Lesson 2: Intro to Cooking & Grocery Shopping

Now that we have covered the basic aspects of nutrition, we are going to learn some of the basic skills necessary to cook and also learn how to create a grocery list.

Cooking and Grocery Shopping

Cooking is a skill that I believe many people see as overwhelming and/or too time consuming, or even too difficult. Culturally, cooking and eating is very different than how we grow up experiencing it in the United States. Americans see it as a chore whereas most people internationally see it as an event. Make an event out of it, play some music, and have a fun drink while cooking. Enjoy the experience; it can be a great form of self-care as well because it does a great job of slowing down life.

  • If you don’t have time, there are plenty of methods that don’t take nearly as much time and still produce delicious meals.
  • Cooking can look so many different ways, but the biggest thing is to begin; start and become curious enough to experiment. Start with one meal and start with the simplest thing you can think of!

Today we’re going to talk about some skills that will allow you to do that!

Basics of Cooking

  1. Reading a Recipe
    • Read all the way through it first.
    • Check to see if anything needs to be prepped or if the oven needs to be preheated.
    • Get all the ingredients out.
    • Follow the timeline!
  2. Food Safety
    • Clean your hands and tools.
    • Separate raw meat from other ingredients.
    • Cook food to proper temperature.
    • Chill perishable food.
    • Always check the expiration date of ingredients!
  3. Using a Knife
    • Always pick it up by the handle!
    • Choose the correct knife size
      • Chef knife:
        • Multi-use for cutting, chopping, and others
        • Good for vegetables, meat, chicken, cheese, fruits, and others
      • Paring knife:
        • Can be for miscellaneous tasks, such as cutting and slicing
        • Good for cutting fruits and vegetables
      • Serrated knife
        • Good for cutting soft foods
    • Clean the knife
      • Especially important after cutting raw meat and before using the knife to cut anything else.
    • Use the correct surface
      • Don't cut things using your hand
      • Always use a flat surface, such as a cutting board
    • Hold the knife properly
      • Hold it with your dominant hand
      • Keep your opposite hand out of the way of the blade
      • Keep fingers above the height of the knife blade
  4. Cooking’s four elements:
    • Salt - enhances flavor
    • Fat - delivers flavor and generates texture
    • Acid - balance flavor
    • Heat - determines the texture of food

How To: Write a Grocery List

  1. What does the recipe call for?
  2. What macros do we need?
  3. What seasoning is necessary?
  4. Consider what you have in your home and what you might need to buy at the store.
  5. Write down anything you don't have in your home.
  6. Where in the grocery store are you going to find it?