Home Cooking

Preparing Great Food: It's easier than you think!

This section is dedicated to how to prepare simple, yet tasty, nutritious and gratifying dishes easily, while spending little money, and using the ingredients that are available.

First of all, it is important to buy good, healthful ingredients when grocery shopping, as this would obviously make it easy to prepare good tasting, healthful, and pleasing meals. In any case, with a little fantasy and culinary creativity one can find enough ingredients to put together a tasty repast for four to six people at any given time, in almost any US household.

I started building this site day by day in 2011, adding recipes as we prepared salads and pastas, soups and seafood entrées. I stopped posting to the site about one year later for lack of time, but took it up again at the beginning of 2016, so look for new recipes and articles on an ongoing base.

How It Started

At the beginning of the century, I founded WineCountry.IT, LLC to import quality wine and niche food items from Italy. By visiting producers in Italy, organizing tasting events and dinners in the US to promote the product imported, little by little I added some 20+ pounds to my weights. At 5 feet 5 inches of height, and having been on the lean side all my life, 160 pounds were definitely too much for me, so I decided to turn the trend around and lose weight. But how was I going to do it?

At home, both in Italy and the US, we have always eaten tasty, nutritious, healthful food in moderate quantities following the 80%-20% eating rule, that is, eat healthful food 80% of the time and indulge in whatever one craves for the remaining 20% of the time.

I could have started exercising to burn the extra calories, as I would usually spend from 8 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, and about six hours on Sundays, seated in front of computer screens. Unfortunately, at the time I did not had the option of changing my schedule, so long walks and exercise were out of the picture.

So, I started skipping breakfast and drinking Yerba Mate instead and, after a while, I did start losing weight. In addition, I did not even gain back the extra pounds the few times we traveled to Italy to taste wine and foods, for business. In fact, despite the fact that when I am in Italy I actually eat more, I tend to move around much more thus burning the extra calories that I take in. On the other hand, when we traveled to Italy, my wife, Brigit, had to be more careful, as she would move around less than she usually did while teaching English as a Second Language at the Dominican University of San Rafael, California.

I started to eating breakfast again after a few months, but my weight has ranged from 138.5 to 142.5 pounds, or 62.8 to 64.5 kilos since. (I monitor myself at least a couple of times a day, morning and evening.) That got me thinking.

Whenever we have people over, Brigit and I share the cooking and, without fail, our guests compliment us warmly and often ask us for the recipes. The fact is, that both Brigit and I rarely follow recipes, but manage somehow to assemble what we have available in the fridge into something from good to outrageous. This also got me thinking.

Finally, I noticed that we do not spend huge amounts of money in groceries, despite the fact that most of the time we, as well as our guests, tend to enjoy what we prepare and eat at home more than what we order out at restaurants. Please note that at the time we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is well known for its quality cuisine. Here I have to highlight the fact that the only time that both Brigit and I truly looked forward to going out for dinner just for the pleasure of the food, rather than the pleasure of not having to do the dishes afterwards, was when we lived for a while in West Seattle. We loved most of the restaurants at Alki Beach, as well as the ones downtown, around the fish market. Definitely, the Seattle restaurant scene had and has no reason to envy the San Francisco Bay Area dining scene!

Reflecting on these three facts, sin 2011 I decided to keep track of what I eat, record my daily weight, write the recipes of what I/we prepare, take pictures of the food, and post most of it online.

The main focus of the project, of course, is on food or, to be more precise, on how to eat flavorful, abundant, nutritious, pleasing meals with little effort and money.

Journals and Journeys: bottom page illustration
Journals and Journeys • © Loris Scagliarini (Lorini) 2000-2016