Sometimes Directionless, But Not In The Kitchen
In the world of romantic love I'm pretty much clueless, but when it comes to cooking vegetables I can close my eyes and reimagine a whole new world in each and every one. True health is about making new habits. I've made it a habit to cook, explore, map and write.
Habits, both good and bad, become ingrained with small actions and then grow.
With consistency and with a real intention, we can change our habits.
Thing is, we have to want it. Which makes me wonder, too, about my first statement on romantic love - but I am working on it because I'm working on myself.
SNAP BACK TO COOKING HABITS.
I cook for and out of love and consider every meal I touch to be a confession that takes place in the diary that is my kitchen. Every meal is an uncomplicated exploration where I use the tools I've brought into my home. Cooking is rhythmic and a friend once said watching me in the kitchen is like seeing a rapper freestyle which I took as the biggest accomplishment of my health/cooking career. A Missy Elliott on the butcher block so to speak. Still have ZERO knife skills, but I'm also ok with that. It's because I found my reason to cook to be much greater than being a master chef, I've learned how to feed and love my single self for 17 years.
You see, when we let how we want to feel (love for ourselves + connected) lead the way to our health, we can make new habits - otherwise a recipe is still a recipe and information is still information (eat this, not that) and we can't make real changes.
There's no map to ourselves, that's our work to figure out while we're here (also why I'm making a career of helping people find those answers).
I studied literature in college and Virginia Woolf always comes to mind when I think of cooking, eating and why I do it, and so do a few more writers.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
A sweetness to flood the mouth with saliva and the eyes with tears. It might have been childhood we were eating.
–The Last of Her Kind
So when I cook it's not simply for health, and it's certainly not for vanity. When I make a food map on the ways I combine vegetables, grains and beans to make a meal - it's more than me telling you how and what I eat. It's more than how and what to eat. Cooking makes me feel good, it connects me to the past in a positive way that I can now see outside of. It has a beautiful two fold capacity to nourish us with energy and color but also with soul and love.
Cooking is edible science.
Cooking is emotion on a plate.
Food is a limitless expression of love - if we let it be.
Food is a limitless expression of healing - if we let it be.
Food is a limitless expression of creativity - if we let it be.
This Sunday's kitchen get down began like most others, with a long walk. With a lot of vegetables and kicking ideas around while looking deep inside my pantry and freezer. I didn't land anywhere out of the ordinary. Some roasted vegetables, some kept raw. A few sauces and dips. A grain. A celery and chickpea salad. Simple food. Real food. I eat a lot of real food and eat daily chocolate, drink (sometimes) daily wine and it's not perfect eating or perfect habits - but it's perfect for me.
The below lists may not be for the kitchen beginner, but I encourage you to navigate this cooking map. The lists can and will help with stocking and thinking, mixing and matching - if you put on your freestyle food hat for 15 minutes.
Embrace being a beginner. Starting is hard, but it's also a road paved with possibility.
Starting simply means beginning somewhere. It's always the hardest part because we don't know where we'll land, but the best part about exploring cooking and sticking to it is that you'll constantly keep learning - as opposed to following a fad or trend.
Get in the kitchen.
This Week's Meal Components
- Hard Boiled Eggs *for breakfast + snacking
- Sesame Seasoned Tempeh *for bowls + noodles
- Canned Chickpeas *for salads + bowls
- Celery Salad *to combine with canned fish and more beans
- Cooked Greens
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Peppers
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash *turned into faux meatballs
- Raw Veggies: Romaine, Tomatoes, Onions for salads
- Classic Red Sauce *made 2x per month and frozen so I always have sauce in the house
- Vegan Kale Pesto
- Peanut Sauce
- Smoked Paprika Hummus
- Spicy Miso Guacamole
- Spicy Yogurt Sauce
Staples From The Pantry
- Rice Noodles
- Nut Butter
- Canned Beans
- Oils + Vinegars
- Various Spices
Staples From The Fridge
- Fresh Fruit
- Fresh Lemons
- Almond Milk
- A Dozen Eggs
- A Good Piece of Grating Cheese
Staples From The Freezer
- Dave's Killer Bread and/or Ezekiel Bread
- Frozen Fruit *mixed berries + bananas
- Frozen Veggies
- Veggie Burgers
- Pre-made Soups *made weekly / 2x per month so there's always stock to defrost dinners
- Frozen Shrimp *easy to defrost on a weeknight
- Individually Wrapped Chicken Breasts + Thighs *store small for faster defrosting