By Megan O'Connell, Student at UW – Platteville
Are you wondering which cooking utensils you need for your new dorm room or apartment? Are you wondering which groceries you should stock up on? Are you wondering how in the world you’re going to survive cooking on your own?
I know all these things were running through my head my freshman year of college. One thing I wasn’t warned about before I ventured off for my first year of college was that feeding myself was not going to be as easy as it sounded. As I’ve written before, I ate so many bags of barbecue chips it’s not even funny.
Soon I learned that in order to fend off the Freshman 15 and start living a healthier lifestyle, I would have to make friends with my limited kitchen space. If only there had been "Kitchenability" sooner.
I had the opportunity to speak with Nisa Burns, the author of "Kitchenability." The book will be sold starting in October this year and after viewing the book, testing my own "Kitchenability" and speaking with Burns, I highly recommend this book to all college students trying to make friends with their health and their kitchen.
M: What advice would you give to students who are just learning how to cook and may be getting frustrated with failed attempts?
N: “My first quarter of culinary school, I made this really awful soup that I was mortified to show to the chef. I was out of time though and I had to do it. When he saw the soup he said, ‘What the hell is this?’ I could have dropped everything and walked away right then, but I didn’t because you can never give up. Never give up and never call yourself a bad chef. I would advise students who are getting frustrated to just take a step back, master the simple recipes before moving on.”
M: How do you respond when people say that eating healthy is too expensive?
N: “Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Plan ahead, budget accordingly, make weekly menus and cut coupons.”
M: How do you suggest students deal with the temptation of a roommate who eats nothing but junk food and take-out?
N: “Create a system; don’t push them or be rude about it. Invite them into your lifestyle. Invite your roommate to have dinner with you and offer to cook. If they decline, say you’ll leave leftovers in the fridge for them.”
M: If you had to pick one favorite "Kitchenability" recipe, which would it be?
N: “My lemon cilantro chicken and I go way back. It’s a special recipe I came up with for a friend with food allergies and I make it for a lot of occasions.”
M: I tried the "Ridiculously Easy Tomato Sauce" and was so impressed. I added mushrooms and green peppers to it. Is there anything you like to add to it?
N: “I love the ‘Ridiculously Easy Tomato Sauce’ because it’s so easy, you could even make it in the microwave, and it’s cheaper than buying a can of tomato sauce. My grandmother and I would always make BLT pasta, so we would add bacon and spinach to the sauce as well.”
The above questions only give you a sneak peak of what "Kitchenability" further explains. Look for Kitchenability this October and check out Burns' website here. Also, check out her how-to videos on YouTube. Good luck on finding your "Kitchenability!"