Well, look at you!!! You are in your cozy kitchen, surrounded by all those lovely, practical, nutritious staples.
You’re, like, one step away from a delicious dinner!
And I’m going to take that step with you. Ready? I want you to think about this:
Now that you have all the supplies for making a meal, you need think about the protein around which those staples will go. (wow, that was some tortured grammar).
A few friends of mine have told me that they don’t cook because meal planning is too hard. To that I reply, “Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!”
“Planning? What is this planning of which you speak?”
I usually start to think about what I’ll make for dinner around lunchtime. My daughter, who is an insanely good cook, most often waits until about 4 pam, then asks her five and three year olds, “What should we make for dinner?”
The secret of this worry free approach is to have a well stocked kitchen. Those who cook regularly don’t shop for each individual meal. We don’t necessarily shop with a week’s worth of meals in our heads.
Instead, we keep our kitchens well supplied with staples. We have protein sources stashed in our freezers, refrigerators and cabinets. We “plan” our meals by grabbing things we already have and cooking them.
So. Now you need to get yourself some proteins.
Meat eaters probably have the easiest time with this part of the shopping trip. It’s easy to simply stroll through the local market or farm store and grab some chicken, some beef or lamb or pork. You can go for what’s on sale that week, or what looks good to you in that moment. It doesn’t matter! I’ve been known to come home with a frozen duck, but no idea how to cook it. Impulse buying is not necessarily a bad thing for a cook!
If you aren’t a meat eater, you might need to think a bit more about your proteins, but you can use the same relaxed approach. If you tend to love Asian foods, you can buy some tofu and some shrimp. If you lean toward Mexican, get black beans and sharp cheese. Eggs are a good protein source, as are lentils and all other kinds of beans. Fish is a sure fire winner, and is super easy to cook. Even adding milk or yogurt to soups and stews provides a protein boost.
Because I have never followed a vegan diet, this site won’t be a good place for animal free cooking. Sorry! I am a true omnivore and not afraid to say it. But even if you are eating a vegan diet, the principles about cooking that we share here may be helpful. You still need staples and protein!
OK. C’mon. We’re going shopping.