Cook Like a Foodist
All right, so now you guys are all super excited vegetables boom and now what do we do with them when we get them home? Right? That's that's the tricky part and I think cooking is a really, really emotionally charged topic how like quick show of hands, anybody here a like cooking when we like cooking you guys all like cooking you don't like cooking you guys like way out one percent is normally the opposite it's normally there's one person that likes cooking you guys must be a very special good that's partly why you're here or maybe because you're just embarrass because I'm asking you it was given to me that's true, but for when I talked to a lot of people cooking is very intimidating, right? I mean, I know I for one was like super anti cooking for a long time and it's not because I don't know I don't think I put much thought into it I just had never learned, you know, this was a skill that are got smell so good that's gonna be exciting but it's a skill that I think our grandparent's gr...
ew up knowing, but our parents didn't grow up knowing my parents were ok with cooking, but as I grew up they got more and more sucked into the convenience and sort of fast food era and the whole part about like making sure your children can feed themselves and they go off to college got totally lost on me so you know, they basically fed me at home in the mixture between cooking a little bit, you know, taking out going to restaurants sometimes, but when I went away to college, I was just like I had no idea what to d'oh I know I would be able to do I would I knew I knew I had cereal and stuff for breakfast, but pretty much every single dinner I went out because I didn't know what the options were and it turns out, you know, in that first year college again, about thirty pounds and it's not surprising because I didn't know how to feed myself and one of the big discoveries I've made in the journey from going from this sort of chronic dieter and person who couldn't cook to becoming healthy in a way that I really enjoy and that's really pleasurable for me, and that really feels good it's really a story of me learning to cook and I know it can be intimidating, but we're going to try to break it down into sort of the simplest, most basic parts and just so to sort of demystify the whole process and then you can always take it and grow from there, but, you know, we've been talking about habits a lot right and just like with starting that exercise program where you don't necessarily have to start running three or four days a week you could start by running once a week you know or just with any other habit you want to build you start small he start with baby steps you know you start with you know I salad or something that doesn't require heat you know or even something that doesn't even require a knife you could even start there so that's the way I want you to think about it think about it is I need to build the habit of cooking and you can always get fancier you know you can always do more but you know start with once a week start with something really easy start with food you like and build so I love this quote I found from julia child you guys know who julia child is right? There was a movie about our so people know who she is now a very, very famous uh you see a tv chef and her uh she was hilarious didn't read over watch her show she's just really, really funny and we just roll with it and we should make mistakes all the time and I just think it was funny and keep going and I love her spirit and she says the only real stumbling block and she's talking about in the kitchen is fear of failure and in cooking you have to have a what the hell attitude. And that is so true I think that a lot of the reservations I know that I had when I first started around cooking is that I just I was really scared things were gonna work out as if I couldn't just still order a burrito pizza afterwards, but I think I was paralyzed. I think the first time I tried to boil eggs is this some harrison the first tried a time agenda boil eggs I literally threw away like five because I had, like, different instructions from, like, my mom gave me one instructions my roommate gave me different instructions and I was terrified of raw egg yolks because this is I just don't know anything about health and nutrition and I was terrified of a runny oh, so I would boil the egg and I just do the time or thing that people tell me and people tell you different things start with cold water only fill the water up to the top of the egg or start with hot water and drop it in and do it for fifteen minutes I tried all these things and I would I would open the egg and it would just not be cooked all the way through and I was like, oh my god is poison in it like five eggs and leg at you know, I think maybe I got one right at some point, but I don't think I've tried boiling an egg again after that for, like, maybe three or four years, because I was just so demoralizing to have struggle with such as something that sounds so easy and done like it's just boiling an egg. S o I have been there, I didn't learn to cook until I was like twenty five and ah, but it is actually now one of the things that adds the most value to my life and it's one of and I'm and I, you know, I would never say right now that I'm I'm not a fantastic chef, and I'm definitely not the type of person who really enjoys spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen, but I'm a good cook. I'm a decent cook, I enjoy making healthy food for my family and and I feel a lot more competent and confident about about that and about myself, because I know I can do that, you know, the life skill. So, um, it's essential, I think, teo, I I mean, you can we've talked a little bit, you can get healthy without cooking at home, it's just a heck of a lot harder, and it is a heck of a lot more expensive. And cookie isn't as hard or is time consuming or as expensive as you know, the media and some other people might make you think so let's get into it you guys all seem to like cooking, but I actually want to pitch the online it does the online audience of anything to say at this point about cooking is even have any resistance to cooking and I would like, you know, I'd like to hear from the online audience about that as well, but if you would've asked me if I like to cook two months ago, I would have said no, I'm scared of it, I feel like if I, you know, something doesn't turn out or if I try to what is coming over and be judged to be awful, but I sort of took the leave, and now I can say that I like to cook, but I'm a newly converted a person, right? So you touched on a lot of different fear points that right? So there's right there's the judging, right? And that is just terrifying. I mean, I still I honestly, I still don't like looking for groups of people like I don't mind taking for maybe four, but it when it starts getting bigger than that I'm like, and this is somebody else do it so well, teo, um and and you know, I think that's really common in and props to you for having the foresight to know that it was still a valuable skill. What about online? Is anybody davis saying, I like cooking find away says I actually love it, I do it all the time. This is sarah say, I do not like cooking and cookie monster says, well, me too, but I'm not sure mugatu's for the like or dislike sarah went on to say, I just wish I wish I liked cooking, but I just I just I would loved into the reasons, but people don't like cooking because I think, yeah, I had a home, you know, in a large kitchen and fully stocked, and now I live in a studio apartment, and I have very limited space and just very limited tools, so it's a different challenge to cook? I'll still like to cook, but it's, it takes a lot more effort to do in such a small space. Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know that we do have different challenges to overcome when we're talking about that because, you know, for some people, the challenge might be a small space I've deaf, I've lived in places where it was like I didn't even really have a kitchen, I just had a hot plate in a suit on and you can imagine it was very, very difficult to feed myself and it's definitely not fun you know you're not excited about cooking as much when when you have very limited circumstances but you know it is still really important and it's it's good that you still do it but it's definitely understandable it's anybody's saying giving us reasons, saying she and big big letters she hates hates hates cooking the reason is she usually burns whatever it is or somehow just messes it up right s o I hear that a lot I hear that bp is bold on all caps to talk to use the word hate to describe their cooking and I think it really can be stressful, right? Like the kitchen can be a stressful place like there's knives, sharp objects you could hurt yourself, people dio I have there's fire, you could burn yourself and then you get in a situation where you feel incompetent because you don't know what you're doing and it's a complex process you know there's, you know things need to go into the right time and things were to go here in here and it's one thing though, that I would like to stress teo, anybody who's struggling with with feels really uncomfortable and really stressed out and really discombobulated in the kitchen is that nothing is good you're like nothing is fun and terribly somewhat good at it right, like playing basketball when everybody else around you kind of knows how to play basketball and you don't it's not fun, you know, playing chess when you're bad at it again, somebody who's really good at chess is not fun, you know? And so there's a certain sort of basic level of competence you need to get to before you can actually enjoy it. And but the good news is that once you do get there, you know, you might need it might be like me, and I might not necessarily become the kind of person who adores cooking. I want to spend all sunday afternoon in the kitchen, but at the same time, you won't hate it, you know? You won't like I want to die with you and you cook, which I've heard people say, but at least you get to a place where you feel comfortable and it's not this stressful thing, and you have giving yourself a tremendous advantage toward getting healthy. So I think I think, you know, I hear a lot of that, and we'll get into that a little bit more. Um, but yeah, I just I wanted tio sort of dig into the stuff cause I've noticed from my readers and from other people I talked to cooking isn't a really emotional thing for people. And for people who are comfortable with it get really confused by this like what you're talking about just the kitchen no biggie, you know, people who grew up with their parents in the kitchen and are very comfortable