So the thing is this: When you eat out as much as I do, you have to cook low cal dinners for yourself at home. That’s my theory and what I go by, anyway. There’s no doubt that the restaurant world is not concerned with our caloric intake. In fact, sometimes it seems that they’re trying to squeeze in as many as humanly possible in the form of butter, cheese and pork fat. And, hey, those things make food delicious. But that’s also why, when I cook at home, it’s generally a very calorie conscious meal. That’s my balance. Now, I don’t measure every ingredient or count every calorie (anymore) but that’s because I have a general knowledge of the caloric value of most ingredients. I know what to use a lot of, what to use sparingly, and what to avoid altogether.
I also don’t usually do anything too intricate. I mostly keep it pretty simple. Often times, I don’t even have to go to the store to buy specific ingredients. Instead, I utilize ingredients that I already have in the freezer, fridge and pantry (although, I have to admit that they’re usually pretty well stocked).
And, I must also say that every dish doesn’t always come out as perfectly as I’ve composed it in my head, for one reason or another. But I always learn something from it and would make adjustments if there ever another time that I was going to make the same thing over again, which is pretty infrequently.
I’ve never been very good at following a recipe. That’s just not how I learned to cook. Real quantities never came into play all that often for me in the kitchen. It was always ‘a little,’ ‘some,’ and ‘enough.’ So that’s how I present my ‘recipes’ or rather, guidelines.
It’s also more important to know what to look for, as far as technique, than to have a time table. No one else knows how quickly your stove reacts or exactly how thick you’ve diced your onion. I’m always annoyed by recipes that give instruction but no ‘why’. I’d rather understand the process and what I’m looking for than read a list of instructions with no reasoning behind them. I hope I can provide a little insight to the ‘HOW’ and ‘WHY’ that can be applied in future cooking endeavors, not just to the particular recipe on the page in front of you.
Recipes are inspiration for us to create what suits our taste and situation. It’s just food, after all, so have fun with it! Play, experiment, taste, discover and enjoy!