I’m Stephanie Meyer. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I complain incessantly about the weather while secretly loving my beautiful, cosmopolitan city-in-the-middle-of-nowhere.
I believe that cooking is not optional. What? I know, obviously people live very happily not cooking. But if you want to eat healthfully, and feed yourself and your family well and affordably, and spend quality time with the people you love, then...cook. I heard this statistic at a recent talk: 10% of American meals are cooked at home, from scratch. The other 90% of meals are either eaten in or taken out from restaurants, or are prepared at home from packaged foods.
When you take a step back and think about that, it is pretty incredible how we've allowed the most basic, primal act of nourishing our bodies to be provided - often badly - by someone else.
I understand the barriers to feeding a family real food. While I get excited about wild mushrooms and kale and poached eggs and okra, my kids…not so much. They’re typical teens, with one eye on fast food and the other on candy. I was the same way at their age, despite a family full of great cooks.
Is that how your family is too? Addictive stuff, all of it - fast food, junk food, packaged meals, candy, bread, pasta, on and on. It's not very fun to be the only person in a household talking about how important it is to eat fresh, whole foods. But given that we live - at least in the U.S. - surrounded by a constant stream of processed fake foods and skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes, it's vitally important! With this blog, I do my best to fight waste with taste, to provide alternatives that are beautiful to look at, easy to prepare, and delicious to eat.
It helps that even with crazy (and crazier) schedules, the meals we sit down to as a whole group are the highlight of the week. It might not be anything more complicated than a bowl of soup, but different conversations happen at the dinner table than happen in the car. It's a nice time to talk about what is truly nourishing, how to make better choices in the school lunch line, and why everyone at school isn't really idiotic. At a very basic level, it just feels good.
I have to remind myself that as I grew, my tastes changed and I learned to love and crave the fresh meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts that make me feel and look good now. I predict that my kids' tastes will adapt too. Right?!
If you're feeling too busy to cook, just start with a couple of meals a week. Plan out and shop for your meals on the weekend. Keep it basic and simple. I rarely spend more than an hour preparing a meal, often much less - less time than it takes to order and pick up takeout! - and I try not to include recipes that take 20 pans to prepare because I loathe doing dishes.
Unless we throw a party! I love to cook all day for a party. But even then, I keep menus pretty straightforward. As a young wife I made the mistake - several times - of making meals so complicated that I hardly talked with my guests! I don't do that anymore, and I promise that I won't suggest that you do, either.
I don't eat gluten (or rarely any grains or sugar), so you’ll find many special-needs recipes to fit your particular style of eating. I tag recipes as gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, vegan, dairy-free, and vegetarian, among many other categories. See the recipe index for the entire list.
But my husband and kids eat everything, so I cook and share it all! I personally can't handle a very high carbohydrate diet (diabetes runs in my family), but you might be completely different - everyone needs to find what works for them. While most of my posts are centered around fresh vegetables and fruits, you'll find cakes, cookies, breads, pastas, and other treats to celebrate special occasions too.
A note: I spend the money we save - by not buying expensive pre-prepared/packaged foods or eating take-out - on organic fruits and vegetables, high-quality meats, sustainable wild fish, organic dairy products, and organic eggs. (Not every fruit and vegetable you buy needs to be organic - see this list to help you spend your hard-earned money wisely.) It's absolutely worth it to me to pay more for higher quality food, although shopping at farmers markets and directly from farmers is a great way to stretch your dollar and support your local economy while enjoying delicious, nutritious food. I don't want my family to eat hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, or contaminated food, and I don't want to either. I'll point out trusted vendors whenever I can (I'm not paid by any of them).
Thank you for stopping by! If you have questions about a recipe or anything, send me an email, at:
meyer dot stephanie dot a at gmail dot com