Food for Thought

pico de gallo recipe, the kitchen, summer food, cooking at home, how to make pico de gallo, food for thought Okay, it’s confession time. Up until a few months ago, I used to be pretty good at cooking meals to take to work for lunch. I’d gotten to the point where I cooked meals during the week and limited my take-out meals to the weekend. It took me a while to work myself up to that point and I was proud of my progress.

Then one day, I slipped. I ordered food during the week and it was just so. freaking. convenient. All you had to do was click a few buttons and within 30-45 minutes, someone brought food directly to your door. Then I went from ordering food 3-4 times a week to ordering food every single day. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store (which I really dislike doing here in the city) and I didn’t have to come home tired from work and then worry about cooking a meal- hooray!

If you don’t live in New York City, this might be very surprising to hear. There are so many sites here that offer free food delivery, you can pretty much find any kind of cuisine you’re looking for, and these sites are constantly offering discounts. I think there’s a joke about ovens in NYC apartments being used for storage, rather than cooking. Of course, that’s not everyone, but I think it’s more common than you might guess.

Anyways, all that is to say that I stopped cooking regularly and started ordering all of my meals. I’d still take lunch to work, but I’d carefully portion and stretch what I ordered to last throughout the week. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ordering delivery and in some cases the cost/meal can still be pretty cheap. However, I would like to start cooking again for a few reasons:

– It will help me save money, which is always a good thing.

– Variety. There are certain things I don’t like to order because they don’t travel well and/or I prefer the homemade version.

– I do enjoy cooking from time to time and it can be really satisfying to make a meal that turns out well.

So I’m starting slow. Last night I went to the grocery store for the first time in months and I picked up a few things. I started with a simple chicken and orzo salad and I also made some pico de gallo, because last summer I discovered that homemade pico de gallo is the best. My goal is reasonable- I’d like to work back up to cooking about half my meals and ordering the rest, because I know I can’t quit Seamless cold turkey.

I’m really curious to hear other people’s thoughts on this topic. How often do you cook- a lot? a little? Are you shocked to hear my confession? If you do cook regularly, what keeps you motivated? If you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them!

(image via)

  • Jenmarie

    I’m quite the opposite. I make food all the time and only a couple of times a month or so get food out, and when I do I do my best to make the healthiest choice. My husband and I are all about eating organic and natural foods as much as possible and that works best when it’s at home. I think you will enjoy making food again! :)
    stylethroughhereyes.com

    • I really enjoyed both of the things I made last night :) I agree that it’s easier to eat healthy when you’re preparing the meals yourself. It’s interesting because growing up, we almost never ate out. Of course all that changed when I went to college and started living on my own.

  • Katherine

    I actually hardly cook myself – mainly on the weekends but when I am in the mood for it – it makes the cooking all the worthwhile and you get that sense of satisfaction out of it :)
    katattack2000.wordpress.com

    • I’m the same Kat, I have to be in the mood to cook! I do really enjoy baking though- I’ve always liked that more than cooking (probably because of my huge sweet tooth :)

  • sartorialsidelines

    I really hate cooking. Like a lot. But I’m pretty good at making myself do it. I usually just cook a few different things throughout the day on Sunday and then live off of that for the rest of the week. I can usually never get up the energy when I get home from work to commit to time in the kitchen!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Kudos to you for making yourself do it! I used to make huge batches of things and eat them throughout the week, but then I got so sick of eating the same things throughout the week. For some reason it’s difficult for me to find easy, simple recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients. If you have any favorite recipe sites or books, please let me know!

      Yesterday I spent about 2.5 hours between going to the grocery store and actually making the meal and I was pooped by the end! But the meals did come out well, so I’m glad of that ;)

  • I have feelings about this. I think the ability to cook, maybe not cook WELL, but the ability to cook at all is an incredibly important skill that every person, man or woman, should have. However, I don’t judge anyone who chooses to not cook (although I am secretly thinking: you’ll save money! You’ll be healthier!). I’m so glad to hear that you’ve made it a mission to ease back into cooking. I lived in an apt in college so I was basically forced to exercise my cooking skills. I’ve found some great, easy recipes on Pinterest and if you make more of it, it goes a long way! A blog post I have planned in the future is for Pinterest SUCCESSES I’ve had, because there are too many Pinterest fails out there.

