The sharper among you
already know from yesterday's
video that HuffPost Green is exhorting
us all to board the cooking-at-home train via its Week
of Eating In experiment. Not one to
ask of others what I myself am not willing to do, I have taken the pledge. That's right; I'm eschewing morning chai lattes
from the coffee shop downstairs, avoiding my favorite lunchtime bakery, and
turning a blind eye to the oh-so-delicious takeout from the new vegetarian Thai
Just last night I served roasted butternut squash soup and
crusty bread. Down in the stacks today,
I dug into spinach lasagna for a midday meal. Tonight I'm thinking baked salmon and something
with potatoes and kale from this past weekend's farmers market (here's one
idea from Cooking Up A Story).
You haven't yet begun your week of eating in, you say? No
worries--start now. And who says it only has to be for this week? Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In, kicked the habit
for two years--no pressure, of course.
If eating is a political statement, then making your own
meals is the best way to have the ultimate say in the consumer food fight. Plan
ahead and astound other shoppers with your market efficiency and Alice Waters-style
variety. And remember, Michael Pollan says you can have junk food as long as
you cook it yourself. I've rounded up some resources that helped me on my
journey to eating in. Other ideas? Let me know in the comments section below.
- Erway inspires would-be chefs with this appetizing slideshow of winter vegetable recipes on HuffPost Green. She even throws the meat-eaters a bone with a recipe for braised cabbage with sausage and polenta. Never underestimate the power of a head of cabbage. HuffPost Green also gives us the best apps for eating in like Locavore, which tells you what produce is in season in your part of the country, and Grocery Gadget, which keeps up with your shopping list and can compare prices across stores.
- NoTakeout.com offers a complete menu, shopping list and detailed game plan--from the time you
walk in the door after work--each day for that night's dinner (big fan of last
week's mushroom penne). I think its tool list is marvelous--from bare essentials
to well-equipped--so you can make sure you have the necessary pots, pans,
knives, bells, and whistles. If you don't, no need to go out and buy tons of
new stuff. Ask a friend about borrowing an item like a hand blender that you
may not use often enough to own one yourself (I did this for the butternut
squash soup--thanks, neighbor!). Or scour your local second-hand store for
some cool, vintage-y measuring cups to cut cost and new materials.
- Speaking of a well-stocked kitchen, Real Food Rehab has a spectacular pantry essentials guide for $10 (check out an abridged
version on NoTakeout.com) as well as a scintillating recipe for gooey mac
with Friends is based on the premise of, well, cooking with friends. You
shop together, make a bunch of food for the week (say multiple lasagnas,
batches of soup, dozens of cookies), and then divvy it up and take it home--or
eat in together.
- Follow Paula Bernstein on her journey to domesticity
on her blog Undomesticated
Me (she's working up to her first dinner party on March 6). For
non-foodies, reading about Paula's culinary progress could offer a little nudge
in the kitchen's direction.
- Veg-heads and veggie supporters can head to Meatless Monday for a bevy of meat-free
recipes from breakfast (hello, baked sweet potato pancakes) to dinner and
snacks in between.
- Want some
vino to go with your homemade goodness? In the Food and Wine Pairing Guide,
you select the type of dish and spices used, and it tells you what wine would
best complement your dinner. (Garlicky pasta? Why, merlot, of course.)
Happy eating in!