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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DIY Empowerment

Normally, I'm not much of a motivational speaker.  But I feel it's necessary to put it out there on the Web for anyone who might stumble to this site; making food "from scratch" can be so empowering!  Those who are new at cooking might feel a little overwhelmed at the idea of making all their sauces and dressing from scratch...or to take it even further, making non-dairy cheeses at home.  The thing is, making your own food (or clothing or DIY home repair) is liberating.  You can save money and easily eat a healthy diet of whole foods without any weird preservatives or artificial colorings.  And it's such a great feeling to create something restaurant-worthy at home!

Take baby steps.  We're all on our own journey.  When I first went vegetarian as a teen, I filled my meals with faux meat products because I wanted quick, easy food.  It was hard to be the only vegetarian in the family.  I was expected to cook for myself or eat out somewhere.  I cooked real food from time to time, but I was always so busy with schoolwork.  Slowly, I tried out more recipes and started to gain more kitchen knowledge.  However, it wasn't until I went vegan that I really needed to get things figured out.  Vegetarian was relatively simple...just take the meat out and add in cheese instead.  (I cringe just thinking of it...lol)  So I bought a couple vegan cookbooks and took the plunge.  30 cookbooks and a couple years later, here I am writing a food blog!

My advice to the new cook:
~ Recipes are a guide.  Make it as directed the first time, then make it your own.  Add ingredients, remove ingredients, change the spices...whatever sounds good to you.
~ I love looking through cookbooks for inspiration.  But if you don't want to invest, try checking out cookbooks from a local library or find recipes online.  A good place to start is VegWeb.
~ Try making your own salad dressings.  They taste sooooo much better than anything you could buy premade in a bottle.
~ Have fun with cooking.  It's only a chore if you don't want to do it.

Now here's the real reason I wrote this post.  Look at all this awesome DIY stuff!

~ How to make a non-toxic cleaning kit
~ Sewing projects, how-tos, and DIY fashion at ThreadBanger
~ Reuse an old t-shirt with ideas from Generation T


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