Friday, July 16, 2010

The Zen of it

It kills me that I haven't made the time, or I haven't had the energy to write very many new blogposts about food. Food and cooking is my hobby, I love everything about cooking and preparing fresh homemade foods, but, blogposts about food and recipes take a ton of time. More time than any other subject. I mean, writing down my workouts? Easy. Writing down crazy ass thoughts about how my mind works for and against training, eating and my body....fairly easy. But when I write about food, my motivation is not to brag about how "healthy" I eat, it's to inspire and teach anyone reading my words, looking at my pictures, or reading my recipes, to do it for themslves and for their families...if they don't already do it.

I already have a wealth of information on both of my blogs about how I eat and what I cook, not to mention plenty of my own personal recipes. My philosophy about food and eating....along many, many pictures of how I prep foods, what I eat, and how I've deveolped what most home cooks do on a regular basis....cook with no recipe. Relying instead on cooking methods and techniques to create original, sometimes not repeatable (lol) recipes on a daily basis, based on what's fresh at the markets, or what they already have on hand in their pantries and refrigerators. (the first thing I did when I got to Fawn's house last weeknd was look in her fridge, lol! Goodness, lots of yum, yum, yummy stuff! And all home prepared and fresh!)

The biggest reason why I haven't blogged about food/recipes lately if that my life has changed tremendously this past year. I used to cook first thing in the morning, between 5-7am, but now I teach and train so much I'm out the door by 5:30am most days. That leaves me time to cook later in the day around 4pm. That's fine, but that's also the time I feel most creative to blog. I can't do both!

So....the reason why I don't blog more about cooking, or what I cook, is because I'm busy cooking! That's the Zen of it!

This morning, instead of rushing out the door to try and make the first 5:30am yoga class, I stayed home to put a quick pot of green chili together in the PC, along with a batch of quinoa for lamb salad tomorrow night. I'll grill a butterflied leg of lamb after I get home on SAturday afternoon, along with a few veggies for dinner, add some greens along with a olive oil and lemon dressing. That's it.

Here are the links that explain in more detail the recipes Here's the recipe for my green chili. The only addition I made was to add chicken thighs to the pot. This recipe is the one I used to prepare my butterflied leg of lamb for my dinner salad tomorrow. I prefer to use farro, but I made some quinoa this morning because that's what I had in my pantry. I have some roasted peppers in my freezer, and I'll pick up some other fresh veggies at the Farmers Market in the morning after training....maybe some string beans, and summer squash. I already have baby greens in the fridge. Hey, are Heirloom tomatoes at the Markets yet?

I remember when I used to go to as many cooking classes as I could fit into my schedule (I've already copped to being obsessive times)...the classes were free afterall because I worked, part time, at Home Chef, a cooking store that also offered classes. I realized one day that instead of attending classes I should have my ass at home actually putting into action all that I had learned.....I don't think I've taken another class since then.

In the words of my brilliant husband Mark:

"Zen" is the direct experience of anything. So thinking about cooking, reseaching cooking, theorizing about cooking is not cooking. Cooking is cooking. And you realize the direct experience of doing anything is when you really experience it's essence. You can know all the recipes in the world but your food still has to taste good! Thats Zen. You have to be able to cook. You can't eat the menu!"

Picture above is of me and my BFF Fawn Friday, at our Level 2 Cert this past weekend. Fawn is a former professional Chef and the strongest woman I know. Fawn is one of THE best Russian Kettlebell Instuctors ever, and if you live in her area you'd be crazy not to train with her.


Diana said...

I routinely make your turkey/jalapeno soup, love it!

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leslie said...

Love this post! I took Home Chef's Essentials series as an assistant more than 10 years ago (when they had a store in Sacramento) and it was wonderful. Gonna pull out my notebook and recipes today. Thanks Tracy!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Cool! Try it with smoked turkey thigh and chipotle chili! (only one or two and then remove them before eating...kind of like a bay leaf!)

I recently got an email from an RKC in Hungary that shares my passion for jalapeno! Although they don't grow them there, she buys the canned pickled jalapenos. Through reading my blog she discovered that we both have a strong liking to jalapenos....all the way in Hungary.

We'll get to meet eachother in a few weeks when Mark and I travel there for the largest International RKC ever!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Mark bought me the Home Chef Essentials Cooking Series for my 32nd quite literally changed my life! That particular 12 class series is genius in my opinion. We're both lucky to have had the experience!

I still look back to many of my home Chef recipes as guidelines. And because I worked there I have about 2 years worth of class recipes nicely organized in binders.

I routinely get rid of cookbooks I never look at, and for as much as I cook you would think that I own dozens and dozens of cookbooks, but I don't. I have about 10 that I use all the time, again for guidance, and ideas, not for exact recipes. The Joy of Cooking is #1, followed by (recently ) Mark Bittmans "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" have to own that one if you don't already! Not that I'm a vegetarian, because you know I'm not (but you are!), but because it's loaded with recipe ideas for veggies (of course) beans, grains, etc.... In fact this will be the cookbook I'll buy for my friends. Oh, but my point is that all of my Home Chef recipes survive!

See....get me started about cooking, and I'll go on forever!