Make Cooking your New Year’s Resolution!

One of the reasons we are not cooking at home is because we know there is always plan B which is to pick up prepared food at the supermarket or take-out. We will tend to do what is easier, what yields the least effort unless there is a strong reason connected to your deepest values.

I believe in cooking for good health, family time, and connecting with each other. Cooking is the daily activity you should not give away or source out, because nothing feels better than a fresh cooked meal.

We invite you this new year to set the one and only goal and that is to cook 3-5 days a week for 45 min.

“Cooking is all about connection, I've learned, between us and other species, other times, other cultures (human and microbial both), but, most important, other people. Cooking is one of the more beautiful forms that human generosity takes; that much I sort of knew. But the very best cooking, I discovered, is also a form of intimacy.” 
― 
Michael Pollan

If you don’t have 45 min a day to cook maybe you are too busy and it is time to take a deeper look at where your time is going. Use this as your compass to figure out if you are overbooking yourself. Make cooking from scratch a priority this year for your health and for your family. Cooking is one of those goals that have a ripple effect and naturally pull you to add new goals you might say “well if I am cooking might as well cook a healthy meal, maybe I should exercise to compliment my health, may be you will feel inspired to invite the neighbors and before you know it just because you decided to cook you became healthier this year, started to spend more time with your family and expanded your circle of friends and created wonderful memories. Doesn’t that to sounds like a life well lived?. When you cook you engage in a mindful activity that brings you to the present moment, it reminds you how simple life can be, and the feeling of overwhelm that we collectively feel just melts away.

Why cooking at home matters:

The smell of food creates unforgettable memories

The dinner table connection

The mindful moment of your day

One of the greatest ways to share your love and generosity for others

Regain your health you know exactly what is in your food,

Intimacy, a good meal opens the door to people hearts somehow they feel safe to share their deepest feelings, so many troubles have been solved around a great meal.

So let’s get started with a simple plan to get you set up to cook

*This month is all about getting organized!

*On Sunday sit down for 15 min and decide the 5 main entrees(meats, fish, chicken, or tofu) and few sides some with starch and other with vegetables.

*Plan a shopping list.

Do parts of the recipe the night before like chop the onions, measure your spices, make the sauce part of the recipe, or the sofrito, when you have done part of the recipe you will most likely finish it.

I have a red “cafeteria tray” in a corner of the kitchen labeled tomorrow’s recipe . I place the non-perishables like canned tomatoes, spices, etc. It helps me stay organized

I have a chalk board where I write every night tomorrow’s menu something magically happens that when you see it you gear up to cook it.

Here are a couple weeknight recipes to get you cooking where you can do parts of them and not compromise the flavor.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is an Israeli dish that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a good flatbread of baguette.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

for the sofrito:

1 yellow onion chopped small diced

1 Green Bell Pepper small diced

1 Red bell pepper small diced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon of GREEN MOJO

1 garlic clove minced

2 teaspoons of brown sugar to balance acidity of tomatoes

1/4 cup of more of good extra virgin olive oil

Spices:

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads (optional)

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup of chopped parsley to garnish

8 eggs

1/2 cup of feta cheese

Preparation:

Preheat a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron skillet add olive oil. Add onions, peppers, GREEN MOJO and saute at medium-low for 8 minutes add the garlic cook for another 3 min. Add tomatoes, paprika, saffron, bay leaf, cumin and sugar, salt and pepper cook for 12-15 min. It is important to give a good 20-25 min to this step to render good flavor and complexity. Taste and adjust seasoning.

You can do this step ahead of time or even the night before and reheat when ready to add the eggs. Love to keep a double batch of this to add to pasta sauce, to stews or soups.

Divide tomato sofrito into two pans and add a bit of olive oil in each gap and drop 4 eggs in each pan. Cover for about 8-10 min or until it sets. Sprinkle with parsley and Feta.

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Lemongrass Mint and Cilantro Chicken

Ingredients:

Sauce

2 lbs of Chicken Thighs

2 stalks of Lemongrass

1 inch or so of fresh ginger

1 can of coconut Milk

3 limes

1/4 cup mint leaves and Cilantro to garnish

3 tablespoons of GREEN MOJO

Spice Rub:

1 teaspoon of Garlic powder

1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper

1 teaspoon of cumin

Grill the Chicken:

Place chicken in a strainer and add juice of 1-2 limes let it strain. Leave for 15 min.

Add the Rub.

Grill the chicken until cooked through

You can do this step ahead of time and save for the next day. All you need to finish is the sauce and toss together.

Sauce:

In a saucepan add the coconut Milk, lemongrass, and ginger and GREEN MOJO and pinch of salt simmer for 10-15 min. Remove from heat Adjust seasoning salt to taste and Juice of 1/2 lime.

Pour over chicken and serve with Jazmine Rice.

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