Cooking Tips,  Uncategorized

Smart shopping, smart cooking

Produce / CC BY-NC 2.0

I think I know one of the many reasons many people don’t cook. I’m not generalizing here, but for me personally, Portions and Price were the two P’s that hindered my culinary experimentation.

Cooking for one or two people is hard because the portions are always too big and you can only stomach the leftovers of one dish for so many meals in a row.

Also, I hated myself for buying and then throwing away unused, perishable ingredients (mostly fruits, veggies and dairy products), hence the price variable.

But I’ve since smartened up. Now, when I grocery shop, I keep several recipe ideas/”themes” in mind, and only buy perishable ingredients that I know I can use in two, three or more dishes. This week I used the following key ingredients:

  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chicken
  • Lime/lemon
  • Cilantro (which technically doesn’t count b/c I grow it, but bear with me)
  • Green Pepper
  • Mexican cheese

Out of these ingredients, and a few pantry (non-perishable) items, I’ve created four different recipes—Cilantro-lime corn, lemon-thyme chicken, pupusas and corn cakes topped with shredded chicken, and have ingredients left to make one or two more before the weekend is over.

I rely heavily on my Flavor Bible when thinking about flavor themes that will produce more than one good dish, in order to use ALL of each ingredient, and have offer little variety while I’m at it.

Here’s the corn page:



I’m inspired by grocery store sales (50-cent ears of sweet corn!!), other foodie blog posts, things I eat in restaurants, the Food Network, the list goes on.

Ready? Set? Cook!


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