These are the rules of simply cooking, boiled down to the essentials, that I try to live and cook by.

  • Keep it simple — cooking should not be stressful.
  • Always eat breakfast.
  • Practice portion control; servings should be about the size of your fist.
  • Practice balance; the plate should be ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrate and ½ vegetables and/or fruits.
  • Eat mostly vegetarian.
  • When eating meat, eat lean: chicken, turkey and seafood.
  • Minimize processed foods.
  • Buy the best ingredients you can afford.
  • Eat sustainably as much as possible.
  • Eat seasonally; foods that grow together go together.
  • Eat a variety — on the plate and in the diet.
  • Reduce waste; even the trimmings can be used for compost.
  • Try something new whenever possible.
  • Have fun with your food.
  • Learn by doing.
  • Improvise without fear; make every recipe your own.
  • If an ingredient isn’t available or appealing, substitute freely.
  • Season to taste.
  • Wine goes with meals.
  • Indulge occasionally and in moderation.
  • Nothing is more satisfying than a home-cooked meal.
  • But if you fail, order pizza.

I love cooking from recipes, but I have some rules. These are the kinds of recipes I look for, try out and adapt for this site:

  1. The recipe should be simple. I usually look for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients and not too many complex steps.
  2. The recipe should lend itself well to adaptation and substitutions. I don’t usually like to make a dish the same way twice, and I like to use what I have on hand.
  3. I can prepare the recipe in less than 1 hour or adapt it for the slower cooker.
  4. The recipe doesn’t require specialized equipment or ingredients that we don’t usually eat in our household.

Of course, I will make an exception for a really good recipe. And I will try (almost) anything once.

5 thoughts on “Credo

  1. Simply Cooking Credo « Simply Cooking 11 November 2007 at 3:07 pm

    […] Simple Cooking Credo […]

  2. Jeannie Rae 21 March 2008 at 11:00 am

    I would like to weigh in (ha ha) here with some of my frustrations and aspirations in the kitchen. My mom didn’t really cook…she managed to put something on the table, and to her credit she did well and developed dished that we loved, but she was winging it bless her heart….. so I didn’t get taught much, she just wasn’t confident enough to share…. now, I am 50 and battling the buldge, having lived on frozen food and resturants, take out, fast food and JUNK all my life…I LOVE LOVE good healthy food but am clumsy in the kitchen to say the least, I have trouble with scrmabled eggs, spaghetti, and I CANNOT make a baked or grilled or broiled chicken breast, or piece of fish or ANY entree for that matter. I NEED TO EAT HEALTHY, my great body that I was lucky enough to inherit went to pot after being injured in an auto accident and ending up a disabled chronic pain patient, homebound, with limited ability to stand or prepare food. NOW… I figure if you can get me cooking and eating healthy then you will have designed a program ANYONE can do. Bad cook, don’t cook, can’t cook, poor health, need quick, easy healthy stuff including entrees, snacks, breakfast, lunch, the whole shebang. I WILL DO THIS. If I can master this, my LIFE WILL CHANGE, I known that. I will feel better, get my figure back, its all connected, I need a foundation of good nutrition. I was just ordained and I have many goals and ideas I need to be active again…I am just saying… good for you, this site will be a great help…. its terrific, NOW… specifically, I DREAM ABOUT having a fridge full of for example, things I can GRAB without much hassle (I can have some prepare ahead cooking sessions when I feel good too)… like ooh I love those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store but they are expensive and I’d like to so that at home, or chicken that good….and FISH…if i could snack on FISH andn tomatoe soup that would be great… the recipes on cooking light sites are too “gourmet” and too “light” I just want healthy, um, low sugar, low carbs, good fats not bad, and not tooo much, but not necessarily low fat…. I am suggesting a sort of “line” of recipes to go along with your Simply Cooking philosophy, part of that lifestyle, to be able to have the fridge stocked with things for grabbing, whether sandwich fixins, or hey I’m going to start having a small plate of meat and veggies as a snack…beats pizza for my purposes…and if I can ENJOY it as much, my LIFE will be all the better…. I need to conquer this and I WILL…I’m checking out your roasted chicken breats and tomatoe soup for starters, I need some slow cooking recipes, and FISH — um, fish sticks? healthy fish sticks maybe? for lunch or snacking? Anyway, if you could consider this and maybe incorporate some aspects of my game plan for those of us “challenged” out here who DO want to both cook and be healthy….you’d be giving us real life skills. Its a great site and I am sure I will learn a tremendous amount here. Thanks and your baby is beautiful….

  3. Shannon 22 March 2008 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for your comments. This blog doesn’t represent a program per se, since it’s not commercial, but rather my personal cooking journal and learning experiences that I share in the hopes that it provides value to others. As I explore, I post my findings here. Now that I have a new baby and will be staying at home for at least a few months, maybe longer, I’ve been thinking a lot about healthy make-ahead meals and snacks, slow cooker meals and freezeable meals, so maybe over the next few months, I’ll be posting recipes that align with what you want to do. So keep visiting!

  4. Angelke 21 July 2011 at 3:01 pm

    so true!

  5. msadetunji 12 March 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “But if you fail, order pizza.” Ha!

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