- What do you have on hand?
- How could you turn that into dinner without a trip to the store?
- Do you wish you cooked more often?
- Or would you just like to get out of your rut and have more fun in the kitchen?
“I am now a complete convert to the one-dish-with-egg-and-bread meal plan! Just whipped up your white bean soup–so incredibly tasty and actually doable at the end of a long day. My 18-year-old was craving “real food” and tried to get me to make some complicated thing from Cook’s Illustrated but I talked her into the soup instead . . . which ended with her saying “that was fantastic!” Thanks for making it!” So thanks for making me a kitchen hero and for bringing so many new and wonderful flavors into our lives.” — S. Bigelow January, 2011.
It can feel like a coup when you pull things together some nights—without an extra trip to the store—and sit down to a delicious meal. Good food created with an idea, a few staples, some fresh produce or herbs, and minimal stress is most satisfying. This is why I have Cook With What You Have, a small business in Portland, Oregon. I work with businesses and public agencies within their wellness initiatives and partner with CSA farms for whom I provide weekly recipe packets for the farm’s shares. I teach private classes and offer kitchen/pantry stocking consultations. I teach occasional classes in my home which are intimate, hands-on and convivial. The joy of simple, good food is contagious and we cook and eat together, share tips, ideas and stories. And people start cooking more and differently.
I don’t have many rules around food and the one that I often repeat reflects Michael Pollan’s famous line about not eating things with more than five ingredients listed. In other words, eat and cook with whole, mostly unprocessed food. The only trick in order to embrace this mantra is of course that you need to cook. Our stunning array of local produce makes this a surprisingly simple task!