Cheers to you Wanda! My favorite game is: "How long can I go without shopping and still put a nutritious meal on the table?" My mom taught me this game, and it's a goody! I don't often cook from a recipe for every day meals. I can whip up a meal using what's in season, and in my pantry and freezer in a snap. My mom taught me that too!
Having said I don't use recipes, I read cookbooks and food magazines for pleasure - they do inspire me and I will sometimes add new ingredients to my shopping list. I love to cook - it can be my zen time when I'm stressed, or it can be fun and social when I bring the kids in to cook with me. I just love food and cooking, wholesome food.
No recipe dinner last night? Faro (wheat berries - barley works too), add sauteed zucchini, carrots, celery, a little swiss chard, garlic at the end). Roasted chicken breasts...that was it with all the vegetables in the faro.
I plan leftovers too - no recipe lunch today? Salad with radishes, cucumbers, celery, green onions, extra raw zuccini from last night, and the left over roasted chicken breasts and a slice of country bread.
Dinner tonight? Steamed Swiss chard drained with sauteed garlic/oil. Whole grain pasta with canned stewed tomatoes turned into a sauce with sauteed onion, a bit of Italian sausage from 2 nights ago, more of the zucchini, carrots and a bit of garlic, a simple green salad. Fini!
I love to teach people how to cook and use what they shop for during the week in simple meals. We always keep seasonal recipes changing at least once per month. Laurie Zerga, founder Chef-K.com