Try not to see cooking as a chore that needs to be done, but because you enjoy it. It can bring a great feeling of happiness and satisfaction. – Nora
Our Kitchen Hero of the week is Nora, a soon-to-be mom who loves cooking for her family. Cooking is a way for Nora to relax, and meal planning removes any stress in the kitchen. With her dedication to cooking, Nora is able to work on her cooking challenges, learn to make food from all around the world, and enjoy satisfying homemade dishes with her husband. Read more about her Hero in the Kitchen story below.
City, State: Perth, Western Australia
I cook for: my husband and myself (and a baby on the way).
Outside of the kitchen I: work as an IVF pharmacist.
The 3 pantry items I cannot live without are:
1) A slow cooker as they are very “set and forget”; it’s so easy to make a big batch of food for the freezer for when I’m out and about and don’t get a chance to cook.
2) Lebanese / pita bread as it can be used to make pizzas, and it’s great with hummus or as a substitute for a spoon to scoop up your food.
3) Rice cooker – I only just got one recently and can’t believe how much easier it’s made cooking rice, a staple in our diet. I wish I got one sooner!
I cook because: I love cooking. I find it very relaxing and it calms me after a busy day. I get great satisfaction cooking something that tastes good for the man I love. If I eat out, I often wonder how I could make the meal at home (which is way cheaper and healthier). I’m also a very organised person; having a meal planning service like Cook Smarts takes the stress out of cooking and makes grocery shopping easier and less wasteful. I look forward to the day of the week I do my meal planning.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: There are so many to choose from, but I am a big fan of the Mexican and Italian flavored dishes. I really like the skillet enchilada recipes, Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan and Mediterranean Baked Orzo.
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO COOK?
Growing up, food was a big part of my family and culture. I would often help my mum in the kitchen preparing meals, who cooked from experience without following recipes much . . . which is the opposite of how I cook now.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST COOKING CHALLENGE?
I’m still a bit nervous using big knives; if I could improve my knife skills that would be great. Also not making such a mess in the kitchen when I cook.
Having a meal planning service like Cook Smarts takes the stress out of cooking and makes grocery shopping easier and less wasteful.
What have you learned since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
Cook Smarts has taught me so much – it taught me meal planning and buying only what I need with the groceries, essentially eliminating food wastage. I love how it has exposed my cooking to cuisines from all over the globe. Being able to adjust the serving sizes allows me to make double the quantity for dinner so that there is food leftover to take for lunch the next day.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST KITCHEN MOMENT.
When I was newly married, cooking my first meal in my new home – I made Chicken Skillet Enchiladas. It was a great sense of accomplishment.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR HEALTH AND SUCCESS IN THE KITCHEN?
Try not to see cooking as a chore that needs to be done, but because you enjoy it. It can bring a great feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
Thank you, Nora, for sharing your cooking story with us. We’re so happy to hear that you get so much joy from cooking, and we’re very lucky to be a part of your family dinners in some way!