in there but you know, not everyone has and it's okay, you know it's it's okay to be starting from scratch in something and it's not as bad as you think and yeah, again, this is one of the most high impact habits you can have, you know, when you talk about home court habits, I mean, if you can feed yourself and if you aren't relying on restaurants and you aren't relying on other people and you weren't relying on convenience foods, you know, for me like I know for certain if I'm cooking dinner at home, I am golden like aiken, you know, maintain my way and no matter what without trying very hard, I feel great. I told this nothing's funds you're good at it and again just starting taking the approach of the growth mind set, taking the approach if you're going to mess up sometimes it's ok, you know if you have to, you can always go out, you can always call in for something, but if you just start with little baby steps, you can build on what you learned and it all comes together uh I just wanted to jackson as cooking myths that I some of the things I hear sometimes so uh this is a funny one I sometimes hear the cooking is for girls I hear this sometimes like you know it's like I don't cook you know it's not for me and it's it's ironic because you know, I think there's this association that women are supposed to cook at home but if you go to get all the fancy restaurants there massively over overrepresented by men like the super famous chefs so I don't know where this gender stereotype came from I mean I guess I have a good idea probably came from the fifties but for the most part this is obviously not true there's so many amazing male male cooks my husband and I share duties in the kitchen all the time he's fine with that and you cook all right this is this is a good one is keeper good job um but I've heard that I've heard resistance from men saying that this isn't really my domain like ill man the grill but the kitchen that's not for me but it's not true there are also a lot of people who think cooking is demeaning I yeah did you say? Well yeah, I know I've I've heard it described as on business from some of my readers that have described it as a really demeaning work um you know, not not so like almost like I'm like degrading to women to some extent like that's, like where women belong and like, if I'm in the kitchen, that I'm sort of perpetuating that stereotype and and it's really, really sad I mean, there's so many amazing people and so many amazing cooks that I think this is one of the most detrimental in one of the most toxic myths around cooking there is, and if you feel that way, you know, if anybody watching and does you guys all sounds like you like it, but it's anybody's watching and you feel like cooking is demeaning. I really hope that you'll examine and yourself what where that feeling is coming from and, you know, there's, almost certainly something happened that is the route behind that because it really is one of the most life giving and the most supportive things you could do for yourself and for the people you love, so I don't think it should be considered demeaning it all cooking takes too long cooking can certainly take a long time castle a not a fast dish, you know, slow roasted pork shoulder takes several several hours, but really, I think a lot of the mythology around how much time and effort cooking takes we talked about this a little bit the other day is just the fact that when you're not in the habit of cooking you're going to be slow at it and so the first few times you its attempts you get a big recipe and you go to the store and you stuck up and you slowly chop vegetables can I tell a really funny story? This is my husband would kill me but I was just quick story when ah on our first I remember the day it was some of van he was either like valentine's day or my birthday or something like that my husband like I am going to cook you dinner you just sit right here lay back and relax and here here's an appetizer he made me an appetizer that impressed like the day before I'm gonna cook up good for you and so I like sitting there and I'm like spin like a while I've been like waiting for like forty five minutes an hour I've already like had two glasses of wine and I'm like like I need to slow down here and how we're going to be eating on and after all this time like forty five minutes he comes into the living room where I'm sitting I think I was watching a basketball game and he's like who me like lays down on a chair like like sort of leans back he's like cooking a cutting onions take so long it was like trying to like dice up a green onion like just dyson green onion and I think that's so it was like illustrative of of how cooking khun b when you don't know what you're doing because any chef are cochi like somebody like me who's just moderately competence in the kitchen I can java green onion and, you know, fifteen, twenty seconds you know, just like tea and you're done, but he didn't have those techniques he didn't have those skills and for him he like had to stop in the middle of onion cooking and come take a rest and I just think, you know, that's the sort of thing that can easily easily be overcome from, you know, like sara was talking about just one quick session in a cooking class, you know are just watching a video on youtube, you know, this just show you how it's done where to hold your fingers that you're