My Case Against Recipes

By Emory Liscord MD

If you already have a love cooking this post is not for you

If you spent the first part of your adult life eating a block of cheese and drinking a bottle of wine for dinner, this post is for you.

I spent my early adult years viewing a bag of popcorn and a handful of almonds as a satisfying dinner (I still do) but then I had kids.

My knowledge and interest in nutrition grew and I became acutely aware of the importance of early child hood nutrition.

Dam. Wine and blocks of cheese just don’t cut it when you are two years old.

I wanted to love cooking. I wanted to have time to cook. But it bored me and I was busy.

I tried it all

First I tried one of those “whole-meal-in-a-box-and-all-you-have-to-do-is-cook-it” companies. I think it was Blue Apron…….. that was a disaster.

As a non-cook I found it complicated. It took me hours and used up several pans / bowls etc. Too much time, too much clean up and I always had random stuff left over that would sit in my fridge until it expired.

So then, I thought I would try some new recipes. Recipe books and websites are all the rave these days.

Books advertising recipes that are easy, quick, and “your kids will just love”

Ugh. None of them were easy or quick. Hunting down each ingredient at the grocery store drove me to tears and frustration. I would spend loads of money on one spice never to use it again. I still have all the Saffron …..

Then I discovered a very easy formula.

Meat + Veggie + oil + pre-made seasoning + (Slow cooker or Pressure Cooker or oven or stir fry) = delicious!

For us it is usually

  1. Chicken Thighs (but we use beef, lamb, etc.) +
  2. whatever veggie is in the fridge or on sale (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, mushrooms) +
  3. avocado or olive oil +
  4. any seasoning mix (going with garlic/onion mix is safe and goes  with everything).

Just put it all together.  THEN

Oven, Stir Fry, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker

Done. So dam easy.

Once I discovered this formula I have embraced cooking. I love it. Now cooking has become one of my favorite past times. Now I find I love to experiment.

We are not afraid to mix it up depending on what is in our fridge.

My time is now spent looking for quality meat and veggies and trying new mixes.

My family eats quality meat, lots of veggies, good fats every night. HEALTHY!

The only prep is occasionally cutting veggies (5 minutes). Granted if choosing to stir fry you might need to be standing at the stove (I NEVER stir fry)

We roast a lot. 380 degrees for 42 minutes for chicken and veggies. I also use the Instant Pot. Chicken thighs plus veggies takes 25 minutes.

Sometimes I make batches on my day off. It freezes amazingly well.

If you are just starting out,  I say ditch trying to follow recipes.  Buy a meat, a veggie, an oil, and a mixed seasoning and call it a day.

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