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Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

On 20-somethings and Cooking

January 20, 2011 20 comments

I saw something when I was out grocery shopping this weekend that I can’t stop thinking about.  There were three young 20-somethings in front of me in the self-check-out.  They  had a very full cart.  I’m assuming they were roommates shopping for the household.  In any case, I had a bit of a wait, so I started to look at what they’d bought.  I’m always intrigued to see what groceries other people buy.  Anyway.  Their food consisted entirely of prepackaged meals, almost all of them Hungry Man frozen dinners.   We’re talking enough frozen dinners to feed all three of them for around a month.  It took all of my self-control to not let my jaw drop open.  There was not a single piece of fruit, vegetable, or even, heck, a box of pasta in the mix!  Not even some canned applesauce!  Every single item was a frozen dinner.

This rather dramatically demonstrates a trend I’m seeing among my generation that frankly worries me.  I’m not one to rant in a pretentious way about what you should eat, but what the hell happened to the art of cooking?!  Why are people reaching their young 20s with absolutely zero knowledge about how to make dinner from scratch?  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who are my age who know next to nothing about cooking.  One of my meals that never fails to impress these friends who can’t cook I call Poor Man’s Pasta.  I take some fresh veggies, chop them up, stir fry them for a bit with herbs, water down some marinara sauce, add it to the pan, and cook it until it simmers down.  I toss pasta in with this, and we have a meal stuffed with fresh veggies and herbs and far more health than a frozen meal that god only knows where the food came from, how long its been frozen, or how much sodium is in it.  It’s basically frankenfood, and it disturbs me that people my age don’t know how to make anything better.

Cooking is one of those things we need to know how to do as human beings.  We should know how to make ourselves food! This seems obvious, but it apparently is not.  Why are parents letting their kids grow up without knowing how to cook?  Isn’t this a basic human need that should not be ignored?  It reminds me of the kids in my undergrad who arrived at college with no clue as to how to do their own laundry.

So, I call out to my fellow 20-somethings.  If you don’t know how to cook, please learn.  It is cheaper.  It isn’t that time-consuming to make a freshly-made meal.  Ask a friend who knows how to cook.  Take a lesson at a local adult learning facility.  This is a basic skill you should at the very least know how to do.  Even if you only cook your dinner yourself once or twice a week, it’ll still be better for your health.  Not to mention, then you can pass the ability of cooking on to your kids, if you decide to have them.  Don’t let the future be a world where only professional chefs know how to cook a meal.

Friday Fun! (Rain, Gardening, and Cooking)

March 19, 2010 6 comments

In spite of the torrential downpour that Boston experienced last weekend (check out pics of the sinkhole that erupted under a line of the T here), I still managed to have a very nice weekend.  I got to flex my Beirut playing muscles Friday night and got to spend most of the rest of the storm holed up inside, except of course for Monday when I had to commute to work.  Also, inside didn’t exactly mean no rain as both my library and my apartment sprung leaks in the roof.  They thought they had fixed the library ones. They were wrong.  The hospital didn’t even bother wet vacing the carpet this time around.  As for my apartment, it held strong for most of the storm, but on Monday morning, I woke up to water running down one of the walls.  It appears some of that wind finally took its toll on the roof tiles.  Almost everyone I talked to though said there was at least some water damage to their homes, so it has been proven yet again that I am not a unique snowflake (thank you, Fight Club).

The weather the rest of the week almost totally makes up for it though.  It’s been in the high 60s to low 70s.  I haven’t had to have my heat on in days!  I took this as a sign of spring and started my herb and flower seeds last night.  I’m planning on ordering my veggie and strawberry seeds today and hopefully will get them planted soon as well.  I’m honestly pretty darn stoked for all the food aspects of summer–plants in my kitchen, farmer’s market on the way home, possibly taking a whack at canning by myself for the first time, berry picking, etc…  So much yumminess and new skills to learn!

I tried out two new recipes this week.  The first was a low-calorie, low-dairy mac and cheese bake (I printed it from some random website, which I can’t remember off the top of my head).  It used pureed butternut squash to replace most of the cheese.  The only cheese used was 1 cup of mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.  Naturally, the pasta was whole wheat.  I enjoyed this, and I think it will be a good recipe with time.  A little something was missing from it, though.  A wee bit bland.  My dad suggested nutmeg.  Any other thoughts?

The other recipe was for stuffed eggplants from my cookbook The Vegetarian Bible.  Basically you halve the eggplant, scoop out the insides, then mix the insides with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and al dente pasta.  Then you stick it back in plus mozzarella and bread crumbs then into the oven.  This wasn’t a bad recipe.  It was nutritious, filling, and tasted fine.  I just didn’t love it or really like it enough to warrant the labor intensity of it.  I doubt I’ll make it again unless I randomly have lots of eggplants I need to use up.  The other recipe I’ve tried from the cookbook was really good though, so I think this might be a personal taste thing.

What did you guys get up to this week?  Any new things tried?  Happy weekends!