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Creating Self-efficacy in the Kitchen

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  • Creating Self-efficacy in the Kitchen

    I listened to the Barbell Medicine podcast episode 94 "Cooking and Lifting with Leah Lutz" recently. It was what I personally needed to hear. The basic premise of the episode, if you haven't listened to it, is that individuals will not be compliant to tracking calories and macros if they do not have the knowledge and skills to grocery shop and cook for themselves.

    I mostly fall into this category. I do not have the confidence in stocking up in groceries and preparing several meals for myself thoughout the week. I would like to (1) save money, (2) eat a healthier diet, and (3) eventually be able to learn to track calories and macros consistently so that I can manipulate body composition.

    With all this in mind, I was wondering if anyone knows of any resources that would improve self-efficacy in the kitchen. I have found that grabbing recipes off the web, even through the websites Leah and Jordan provide, has done nothing to improve my confidence in grocery shopping or cooking more broadly.

    I'm currently reading through this website: http://www.firstprinciplescooking.com/home/start-here/ and found this online program https://foodistkitchen.com/

    I would love to hear options I have not considered or have not learned about.

  • #2
    Personal opinions below, I'm not an expert, just someone whose family of 5 is happy with the food that he makes.

    Buy stuff, fail, and improve. Don't be afraid to invest a bit on kitchen supplies (cutting boards, cookie sheets, meat thermometer, large quantities of tuperware that stacks well). Some meat tips:

    1) You don't need any oil to cook. You can use it of course but meat browns just fine without it. With skillet, get it really hot before quickly dropping meat in, flipping it and browning both sides. Lower heat and cook.

    2) Meat should always be marinaded. Think salt, citrus (tomato, lemon or lime), spices(chipotle, cayenne, paprika, cumin, chili powder, etc.), an herb or two (oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, etc.), and either onion, garlic, both or neither. Plenty of recipies on web, learn which spices you like. If you like bland, try a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to start.

    3) Meat thermometer, get one that has 2-4 prongs (Depending on how much you make at once, I usually make 10-15 pounds at once). 165 for chicken, 145 for most pork, TAKE IT OUT 10 DEGREES EARLY. It will continue to cook/rise after you take it out....don't cut meat for 10 minutes or so after you pull it out of oven, tastes better/keeps juices in.

    4) How to marinade--meat totally defrosted, mix marinade in bowl, using your hands, roll each piece of meat around in bowl, coat evenly, place on cookie sheet to sit for 30-60 minutes, then cook.

    5) Spices--dirt cheap in bulk, unbelievably pricy if you get little bottles of McCormick at your grocery store. If your local store doesn't have them in bulk, Amazon, Costco both have them.

    6) Cheap Lean Meat: Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, pork chops, pork tenderloin, round steak, tilapia. Prior to Covid those are all between $2 and $4 a pound for me.

    7) Use the broil setting on oven, especially for thinner meats--meat should be within a few inches of the heating element.

    I feel like I could write a lot more but have to stop somewhere.

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    • #3
      Thanks, Smokes!

      This is the best information on cooking I have ever received on forums. I'll be sure to put it to use!

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