Cooking, for me, is more than a necessity. More than a hobby, and even more than an art. It is an expression of love and life, that you share with others. It is the only experience I know of that includes all the senses simultaneously. No, I have not received a formal culinary education. I have a degree in Geography, as it so happens. I do not claim to do things “correctly”, or by the book. In fact, I think I have only actually followed a recipe a handful of times. But I would still like to share my cooking with you, and hope that you enjoy it.
I grew up in a German & Irish-rooted American family. My mother is a tremendous cook and baker, and although I grew up in the kitchen with her, it wasn’t really until I moved away from home that I truly started cooking. A vegetarian at the time, I had to rely on my own dorm-kitchenette prowess to fulfill my hunger for real food. Being vegetarian for about eight years pushed me to explore the different ways other cultures celebrate cooking. I quickly came to know Saag Chole, Pho, Gomen Wat, and Dolsot bibimbap as comfort foods as potent as chicken noodle soup. As a result, some might say my style of cooking “bastardizes” various cuisines. Rules are meant to be broken, though. You might just find things delicious on the dark side.
Cooking nutritiously comes naturally when the focus is put on the ingredients. I believe in what I like to call REAL food. I am on a continual path to purchase more and more elemental ingredients, pushing packaged foods off the list as quickly as possible. Moderation in all things is key. I am not focused on a low-carb, low-fat, any other ‘diet’. Humans are omnivores, and we have so many nutritional needs because we are meant to eat a large variety of things. I strive to use as many different or “weird” ingredients as I can, and really mix up different recipes. GMOs, pesticides, and hormones are an increasing worry for me, and I try to keep anything with them out of the kitchen.
I primarily buy organic, hormone and antibotic free meat, dairy products, and produce. This does get expensive, but with specific meal planning and leftover eating, is feasible for many families. The typical American household throws away 40% of their food!Source Local and seasonal groceries are extremely important and awesome! This ensures fresher (therefore more nutritious!) produce, supports local farmers, and greatly reduces transport costs. Of course, in the summer, a large amount of our produce is grown in our yard.