A couple of years ago, I really got into cooking. I made it a weekly thing. It was my date night with myself and I looked forward to it every week. Once a month, I would stop by the liquor store and buy a few bottles of wine.
I used to work in a liquor store many years ago and became quite the wine connoisseur. Even though I can’t drink wine much anymore due to the severity of the migraines. Red wine is a definite no. It’s nice to have a couple of bottles on hand – just in case the mood strikes or someone unexpected stops by for a visit.
Every Friday night, I would stop at the market on the way home from work. I’d spend a long time choosing the best vegetables and fruit. I also looked for the best deals on fresh meat and seafood. I loved cooking with shrimp, and salmon.
And then I’d come home, crack open a bottle of Blush wine, put on some jazz music and start cooking. I experimented with all kinds of foods and recipes. I took pictures. I blogged about the experience.
I never realized just how therapeutic and relaxing cooking could be. Some people find gardening to be a relaxing experience – but that was too hard on my knees. For me – it’s all about cooking and trying new recipes.
People are always shocked when I tell them that I learned to cook through YouTube. I found some great cooking channels. And to think it all started because I didn’t know how to cut into an Avocado. I watched a video like this one – and I was hooked.
What to Buy
I love to cook stir fry and chilies so I make sure to keep lots of carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, green onions, broccoli and peppers on hand. With my order today, I invested in some pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and minced ginger to add a little something different to my meals. Other veggies I buy often include: spinach, kale, or a nice spring mix of greens, snap peas, sprouts, If you’re looking to try new vegetables, I suggest buying things like zucchini, butternut squash, acorns, or eggplants.
I love avocados. But is it a fruit? A vegetable? Does anyone really know? They’re so yummy. And so versatile – can be used in many different recipes.
Here’s a quick video on how to pick the freshest produce at the market.
Wash Your Veggies!
Ever since I was a little girl and discovered a green worm in the lettuce, I learned to wash vegetables – even if the store claimed they were “pre-washed.” I get a little squeamish when it comes dirt and insects on my food. It’s super important to wash foods that have been grown in the ground. Things like lettuce, carrots and mushrooms are often covered in dirt. Even though the markets spray their foods with water, the water doesn’t get inside the leaves and can miss insects and patches of dirt.
It’s super important to make sure your fruits and vegetables. Here’s a video from the Mayo Clinic that will help tell you why.
Once the veggies have been washed, I cut or dice them up and store them in Rubbermaid containers. When it comes time to cooking after a long day of work, the pre-prep is already done. All I have to do is take the containers out of the fridge and mix them up in a frying pan.
My mum bought me some fantastic cutting knives a few years ago and they are still what I use for cooking. I also have a sturdy wooden cutting board. It’s a life saver. Here’s a great video on how to cut vegetables easily – and safely.
Here are some tips on how to store your veggies after prep:
Cooking with Veggies
Here are some great veggie recipes that I’ve actually made and yes – they were as delicious as they look. I wish I had a kitchen like these chefs do!