What Good Everyday Cooks Know that Struggling Cooks Don’t
For a recent magazine article, Martha Stewart was asked how often she orders take out. Her response was something like a couple times over the last 15 years.
How many people are in the “0-5” range for takeout during the last 15 years? Initially, Martha’s response made me wonder whether she is some kind of freak. But then it struck me: I haven’t ordered takeout more than a couple times in the last 15 years either!
Fact is, there are people “out there” who make healthy, good-tasting meals night after night like it’s no big deal. What do they know that most people don’t?
Here’s one big secret: They know the difference between healthy and unhealthy convenience foods, and they know how to use healthy convenience to make good meals manageable. Case in point: The Honeysuckle Gourmet’s Black Jack Barbecue Sauce we discovered at our first Market Morning in Louisville.
How did we know it was healthy? At our Market tour, we got to chat with Honeysuckle’s Kristen Hall. She explained how she is painstakingly reformulating each of her sauces to use all “real” ingredients, i.e., the same stuff you’d find in your own pantry. If you could replicate a sauce yourself, you’ve got a healthy time saver. You’re just paying to have someone else mix all the ingredients.
What about the cost? At $7.00 a jar, it’s tempting to write off the sauce as “too expensive.” But as FORK owner and class participant Christine pointed out, our group of 8 used only a quarter of the jar! That means I’ve got at least 4 to 6 more meals in that jar for my husband and I. Which brings us to the third point:
How do I use the rest of the sauce to make great meals, manageably? This is the key to making condiments cost effective, i.e., finding ways to use them rather than having them waste away on the refrigerator door. In addition to using the sauce to top sautéed chicken breasts at our class, I’ve found two other easy ideas:
Fast Recipe 1–Slow Cooker Chicken Legs In need of a fast meal that could be prepared in advance, I skinned a couple chicken thighs and legs and plopped them into the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of sauce. Eight hours later, I had melt-in-your mouth pulled chicken and sauce that went perfectly over warmed up leftover rice and broccoli. Fast food couldn’t be faster!
Fast Recipe 2–Barbeque Chicken Soup A couple days later, the leftover chicken and sauce became the flavor base for a quick, light summer soup with leftover broccoli, potatoes, new carrots from the garden and onion and garlic, of course. I used another 1/4 cup of sauce + a little hot sauce for flavor. Again, faster than fast food–and I still have half a jar of sauce.
So that’s how good every day cooks make good meals manageable–and delicious. Learn more: Join one of the everyday meal making classes with The New Kitchen Cooking School.
Filed under: Cooking, Healthy Eating, Local and Sustainable Eating, New Ingredients, Pantry Know-How, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged: affordability, barbecue sauce, Convenience Foods, Cost of Good Food, Healthy Eating, Martha's Stewart | Leave a comment »