I hope you are all getting excited for this Saturday's Work Your Curves
event! I know that in addition to the workout with Chickaro Martin
, I'm really looking forward to the cooking demo and food tasting with Tiffany Griffin
. As I am an absolute beginner when it comes to cooking, I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat with Tiffany about her recommendations for how to get started in the kitchen. Check out our interview below!
What inspired you to start your website?
I began my website in 2010 on my birthday. I was inspired by a question I had been asked semi-continuously for almost two decades, “How did you make this?!?!” Not one to typically measure, more often than not, I had no answer for my friends and family for whom I had prepared food. So, in 2010, I decided to start documenting my kitchen adventures. It started as a “service” for my loved ones, a repository of sorts, and it grew from there!
How long have you been "a cook"?
Literally since I was about 5 or 6! When other kids were watching Saturday cartoons, I was watching PBS (no TV Food Network back then!). Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, The Frugal Gourmet, Ciao Italia, I loved them and they inspired me. How cool to create I thought, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
As someone who is not a cook, I'm wondering what are some beginning steps for someone just starting out?
Be gentle with yourself. Wherever you are in the spectrum of living a healthier lifestyle, remember not to judge yourself too harshly....We can all do more to be healthier. So focus on the things you do right, on what you are doing now, and treat yourself with the same empathy and patience that you would treat your best friend.
I would say, 1. Learn from someone “real,” from someone who’s not a chef. Chefs, even when they try really hard to keep things simple, tend to be pretty complicated. I think that’s why a lot of folks resonate with Como Water. Everything I prepare, I prepare in a home kitchen with minimal special tools. 2. I would start with simple dishes that take less than 30 minutes or so to make. Think to yourself, "What’s my favorite side dish?" Start there! :D And 3. Take a cooking class. They are really fun and help build community, which is always a good thing in my opinion.
What are some of your favorite tricks and tips to make what might ordinarily be an unhealthy meal one that is more nutritious (e.g., ingredient substitutes, cooking techniques)?
Being a vegetarian, you have to find ways to extract as much flavor as possible from your ingredients. For me, this usually means—1. Cooking your spices and 2. Roasting or caramelizing your veggies. Folks want to eat food that tastes good. And so, I try to emphasize taste as much as health and wellness in my dishes. You’d be amazed how much more flavor you can get if you cook spices and/or roast/caramelize your veggies. You seriously will not miss meat or fat. Also, to get a great cheesy flavor without the dairy, I use nutritional yeast! It’s pretty awesome stuff ;)
How can my readers keep up with you online or otherwise?
Oooo, la la, I’m so glad you asked! You can find me of course at my website, www.comowater.com
. I’m also on facebook (www.facebook.com/comowater
), twitter (@como_water
), pinterest (@comowater
, and instagram (@comowater
). If all else fails, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Actually, one thing. Be gentle with yourself. Wherever you are in the spectrum of living a healthier lifestyle, remember not to judge yourself too harshly. We are all trying to be better people—to ourselves and to others. We all have vices. We all have hangups. We can all do more to be healthier. So focus on the things you do right, on what you are doing now, and treat yourself with the same empathy and patience that you would treat your best friend. When negative thoughts come into your mind, stop them, take a step back, and show yourself some kindness. It’ll go a long way in the end! Trust me.