Let’s Get Cooking

vegetable food cooked on frying pan
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Fun fact: I’m a trained chef

You may have picked up from comments here and there in my other posts on the blog that once upon a time, yours truly went to culinary school. Yep, I was 16 and got a job (my first) at a pizza place five minutes from my house to pay for college, which for me consisted of the entire cooking program the school offered. Most students chose one career path out of the two culinary degree programs on the roster, but hey, when I make a decision, I take it all the way!

Cooking remains to be one of my favorite pastimes. To support my family’s healthy lifestyle and maintain my sanity, meal prepping (or batch cooking, or making-ahead, whichever you prefer) has become a standard part of my weekend. Maybe one day I’ll have the time to cook meals from scratch each evening, but for now making meals ahead is a great way to make sure healthy food is on hand at a moment’s notice. I went into that in detail not long ago, but it was fun to talk about food and cooking, so I thought I’d go that route again this week.

How I Find Recipes

The main question I get about cooking is: where do you get your recipes? My answer is always this: Pinterest. Such a simple answer that most of the time it throws people off. But it’s fantastic. Ever since Pinterest came into existence, I’ve been in flippin’ love with it. Nowhere else have I found as extensive a database for tried-and-true, consistently delicious recipes as good old Pinterest. Let other people do the legwork, I say. Here’s what I mean by that: when you find a recipe on Pinterest, 9 times out of 10 it was originally published on a food or cooking blog. If it pops up easily in search, then I have learned this recipe been pinned and repinned scores of times. So, not only has this food-or-cooking blogger found success with this recipe, but tons of other home cooks have as well. Now there’s even a feature where cooks can share pictures of how their version of the recipe turned out. It’s pretty cool, really.

Types of Recipes I Look For

The types of recipes I prefer to use depend on a few things. Obviously, it needs to be healthy so I don’t go for anything that incorporates a lot of processed food (cream of anything soup, entire blocks of cream cheese, etc). One other thing a recipe will get my attention for is using one pot. There are probably more “healthy one-pot meals” on my Pinterest cooking board than anything else. My slow cooker and big soup pot get a lot of use because being able to dump a bunch of tasty ingredients together to make one giant tasty masterpiece is so. my. jam.

No Diet Zone

No one here maintains a particular diet like low carb/keto or vegetarian/vegan anymore. The Kacey Diet is based on balance, season and maybe most of all: mood! If I want an Italian flavored dish, that’s what’s up that week (made this last week). Sometimes I crave potatoes and say leave no vegetable behind (loved making this). It’s true that most of what I eat on a regular basis is plant-based, but I’ve experimented a lot over the years and found that’s just what works for me. Everyone is different and has to find what works for them. But I can guarantee you Pinterest will have it ALL. It’s so easy that there’s no excuse not to be cooking up some amazing stuff for yourself and your family.

What I Made Today

Sunday is the magical meal prep day, so this morning I got in there with my sprained ankle all wrapped up in an Ace bandage and got to it. Side note: We went to the Alabama football game yesterday and on the walk back to the car, I rolled my ankle right under me. It felt like there was a dip in the sidewalk, and I stepped in it just right (or just wrong) and oof. Big time ouch and blow to my ego when I burst into tears. But Will valiantly carried me most of the way back to the car. I married a good one.

I found this recipe for Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dill Rice on Wednesday, that being the day of the week I usually start meal planning and grocery-list-writing for the coming week. One thing I found really cool about this recipe is that although it specifically calls for arborio rice and the recipe creator explains at length why she prefers it, the only non-white rice I was only able to find was wild, which I happen to love (spoiler: it was delicious). The wild rice substituted the arborio like a dream, even with a bit longer cook time. It was prepared all in one pan (WIN), cooked up beautifully, and my curiosity about (grass-fed) ground beef seasoned with dill was satisfied. The answer: aromatic and mouth-watering.

Happy cooking adventures, all!

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