Is Cooking Really the Problem . . .

. . . when meals don’t turn out so great?

Meals that are interesting and inviting, lively with vegetables, rich in whole grains and clean proteins, and high on color and flavor that come from real ingredients not test tubes.

Meals that taste really good, that you can feel good about eating, and that synch with the good of the planet.

Put in terms like this, good eating is pretty simple, right?  But then we head to the kitchen at 5:30 or 6:00 or later.  Suddenly, that simple goal seems completely illusive, as we cast about for something to fix for dinner and end up rushing some not-that-good thing to the table.

Then comes the reckoning point.  We’ve sweated and stressed to produce a meal, but it’s not that satisfying or rewarding.  So now we are ready to lay some blame.  “Cooking” is a ready, obvious and reasonable culprit:  “I just can’t Cook,” “This is why I hate to Cook,” “Cooking takes too much time,” “Cooking is too expensive anyway . . . ”

It’s understandable that we want something to blame for the disappointing way meals often unfold, but is Cooking really the problem?

Here’s a surprise:  It’s not.  Hooray!  You’re not doomed to dismal meals because of a belief that you can’t or hate to cook.

Experiment yourself.  Over the next week, cultivate this awareness if you’re struggling at dinnertime:  Do I really not know how to cut up fruit for this month’s Fresh Fruit and Herb Salad Dressing?   Is it really a mystery to wash a head of lettuce for the Green Salad with Chicken?  How about opening a can of chicken for some quick protein?

If these “cooking” steps are entirely doable, the plot thickens, because if cooking isn’t the problem, “what is?” you’re left to wonder.  Here are some potential candidates:

  • I don’t feel like cooking because I have no idea what to make.
  • I’m bored with cooking because I always make the same things (even though I have a hundred cookbooks!)
  • There’s nothing in the frig.
  • I forgot to take something from the freezer.
  • I don’t want to go to the store to get the lemons (or ginger or rice or whatever) a recipe calls for.
  • My kitchen is a disaster and it’s so awful cooking there.
  • Etc., etc., etc.

After 20 years in the healthy meal making business, can I tell you that  seven times out of ten, these “non-cooking barriers” are what keep clients, class members, friends and family from Everyday Good Eating.  Too bad, because we need good, nurturing, nourishing meals made from sustainably grown foods that will save our health and the health of the planet–and that also comfort us with delightfully good taste.

This is why I’ve developed The Whole Kitchen Way to Wholesome Meals, a 6-week series of cooking classes + a whole lot more.  I share helpful, building block cooking  skills, but as importantly, we address the non-cooking barriers to Everyday Good Eating.  Based on my book, Take Control of Your Kitchen, we develop skills, tips, tools and habits that beat boredom, keep kitchen chaos at bay, promote confidence and comfort in the kitchen and make the meals of your dreams an everyday reality.

Hope you’ll join us.  The next session begins August 11, 2010.  Here’s the flyer describing the recipes we’ll make and skills we’ll learn.

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