not worried about, you know, chopping things off that are meant to be attached to your body so yeah, it can take very long if you don't know what you're doing, but what you didn't have it it's not as hard as it sounds. I've also heard aa aa lot of people complain that they don't like cooking alone or for themselves so low we got some agreement in the back, you know, there's this somehow this this idea that if I'm not well people struggled with this for a couple reasons one they tend to make big batches of food and so they're like, well I have all this extra food it took forever so not worth it and also I have all these leftovers and I want to eat the same thing all the time so it just seems like too much work for just me I'm just me um you agree with that you felt it anyone else feel like cooking a lot for one is not that fun what's your reason? Uh well, I mean the long distance relationship and so we're like um you know, I do cook of them but it's like really simple meals and it can be the same for three days in a row because I don't care because it's only me and you know, no one else would complain that you do it you don't think it's like not worth cooking or yeah, but you know, I don't make it simple meals, right? Right now I think it's just easier to pick up something on the way home or it's just easier, right? So when you're just you don't have to worry about more than one person it's just faster to just just get whatever I'm in the mood for right? So I have to worry about anybody else's, great opinion right slot opinions about food well before you know we dating like I live alone and I know many compeition food which there's a lot of ingredients I love cooking but every time I noticed I finished eating fasted and preparing for the whole like maybe like and I would prep for everything but then take ten minutes and it was like I had to do the dishes so they become like a big deal on I just want to eat instead of you know the whole activity, right? Right yeah. So these are really common concerns. It was funny the first time I heard this complaint from people I was like baffled because when I first started getting into this stuff I was single and living by myself and I just like I only cooked for myself my entire life my entire life starting at the age of twenty five but I didn't really you know I and I would cook like I you know, I would time myself against the burrito place remember like I was telling you about the other day like I was pretty darn fast but I would cook super super super simple meals and I am now in the place because of my habits that when I think of cooking for two people it's definitely more work especially one of those people that boy and they need a lot more calories than me but when I start cooking for four or more then you there then that stuff gets complicated than I like, you know normally when I could for me I just throw everything in one pan you know what she'd like dumping, stir or whatever I'd just throw a bunch of idiots in a pan saute it with some garlic and olive oil insult it's done maybe some beans or something but you know, if there's more than one people more than four people I can't do that I can't just you know I can't improvise like that to the same degree and any multiple courses and to me that feels like a ton of work and hardly worth it I'd rather just call by right and have him cater it or something like that so I think it really does come down the habits again you know it did what it comes down tio what you're comfortable with what you think is normal and uh but like as you as you do, things knew that becomes normal and I just want to emphasize that that again focus on the habits so we have a message from common kitchen mistakes so some when we have some of the people who are super intimidated by the kitchen because they're worried about making bad tasting food, you know, burning things uh, you know, flavorless things and I I definitely know that this is a really common um I know that everybody, for instance all of my family members who cooked dinners, family there is they tend to visa on the blander side. Anybody else's parents, not the best cooks. Not too good. Yeah, nobody wants to call out everybody's hanging ahead and shame. Nobody wants to call out long on tv. I've called out. My mom and boyd pose before I guess it's more of a convenience thing like my mom will resort to the convenient things quickly so that the bagged items of things that what which is fine, tio, right, right on. So but then we sort of I feel like we get this. Ah, you know, I think a lot of our fear of cooking comes from disappointing people in that way. And so there's a few things that actually can almost guarantee that you will never be that person. You will never be the persons serving really bland, really not very tasty food, even if it's vegetables s o first and foremost, as we've been talking about all afternoon high quality, uh in seas ingredient ingredients you have, you don't have to barely touch them, right? They already taste good. So it's, really hard to mess. Ease up. On the other hand, if you're getting super generic out of season, sort of mass produced vegetables mass produced ingredients they're going to be devoid of flavor and that means you're gonna have to do a lot more work with seasonings techniques things like that to actually make it taste good but when you start with really fresh, delicious