    • Yay, I’m glad you have feelings- thanks for commenting! Haha, do my tweets from yesterday make sense now? :)

      I totally agree and I’m very glad that my parents instilled the basics in me growing up. When I got to college and found out some people didn’t know how to make pasta, it boggled me completely. It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s that I’m usually feeling lazy and don’t want to. But, yesterday, I made the plan to do it and carried through and everything turned out good!

      I kind of wish I’d lived in an apartment in college because I paid for a meal plan and ate very few meals at the dining hall. I would love for you to do a post on Pinterest successes- that would be awesome. There are a few recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest that I’ve made again and again because they turn out well each time. And I’ll definitely check out your Pinterest board too if you’ve got one for recipes!

  • I hardly ever cook, but when I do I really get into it!! It’s a good thing to ease into and I’m hoping I do it more often after my upcoming move. So many fun recipes to try out!

    • There so many recipes I’ve pinned that I’ve been meaning to try. Hopefully I’ll get to some of them now! :)

  • such a good topic for me. Finding a balance for cooking at home vs eating out was a longer journey than I personally expected. It sounds so easy, right? Cook at home. Eat in. But, I get it. So often after a long day ordering food just makes it easier. Admittedly, I’ve waited for food to be delivered for as long as it could have taken me to prepare and eat a home-cooked meal. But, regardless, I didn’t have to do anything besides click and choose what I wanted and there were no dishes waiting at the end of it. Having said all that, after discovering the amount of funds i was putting towards eating out, I found a good balance for eating in. I played around with recipes, discovered what I actually liked to make and also discovered what flavor profiles I could make at home that I loved from a lot of dining out places. We now eat in the full week (with the occasional slip up here and there) and the leftovers are my lunches as well. Plus, I’ve become quite a health nut and using fresh produce from the farmer’s market and knowing how much oil (or fat when I used butter) and salt is going into my food means a lot. It definitely makes me appreciate a nice dinner out as well, which we now save for Friday date nights and/or weekends. =D

    xo,
    nancy

    • I know, it sounds so easy, but it’s not. Or some people may find it easy, but not me. I think if I added up what I was spending on delivery food versus what I’m spending on groceries, that would be a wake-up call (but I don’t wanna- I’m a little afraid to know!). Thanks for your very thoughtful comment Nancy. Like you said, it’s about finding a balance!

  • Girl, I am so with you! I order food all the time! I used to be so good at cooking at home enough so that I would have left overs for lunch for a few days, but then I got lazy :) Having to go grocery shopping so much is so inconvenient! lol Ordering on seamless is SO easy and convenient. But yes, cooking at home saves money! I’m glad you’re back on the cooking train – I think it’s okay to have a nice balance of both, don’t you think?

    • I really really dislike going to the grocery store here in the city, which is a big hindrance for cooking at home. They’re usually so small and crowded and they don’t have everything in stock, and then you have to lug your groceries back home…no fun. I’ve tried grocery delivery services like Fresh Direct, but that’s also expensive. Regardless, I’m going to force myself to get groceries more often so that I can make more meals at home.

  • Jessica

    We cook most of our meals. We live on a farm 20-25 minutes from the nearest restaurant. I’m teacher, so I have summers off. When I am working though I do find it so convenient to order lunch and have it delivered. I am so not a morning person and I just can’t find the time most morning to get my lunch together.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    • I can see why you’d cook most of your meals! I definitely think that if I lived somewhere else where it wasn’t as easy to order delivery I would be more likely to cook at home too.

  • Yum!! You have me wanting to make my own pico now!