What to expect from the Recipe Hippie!
Just go with the flow, man! This website is going to be different from most of the food blogs you follow. I need you to say PEACE OUT to the person you used to be when reading recipes, and I need the confident ‘home cook’ in that body to emerge! When you are reading the ingredients list, if you notice you are missing a few of the ingredients DO NOT EXIT THE PAGE. I challenge you to get creative!!! What can you substitute? Is the recipe unmakeable if you don’t have canned green beans, or can you throw a can of corn in there instead without disrupting the quality of the meal? Many of these recipes were developed with just that in mind. ‘I have a stocked pantry and I need to figure out how to use this stuff or it is going to go bad.’ Try to limit your waste. If you see a recipe in this book that you are very interested in making, but you have a mango in the fridge that you need to use asap or it is going to go bad, I challenge you to try to incorporate it!
I used to be just like you. I would find a great sounding recipe and I would go to the grocery store to find every single ingredient…and if that grocery store was missing something, I would drive to another! It wasn’t uncommon for me to hit up 3 different grocery stores to complete the ingredients for ONE recipe. Well my friends, times have changed. It is no longer advised to go to the grocery store as frequently, let alone 3 different stores in one day. It is recommended that we have enough food in our homes to last us a few weeks; and many of us have even more than that. I have tried to incorporate shelf stable and frozen ingredients that many people have in their pantries, however there are always exceptions. Some of the greatest things in life were created through improvisation (including this food blog!). Please don’t be scared, please get creative, and please have fun! Peace, love and happy cooking!
As a physical therapy assistant in the home health care setting, I had the opportunity to enter the homes of thousands of people from all different walks of life. From single room flats in inner city affordable housing to 16 million dollar estates outside of Boston, one thing that everyone had in common was that they all enjoyed food. There are subtle as well as obvious commonalities between our communities and across our cultures in regards to the food we choose to nourish our bodies. During the time I was working, I could see obvious differences in the quality of ingredients, however the end result was always the same: A meal that satisfied one of two things; A craving or a hunger. My absolute favorite way to connect with my patients was through our discussions about food. How their culture influenced their palate, the best local food joints, their secret family recipes (yes I got a few, and no they are not on this blog! They’re secret!)
When March of 2020 rolled around, I think all of our previous notions regarding the food we choose to eat changed. Food was no longer indefinitely available. Going to the grocery store was no longer easy. There were shortages on meat as the large meat processing factories had to close or slow production due to covid-19 outbreaks. People were seen buying ridiculously large quantities of chicken breasts and meat (not to mention toilet paper). These breaks in our food chains not only affected how/when we purchased meat/poultry, but it also affected other grocery staples, such as the availability of flour, eggs and milk. And to make it all worse, restaurants closed. That meant that your daughter’s whines for Mcdonalds french fries and your hankering for that famous pad thai up the street would have to wait…that is, unless you attempted to make them yourself! But how would you manage with the frozen veggies and canned sauces that you stocked up on?! You wouldn’t dare attempt to make your favorite curry noodles with the items you had in your pantry…It wouldn’t taste the same! Well my friends, that is where you are wrong. You can make many of the same meals that you used to love to get in restaurants at home with largely self stable ingredients.
I was in the same boat as many of you are in. Before I was quarantined, I did one large $400.00 grocery shopping trip and had to use all of the items I had purchased over the next 3 weeks. I did what everyone else was doing: I stocked up on canned beans, corn, frozen veggies, chicken breasts, pasta and rice. I was prepared to get bored of my bland home cooked meals quickly, and imagined myself falling back on frozen pizza and burritos. But as my cravings kicked in, so did my creativity. I was using ingredients I would have never thought of using before…and it tasted AMAZING! By the end of my first 3 weeks in quarantine I had a variety of foolproof recipes that any at home chef could make that sufficed many different cravings.
At that point I realized I was onto something. I wanted to use this knowledge to help the average home cook struggling to come up with tasty recipes during quarantine and people worried about the potential upcoming food shortages. The probability of this current pandemic having a severe effect on our economy and daily lives for a while is high, and the chance of another pandemic occurring in our lifetimes is real. We need to be prepared as home cooks to be able to make meals with shelf stable and frozen foods if we want to maintain the quality of cookery that we are accustomed to. That is where website comes in.