ingredients there really actually kind of hard to mess up so rule number one and start with good ingredients over cooking food so, uh, who burnt their food? Some favorite thing would hate it coming because they burnt their food always air on undercooking always air undercooking you can always go back and cook more. You can always stick it back in the other and you can always yes throw in a pan and get a little more heat on there and finish cooking it you could never go back and overcooked veggies not the greatest overcooked meat, not the greatest and this is a really, really common mistake. I think you know a lot of ah I don't know what it is there's something about the generation before mine were like people really always ordered well done meat and like really overcooked vegetables is this because experience this at all people ordering well done steak and burgers is like that's horrible e um like like there's a like overcooking food ruins it so anybody it was whoever cooks food, anybody having over cooked food story, yeah uh, I don't myself, but I know that when I was younger almost every single thing that my grandparents served I thought was disgusting until not too long ago because they overcook everything and it was like everything was brown like like tony blair on the plate and then on top of it, some of it was like most of it was canned and and what not, but it had no color and it was like dead mush thank you for speaking up about that and everybody is so shy, but I have talked tio dozens of people friends of mine you know where they talk about the food their parents made and they're just like I didn't know vegetables tasted good. I didn't know it was possible for vegetables that taste good because the ones I always a weird gray or brown and had no salts, no seasoning and just tasted like just straight up gross and s o but you know on the flip side, if you take any almost any vegetable, the hardly needs to be cooking all I like to my rule for most veggies, some there's some exceptions, but for the most part, if you just cook something told bright color, you know bright green for peas or, you know, bright colored green for broccoli that's where you stop cooking and that's when it's really great you know some somebody's could be cooked a little longer but a pepper things like that's delicious when it's just perfectly it's it'll still have a little crispness and I'll highlight the sweetness and will be just cooked enough you don't feel like you're eating a raw vegetable salt um if you talk to any real like professional chef, assaulting is the most important thing for flavor I mean it's it's it's it is seasoning you know the difference between a really, really perfectly sold to dish and the exact same dish was an assault on it like you the flavor just difference is amazing have anybody has anybody like I used to? I used to really think I didn't like salt um because I associate id salt with processed food mainly I'm like it's too salty I wouldn't like it and so I was always afraid to cook result I thought I would over salt things and then I had this sort of epiphany one day or I just I put salt on some broccoli or something. It was so good it was so good and it just really opened my eyes to what was capable or what is possible when you went really well season and I'm not talking about over salting obviously, but the right amount of seasoning is fantastic does anybody else have like an experience with learning to salt well, even just last night I made a salad dressing and I tasted it I thought all this isn't that great and I actually realized that I forgot the salt and then I put the sultan blended it up and it was very, very different and really great really very right night and day and you know it's interesting is ah we require salto live we uh you know, when you think about like a cave man or like the early humans most of the vegetables that most of food they were very, very low insult naturally right like and very high in potassium and our nervous system actually runs mainly on sodium and potassium those were the two main er minerals that are needed to get our nerves functioning properly, but we had to get sodium from food from basically from salt and so there's a reason like biologically we are programmed to love salt because we needed it for survival. Of course, now we have the opposite problem where you most of food has too much salt in it and we need more potassium, which is from vegetables and other whole foods, so the tables have turned, but when you are cooking vegetables and doing that, you really, really don't be shy don't be shy with assault and that's you know the same thing with overcooking under salting overcooking those are the things that room all right, so ah acid um it's anybody familiar with how to cook with acid you know what I mean by when I say acid all right, so so this chefs talk about acid all the time and what they mean by this is something sour so think vinegar think lemon uh lime does it does the main ones and what this does is add bright flavor to food, so when something's a little flat and even me like I've added enough salt, I really don't think assault anymore tastes plenty salty but it's still a little flat take a little squeeze of lemon and squeeze it on top or just a teensy little splash of vinegar at or something like that can really just shift the whole balance because that's what the the matter