Category Archives: easy

Cooking Tips from a Utilitarian Bachelor

Texas Food Revolution Captain Obvious

I suppose the tips below are quite obvious, but that does not mean that they are not valuable. Stir-fries, Salads, and Soups are responsible for 3/4 of the local goodness that I’ve enjoyed the past several years. These are not tips from a chef, they are tips from a local-ingredient loving bachelor with a big appetite. These tips are not meant to blow your culinary mind, they are solutions for anyone who utters the phrase “But I don’t/can’t cook.”

Definition of Terms:

Salad: Pretty pile of mostly raw ingredients

Stir-Fry: Pile of ingredients cooked on skillet or pan

Soup: Pile of ingredients boiled in water

In picture, beans, kale, eggs, pepper on top posing for picture.photo

Never again let good veggies go bad because you don’t know what to do with them. Fearlessly acquire good food from the markets and gardens and give them a home on your plate. If you have the energy or skill for something fancy, great, if not, make a pile and let the local-food-energy power your human machine in the way that it knows best while you continue to go about your job of saving the world.

What’s in your kitchen? So long as you have the following items you should be ready to invite any new vegetable to your eating experience:

-Oil: Olive, Coconut, or other. (Or butter)

-Seasonings and Spices. (Can be everything! Or just salt and pepper and hot sauce)

-Knife

Soup Philosophy

It’s cold, your girlfriend is coming over, you have extra ingredients, make a soup.

I have made countless soups that people have raved about, always requesting a recipe. I’ve never had a soup recipe. I am a nomad who cooks in other people’s kitchens and the ingredients have never, ever been the same.

A broth can be made from any tough vegetable. Collards, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, peas, any of these can be boiled in water for a period of time to make a good base. How much water and how much time? I don’t know, just wing it. How much soup do you want? How many veggies do you have? Do you want the veggies to be crisp, or mushy? Use your eyes to watch the water change color, use your tongue to taste the progress.

What else goes in your soup? Anything you want except for lettuces or spinaches.  So throw any weird vegetable, legume, or spice in there and let their flavors be liberated as you stir, simmer, and observe. 

Sometimes we have cayenne, sometimes we have curry, sometimes we have dried herbs, sometimes we have only salt and pepper. Every time we have a nose – and this is what you will use to spice your soup.

You can be generous or modest with almost every spice or herb with little concern. Salt, or salt based seasonings, however, you must be more careful with. Add them lightly throughout the cooking process and be aware this is practically the only seasoning you can have too much of.

If you use meat in your soup, either put it in at the beginning so it add to your broth and fully boil, or cook it elsewhere and throw it in mid-way.

Your soup will be ready when it tastes good and you have no more room in the soup pot.

Salad Philosophy

You want to eat the power of the sun! Or you just need a good, solid bowel movement.

If you have a bunch of spinach, kale, mustards, arugula, or any kind of lettuce, then you have the foundation for a salad. Dice any vegetable or fruit you have, and mix it around with your fresh greens. Add any sort of dressing, or even just olive oil and spices, and magically the fibrous or bitter natures of the veggies on their own will get together for a harmonious salad experience.

Salad is simple. Let yourself go, and make a pile of freshness. A good guiding light for a food salad is their aesthetic quality. If you take your harvest and dice them and mix them in a way that looks appealing and you add some oils to help them along, then there is a good chance you’ve made a tasty salad.

*Food Processor

If you have a food processor, you don’t even really need lettuce or spinach. You can just throw any random veggie in there, add some oil or some nuts, and you have created a chopped pile of goodness.

Stir Fry Philosophy

You only have 10 minutes and you want something hot and awesome.

Heat a pan, lay down butter and oil, and cook the tough veggies first, and the soft veggies last. Add soy sauce, hot sauce, spices and garlic to taste, and you will have made yourself a satisfying stir-fry. The magic of stir fry is in your hands, all latent vegetables await your improvisation.

A cousin to the stir fry is the omelette, wherein you cook any veggies you have, and once they are cooked to your liking, you add a bunch of eggs on top and boom, you’ve made a omelette.

The application of various piles in my food life has allowed me to consume many calories and not have to resort to pastries, microwaved meals, fast food, and other seemingly satisfying treats. Make a pile and stuff your face… with goodness.