Considering I not-so-recently withdrew from a graduate Food Studies program and work with farmers on a daily basis, you'd think I'd talk more about food on this blog. And I don't.
So today, I'm going to change that. I want to talk about the best ways to engage your inner foodie.
Step 1: Get Yo'self a Damn Good Cookbook
If you're lost in a sea of Rachael Ray and The Joy of Cooking- let me share with you my personal fave. This cookbook has seriously rocked my world.
It was written by Farmer John of Angelic Organics, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture- read more here) vegetable and herb farm. Inspired by a desire to teach CSA members how to cook the veggies they were taking home week after week, the cookbook is organized first by season. Cold season veggies like winter squash and cabbage are in one section, while tomatoes and cucumbers have their own summer section. Secondly, within seasons, the book is broken down alphabetically by vegetable.
I cannot even begin to tell you what a useful tool this is to have- and the recipes are so flippin' tasty!
Step 2: Have a Grocery Budget
I know that not everyone desiring to be a foodie is under a tremendous financial crunch like some of us, but this has been so handy for our family. Typically, we give ourselves $400/month for groceries. Which is clearly not an extravagant amount of money. But limiting ourselves in this way has been so beneficial. For starters, it's nice to know exactly how much to allocate to this category of our budget when so many other things vary from month to month. More than that, thought, it's trained us to only buy the important things.
|Have to admit, I'm still a bargain shopper to the core- |
I got all this at CVS for $12.94!
Fruits and veggies are always the priority on our list. Followed by protein and then some carbs. This leaves little wiggle room for spontaneous purchases and makes us re-think how much we really need that box of Pop-Tarts or that pint of Ben & Jerry's.
Step 3: Get creative
For us, this almost always means one thing: smoothies. We all have those days where slaving away in the kitchen is the absolute last thing we want to be doing. Lazy food definitely happens routinely in our house, but we always ensure that we're also getting our fill of the healthy stuff. We never mow down on our Annie's Mac and Cheese without first throwing some broccoli or peas into the pot.
And my absolute favorite smoothie combo is mango, blackberry, banana, spinach, orange juice and coconut milk. So flippin' good. We've also been known to throw in some blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds, kale and celery. Pretty much whatever we have lying neglected in our refrigerator drawer.
Step 4: Shop local
It doesn't matter where you live, chances are a CSA or Farmer's Market is not far off. The reasons for buying local outweigh supermarket shopping by about a million fold. Chances are your food is fresher, tastier, and not drowning in pesticides and other harmful chemicals. You're also supporting the hard work of your neighbors and stimulating your local economy!
Plus, Farmer's Markets are just plain fun! It's such a good experience to mingle with vendors and shop at your leisure.
Step 5: DIY
If you want fresh veggies, grow them!
If you want delicious leftovers, cook them!
And if you ever get stuck, hit me up! Despite what you may have been led to believe by this sad little cyberspace of mine, I can legit talk about food all day, every day. Just start the conversation ;)