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:
- The recipe should be simple. I usually look for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients and not too many complex steps.
- 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.
- I can prepare the recipe in less than 1 hour or adapt it for the slower cooker.
- 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.