Friday, August 24, 2007

what i have learned so far...

i have strategized a lot about how to make myself more likely to cook nourishing food for myself and not constantly want to order out or just eat things which will not meet my needs (like all fro yo, all the time). these are my time-saving ideas to date:

  • when i get home, put my frozen foods into (reusable) freezer bags, so i can just unseal and reseal them and not stress about time as much when cooking ("omg, i have to open this bag? and then figure out some way to close it?"). also, that way i can see all my food, and how much of it there is, easily.
  • similarly, unbag grains and put it in easily openable/reclosable containers (that are airtight! no more moths!), like jars and tupperware.
  • this is one i haven't done yet, but makes sense to me. buy some onions, and chop like 3 or 4 at a time. freezer bag them, and then use as needed, frozen.
  • something i have been doing for years, that i learned from a cookbook is to always keep broth powder on hand. put it in rice or anything else to flavor things up really quickly.
  • one thing i want to do is have making-things-parties. i would like to have someone (or multiple people) over, and we could contribute our own supplies to share, to make a bunch of marinades/sauces and jar or freeze them. if we got little ball jars, we could totally have enough to last, and could split it really easily. some ideas: sesame-ginger, peanut sauce, coconut-curry sauce, garlic-lime, marinara sauce, some sort of hickory smoke thing, etc. my old roommate and i are also supposed to have a waffle-making party, where we make a bunch of kinds and then freeze them. i thought a soup-making party might be good too, as they freeze well also? maybe a seitan-making party, so it tastes better and is more affordable? does anyone have more ideas? local people, want to come over and make stuff with me?
  • prepared herbs and spices. crushed ginger and garlic (the ginger is the cheapest that i have found at super 88, and least preservative-y at trader joe's, though you can find it at the grocery store too), frozen cubes of basil and cilantro, etc.
  • when there are sales on those morningstar farms bags of food, i think it makes sense to stock up. you can easily throw them in things, and they are tasty! they are expensive when not on sale, but also go a lot further than refrigerated fake meats, i find.
  • i am planning on buying a block of tofu at the beginning of the week, and cutting it up and throwing the cubes in a tupperware of water. if they aren't used by the end of the week, i can throw them in the freezer (no longer in water, obvi).
  • i bought like two bags of greens that can be used for salads or in cooking (baby spinach, arugula, etc.), and am eating some at every meal so that i get at least something fresh.

there are things i totally don't know how to deal with, though. shopping is the biggest one at this point, but i know other things will come up, too. but, i want your suggestions! what are some ways you motivate yourself to cook, when it is just you around? how do you keep yourself eating balanced and tasty meals when mac and cheese is literally your favorite food, and the kind with actual protein and fiber is not economically feasible as an every-meal kind of thing? what are your favorite things to get at the grocery store? do you want to come over and help me make good things for myself?



Mark D. Snyder said...

Yay, can't wait for more of this blog. Go Eliz!

Ariel said...

i would love to pitch in and learn to/help make seitan if you're up for my level of non-foody knowledge.