like often you'll get I'm not enough balance and it's especially good to add to some things that are bitter you know something's a little too bitter for you and you're not sure howto howto brighton and fix it up just a little squeeze of lemon or something on that can really transform in you want to go crazy like you use too much obviously a little bit of vinegar a little bit of lemon goes a really long way, but it could be it's like kind of a secret weapon you can use to make just something with a little off a little flat just really sing um oh and another big mistake people make all the time especially new cooks is choosing represent recipes that are way outside your skill set anyone ever done this online if you guys ever done that's gonna hear about it anybody ever I mean I remember recipe book I've got so many books I've only cooked half the things that I read it if I can't do it it's never going to happen you know I just I stick to what I can do right or or worse you find one and you think you could do it and then you like you go to the store and you buy all this stuff and you get halfway into the recipe and you're like what did I do what I might do it if you like in way over your head and you know you have an experience or two like that and you like cooking socks man this is way too hard and ah it's awful did you say you had a story with that? I mean not necessarily I tried to do ah cod and I haven't really sauteed things was trying to saute it and it just wasn't working out right now if it was done it was just weird I called my sister asked here you know what did I do so yeah yes it's the worst because you struggle and then the food turns out not that good and you're like darn it so the way around that obviously is to not get in over your head you know, learn to crawl before you learn to walk and then before you learn to run, so start easy start with basic stuff like I said earlier the easiest thing you could make salad delicious great place to start is a great place to play around with different flavors you know, trying different salad dressings you know, what is ginger taste like in this? What is miso taste like? What is soy sauce tastes like and start there. Egg dish is a really simple a cz well basic stir fries you know, not not like this not like the super fancy stir fries with sauces and walk and all that but just sort of sought a vegetables of garlic and salt and olive oil and then basic roasts you know, just throw almost anything any vegetable you talked with some olive oil and a little salt and maybe a little bit of garlic and throw in a roasting pan and put in the oven is going to turn amazing it just it condenses down all the sweetness condenses into the the flavour concentrates and it's just delicious kids lead it it's amazing as anybody I'm here tried my cauliflower dish my roasted cauliflower that taste like french fries okay, so um uh I have ah really really simple dish that children I know children who've made it it's basically roasted cauliflower you take one how to cauliflower you basically just break it up mix it with a bunch of oil and salt and you roasted in in them and the oven and a very very hot temperature and what happens is it it shrinks down and crisps up and so the outside is crispy and inside is mushy and sweet but a little bit sweet but but it kind of has the consistency of a french fry and it is so delicious so easy and like I said, I've seen seven year old pretended entire head of cauliflower and asked for more because this is so delicious and these are kids you know kids don't like veggies, right? But it's that good? So when you're thinking about the types of recipes to try when you're very new to cooking, definitely focus on things like that I mean there's four five ingredients you know and like they're mainly oil salts I have a little curry powder I throw in there but that's optional and one main vegetable like that's a great place to get started and there's so many recipes like that that are just like so easy and so delicious oh and and sort of similar to cooking a recipe outside your skill set is trying to cook for a big group like your first foray into cooking shouldn't be thanksgiving dinner or or your valentine's day date you know there's nothing like that too much pressure like there's already flooding and going on on dh and you really just need tio slow down and start simple and started just cook for yourself until you feel comfortable and you can always graduate so it's an online community have anything to say? They were getting what is interesting, what they think about how they learned to cook and some of the cooking nose and don't do's and don'ts that they've had experience with? I think all of them at some point have had some kind of recipe disaster, quicken disaster, but a lot of people here you know, it seemed to be very, very keen on cooking that there weren't too many of the don't touch it, they probably would have made it this far. I burned water wants to, I might add, I was I was trying to cook pasta and I didn't know anything about cooking it. I just put the water on it took forever to boil and I have forgot about it and then I started like watching the simpsons or something and the next thing I know the smoke alarms going off in the house because and let the water boil all the way off and the pan was burning it's pretty embarrassing if I could learn to cook anybody for that