Why I Cook What I Cook

For most people, answering the question “Why do you eat the food that you eat?” involves a complicated explanation; my explanation is a story for another day. This is just a brief summary of my culinary priorities and what types of recipes you can expect here.*

recipe guidelines

  1. Reasonably Healthy: Everyone has their own definition of healthy and, to a certain degree, it’s all relative. However, these guidelines make up the backbone of what make me feel my best and what I try to achieve in my cooking.
    1. Low in Refined Sugar: Sugar is an essential part of a healthy diet, said no one ever. Regardless of the degree to which you think sugar is harmful to health, most people would agree that it certainly isn’t necessary.
    2. Mostly Grain-Free: I’ve been gluten free for almost ten years (remember me mentioning that other story for another day?), but I have recently concluded that, in addition to wheat, I feel best while avoiding most grains (including oats, corn, quinoa, and rice). We still eat these occasionally, but typically only a few times per week.
    3. Whole and Unprocessed: Yes, we eat processed food, especially my kids (Goldfish, anyone?). But when I’m cooking, I try to use lots of unadulterated vegetables and meat.
  2. Pretty Darn Easy: PDE is a must around here! I have a toddler and a preschooler at home. Even when I’m really good about menu planning, I still can’t realistically achieve extremely complicated or time-consuming recipes.
    1. Simple Ingredients: Maybe you always have shallots, capers, saffron, and fresh basil in your kitchen but I don’t. Obviously, I have some staples in my cabinet that might not be common for you, but I try to tailor recipes to ingredients that don’t require a lot of fuss.
    2. Efficient: I can’t tell you how much I resent a recipe that has a million separate steps. If I can add everything to a pot and it tastes almost as good as if I saute each ingredient separately and have to put each thing on a plate and then combine it in a certain order while carefully timing that I wait four minutes between each one, etc., you better believe I’m dumping it all in there!
    3. Fast: My meal preparation time usually involves a toddler hanging from one leg, comforting a crying child who bumped her head for the umpteenth time on who-knows-what, or feeding dinner to two hungry children while preparing the adults’ food. I don’t have three hours of uninterrupted time to prepare food for a meal.
  3. Yummy: Uh, obviously!! If it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it.
    1. Spices: Especially when trying to eat food with less added sugars, I cannot overemphasize how far spices go toward making super yummy food.
    2. But Not Too Hot: I grew up in the Midwest. Enough said. (Seriously, I never kick it up above medium salsa.)
    3. Comfort Food: Let’s be honest, our food choices definitely have a psychological component. Some things I like because they remind me of some warm fuzzy memory; some I like because they feel good. And that’s okay, in my book.

I hope that helps give you a sense of what recipes you will find here at Snapdragon of the Field!

*My cooking usually lines up with a Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle, but no promises that this holds true for all recipes here on this blog.

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