Don’t Know What to Cook at Home?

On April 18, 2016, in Food, by Chris Baccus


Getting people to cook at home is a movement.  Michael Pollan’s recent book and Netflix series Cooked, highlights some of the history and the reasons why cooking at home is so important to our culture and health. To support this trend, there are pre-cooked delivery services, meal delivery where you cook prep food, and now a Kickstarter called My Happy Plates will send you a weekly recipe plan.

As a home cook who makes about four or five meals at home a week, I have an approach I use every week. I basically start Saturday morning where I’ll browse my Pinterest boards of saved recipes and might even crack open a cookbook or two from my kitchen bookshelf. I write into my phone’s notepad the days of the coming week and what I plan on making.

From that list, I start shaping my shopping list. Every weekend I head out to a farmer’s market, usually Studio City or La Canada, and find what I can from the local market. Depending on what I find, I sometimes adjust things on my meal plan list. For example, if I find some amazing squash at the farmer’s market I might remove something and replace it with a recipe with squash as an ingredient.

The rest of the shopping usually gets finalized at Whole Foods or Erewhon. I’ll leave a couple days open in my meal planning for a night out or some carry-out on a day where I leave work late.

That’s pretty much it.

I’ve never considered using a service that would send me recipes for a coming week. Honestly, the thought of losing some control used to bother me. That said, I’m more open to it now since one can ignore recommendations and still add-in or subtract what one wants for the coming week’s meal plan. My Happy Plates provides a service that delivers recipes based on a family eating profile that you fill out so the recipes match your likes.

I’m considering giving it a try. After years of cooking at home, it can get a bit difficult finding new recipes. Plus my recent endeavor of using meal delivery services has opened me up to using services.

In the meantime, you can learn more about My Happy Plates at their Kickstarter page and, if you like what you see, you can support their effort!


DISCLOSURE:  I was contacted by My Happy Plates but was not compensated in any way to write this post. The opinions expressed here are my opinion and shared since I personally liked the concept shared with me.


Making the Improbable Possible: A Healthy Sloppy Joe

On September 4, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus

I really dislike sloppy joes.

Even the name is repulsive, but I was looking through one of my favorite cookbooks The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal. Everything I’ve made from it has been amazing and I was looking for something new to do with some Organic Prairie Ground Beef I bought earlier in the week.

One recipe caught my attention: Louisiana Sloppy Joes. Something about Louisiana in the title that made me think, maybe with enough spice sloppy joes can actually taste good and unlike 99% of the sloppy joe recipes there was no sugary ketchup and loads of brown sugar. Instead, this recipe used tomato paste, just 1 tablespoon of honey, some dijon mustard, garlic and several spices including chili powder, paprike, cumin, and oregano.

So if you are like me and don’t particularly care for foods with the word “sloppy” or “joe” in them, this is the right recipe and the fact that the sugar content is reduced dramatically from most sloppy joe recipes makes it even more worthy of trying.

If you haven’t yet, order a copy of The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, you should. It’s $12 well spent. There are no pictures, but there are 200 pages of excellent recipes for people trying to eat better.

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