Cooking to eat healthy or cooking to eat happy?

Yes, the cringe-worthy title is appalling, please… I know. But I thought that this was a very important (and albeit interesting) topic to talk about.

Let me just clarify and elaborate a little. Cooking to eat healthy is obviously just that. Many people cook to cater to their health needs. While this is a great regime for anyone, there is a big difference in cooking for health than in cooking for pure enjoyment. That’s what I mean by cooking to eat happy.

For those of you who cook simply because its absolutely enthralling and your heart and soul just seems to melt into each and every dish you make, then you know what I mean by happy eating. Each dish is very special and seems to taste so much better (except when it doesn’t) simply because we put our time and effort into creating what we hope is our next culinary masterpiece.

So what’s the point of this post? Well let me just get started…

If you have read my about page (See here), then you’ll know the story about my love for cooking. For those of you who don’t know, it’s basically this, I started cooking to help me eat healthier. This is of course a great reason to start cooking! However, after a year, maybe even a couple of months, this motivation fades very quickly. I won’t deny it, all that prep takes lots of time and effort which is the last thing anyone wants to do after either a full day of work or just in general. It becomes such a burden, day in and out. It seems like all we ever do is eat, eat, and eat some more. Like we are constantly cooking food.

Of course, the simple solution to this is just eat out but healthily, or even pack a salad. Easy enough, right? Well, I don’t know about you but salad gets very boring very quickly. I used to eat them for every meal, and the got old very fast. First of all, they made me super bloated since its all raw veggies, and second of all, I don’t like dressing (but that’s just me. Kudos to those of you who actually enjoy it.).

Well, what about meal prep? That’s another great idea, but the same thing every day? Trying to mix it up for everyday while meal prepping is a lot of work for just one meal prep day. Don’t get me wrong, meal prep isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are on a tight schedule, but I love to cook, and eating the same thing everyday is just not for me.

So what’s my point. Basically, I’m writing this to show you that eating healthily doesn’t have to get in the way of having fun and enjoying the work. I remember when I first started out, I used to limit myself on the things that I could and couldn’t cook. For example, pasta. I never cooked pasta before because I always thought it was too many carbs and the sauce always has too much oil, or that it needs cheese to taste good or this or that. I found myself restricting a lot of the things that I could and couldn’t do. All for the sake of eating healthy! Don;’t let that stop you. My take on this now is to find alternatives to these challenges or the ingredients that you don’t like. Better yet. Make your own version!

The fun part of cooking now is figuring out how to make things both fit my eating style and taste great at the same time. This also goes into to play with how to eat healthy but that’s a different post for another time.

Cooking should be fun, not a chore. I’m sorry for those of you who feel that it is and I understand that it is not for everybody. But i hope that i can at least encourage some of you not give up cooking simply because its a burden or because its boring. Mix it up! Creativity and diversity are the two biggest factors in cooking for enjoyment and making it fun. Try different things, make crazy creations, go totally out of the box.

I used to be so scared of trying new things because I was afraid of whether or not they fit into my “healthy lifestyle”. That alone was such a burden in itself.

I went from a time of being afraid to eat, to wanting to do nothing but to eat. It’s crazy how becoming passionate about things can totally change your life.

This totally went off in a tangent, but I hope you picked up some inspiration from this. Or better yet explain your own take on this topic in the comments below!

 

Shredded cabbage and mushroom 🍄: Needing Some Variety

My two favorite things: cabbage and mushroom, made into one simple dish. YUM! If you have no idea how to stir-fry cabbage, then take a gander and try this out. Apologizing for this cringey advertising, but it seriously is good.  Continue reading “Shredded cabbage and mushroom 🍄: Needing Some Variety”

Why I hate recipes

Perhaps I should begin by saying that recipes are not necessarily a bad thing. For most people they are wonderful, as they give definite tips and direction without any faltering or miscalculation. However, for me they feel like a box.

While I do like to use recipes, they are more guidelines for me. I find it too constricting to just stick to a simple recipe. i love adding my own flair to thins as it makes it much more fun for me. Again this is more of a personal preference. You are not a bad person for following a recipe, it’s just that it’s not for me. Sometimes, following my own mother’s or even grandmother’s instructions is hard, because it just feels too plain, too… boring. As an avid cook, i love to discover and create new things and flavors!

I guess the advent of this huge disdain came about while trying to write up all the recipes for this blog. if you notice, most of my recipes are Stir-fry and Chinese food. While, these are pretty great on their own, I realized that after writing a couple recipes down, it got tooooooo monotonous. For me, when I cook, I almost never follow a recipe. Instead i look in my fridge and see what I have, throw it in a pan and some sauce and hope it tastes great. of course their is some methodology behind all this. But, that’s just it! The spontaneity of cooking is what excites me, not the strict adherence to recipe and the redundancy of dish after dish.

I guess a great way to explain (but maybe not the best example) is like the speed limits on empty roads or streets. Your supposed to 45 mph, but I see a lot of people who don’t. They zoom through at 60 miles per hour because, obviously 45 is just too darn slow. My point being that for some, the speed limit is just a guideline. To me that’s just what recipes are, guidelines, merely the foundation on which to build your dish on. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means advocating breaking the speed limit and using as a guideline which is of course both illegal and very dangerous and could perhaps bring ruin to the rest of your life.

Cooking is often referred to as an art. I believe that it is one of the best mediums by which to express oneself as it can be shared by many: family friends, and enthusiasts alike.

Recipes do help give the simple home cook structure and an easy meal to throw down when the chaos of the week and the demands of hungry children await your table.

There is absolutely no shame in following recipes, however, i find that it’s much more fun to create and try new things. Which is why I greatly encourage everyone and anyone to add different things to the recipes given or to ones that find yourself. Please share any of your tips and input that you discover along the way. I think its one of the best ways to bring people together, food.

Am I the only one who feels this way?