spatula

This morning I stumbled across the article, We Don’t Need a Food Revolution, We Just Need to Learn How to Cook, by Dan Barber. He talks about using our resources more wisely and not so hastily throwing out food that is perfectly edible. In some cases, food can be quite appetizing if only cooked correctly. Fortunately I grew up in a household where my mother would cook nightly meals for the 5 of us and some days liver was just “on the menu” no matter how much we couldn’t stand the sight of it. Today it’s so easy to go out to a restaurant or grab a frozen boxed meal from the grocery store instead of sitting down each week to do a little planning.

Rather than a nation that has forgotten how to cook, I think we might consider ourselves a nation that has become lazy. I fell into this category as soon as college surrounded my every waking moment. Pizza and tacos were far too convenient when I spent almost every waking minute of the day studying or finishing up projects until 4 in the morning. It wasn’t until after landing my first job that I branched out and started to really cook. A box of macaroni and cheese and a pot on the stove were all I needed to survive through those luxurious days in my first real apartment. Oh, I did get crazy sometimes and buy a bag of frozen, pre-seasoned, cook in the microwave, chicken and veggies with a list of ingredients a thousand words long.

Working out and training have made me do a complete 180, though, and I now rarely eat any processed foods especially if they have more than 6 ingredients listed on the package. I’ve also adopted a healthy schedule of complex carbs, protein, vegetables and fruit and regularly eat 5-6 meals per day. The ALCAT elimination diet has furthered that path and allowed me to realize how much fun cooking can be. My wife and I spend hours and hours each week searching and preparing for new recipes to try. Planning each meal is such a great way to learn when your goal is to make the next dish even better than the last. For example, we took a meal that we both enjoyed, like pizza, and decided to make it ourselves (a healthy version with ground turkey, peppers and olives). The next time, we decided to make the dough from scratch, using only whole wheat flour and olive oil. It turned out pretty good so we thought, “what if we try throwing it on the grill”, and guess what? It was so good I want to eat homemade grilled pizza every week!