A bit about me:
I am a 22-year-old almost-vegan with a handsome boyfriend, adorable fluffy dog, and 2 insane cats. I have a day job doing psychological research, an embarrassing addiction to Twilight, and a passion for improvisational cooking. I love to read and write and rant. My love of good music borders on obsession, as does my preoccupation with correct grammar. I'm loud, temperamental, and I curse like a sailor - especially in the kitchen - but lucky for you, you're reading this, so I've had a chance to calm and censor.
A bit about this:
Three things recently conspired to push me headfirst into cooking from scratch: first, my shift from vegetarianism toward veganism; second, our participation in a local produce co-op; and third, our budget constricting like a hungry snake. The result of this is that each week, I get a box of fruits and vegetables on my doorstep, and I have to figure out how to turn these seasonal and often unfamiliar (weird) plants into healthy, fast, animal-free meals that both the boy and I will eat with minimal complaining and maximum nom nom nom, for about $50 a week. I satisfy all these requirements - and hopefully, our tummies - by making almost everything from scratch.
I usually use a combination of Google, cookbooks, and questionable intuition to cobble together four or five dishes each week, using everything in the box and as little else as I can manage. I spend an afternoon or evening cooking, then package everything away to be reheated as needed during the week. Some things turn out to be culinary genius, some things turn into abominations in my trash can, but almost everything is at least edible.
I have never followed a recipe precisely in my entire life, and don't intend to start now. I love spice, salt, freshness, rich creamy deliciousness, and hummus. I follow four principles in life and cooking:
- Shake 'em if you got 'em. If a recipe calls for walnuts but I have pecans in my pantry, you can bet your buns you'll find pecans in my dish. I am queen of substitutions, adaptations, and random additions. Stroke of genius? Moment of insanity? The mystery is half the fun. Also, I try to buy local and in season - use what's available to you. Many resources are wasted in growing and transporting exotic crops.
- Waste not. I will use every root and fruit I get each week, no exceptions, and I will gleefully butcher any recipe to make that happen. I also try to use every part of every plant (did you know you can eat carrot greens?), and will never peel, seed or strain unless absolutely necessary. All the antioxidants are in the skins and seeds, anyway.
- Mother (nature) knows best. The closer to the vine something is, the better it is for you. Preservatives are the devil. I strive to use foods in the least processed form possible, and I prefer to get all essential nutrients from food, not supplements. This is difficult to do on a budget, but I give it my best shot.
- It's all in the journey. Cooking is a process of constant trying, failing, and learning. Recipes are fluid and should be adapted to your needs, not followed in goose-step. I very rarely make the same thing twice. Go where the wind blows you, dude.
Each week, I'll post the recipes I make, photos and descriptions of the finished products, and analysis of the nommable-ness. I'll also probably throw in some random thoughts, observations, music, news, and other stuff to stimulate your mental and physical appetites. If you're into fresh, seasonal, adventurous veggie-based meals, stick around.
Feel free to comment, criticize, question, or whatever. I'm a feedback whore.