh, this kale looks great, maybe some carrots, tomato? Sure! Can of beans, maybe some meat or tempeh? What I do is sit and contemplate what my body is desiring. Is it wanting a warm meal, cold meal, meat, vegetables, grains, etc? When i’m shopping I don’t often think what the end result is going to be, that comes later. I like to shop locally and seasonally, so what’s available is what I choose from. Even if I go outside of that idea, grocery stores are packed with meat and vegetables from around the country and globe, always at our fingertips.
I would like to pause here for a second, and create an awareness piece. How lucky are we as a society that we have this access to food!? Money aside, any of us can go, within reasonable hours, and purchase copious amounts of food, to satiate our any desires around food. Jumping back 100 years ago, this was not the case, or even undeveloped parts of our world, where people still forage for food or go with out! What I am saying is, be grateful for what’s on offer to us, its a blessing.
Okay, so now i’m in my kitchen staring at my fridge full of food, pantry full of beans, grain, etc. now what? I have this simple equation to offer you, 2 to 3 + 1. 2 to 3 vegetables, plus a protein, meat or veggie, in a pot, and you have a meal. If you want to add a grain, or pasta to that, cool, unnecessary but if you desire, Spice it how ever you are feeling. Before we get into spices, lets take a simple combination of carrots, onions and beans. This alone, with out spices is still a blank slate. With spices, I can make countless meal combinations out of these three ingredients. Mexican, asian, indian, middle eastern, etc. its all about the spices. Then, how are you preparing the vegetables? Cutting, shredding, leaving whole? Roasting, frying, baking, sauteing? Are you starting to get the idea?
Be the creator of your own reality! I am an advocate and teacher of empowerment, agency and free will, we are always, in every moment, at choice of what we can do. Yes, if I want, I can go for the doughnut, ice cream, etc, or I can make the choice to snack on nuts, fruit, vegetables, etc., what path do you want to live? Also, be gentle with yourself, even the healthiest of people I know, love to splurge on the “unhealthy” foods from time to time.
So to conclude my initial statement, this meal with never be made again, this is true. Because there are so many possibilities of how it can be made! Even if I try to make the same meal twice, it tastes different each time. I don’t measure when I cook, I go by taste. Because maybe today I want more spice, or more savory, less salt, carrots instead of beets, chicken instead of beef, etc.. Listen to, honour your body, give it what it is asking for.
If you’re needing help with feeling creative, or walking into the pasture of free will around food, let me know! I love to help people out with this transition, changing out kitchens, learning how to shop in a new way, feeling empowered around food and cooking, It is a passion of mine.