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Monday, July 20, 2009

The Inspired Organic Table

If you want to reduce your environmental impact, the kitchen is a great place to start. Whenever you cook a fresh meal for yourself and your family, you have many different opportunities to shrink your carbon footprint. For example, cooking from scratch allows you to choose more vegetable-based meals, use organic ingredients, and plan menus appropriate to your location and season. Whatever you choose to cook, you will also save power by using more whole ingredients at home and eating less ready-made food. Of course, that's not to mention the great benefits you can reap in terms of improved health and culinary enjoyment, so really, there's no comparison.
But where to start? Foodgawker is a great resource for home chefs, featuring luscious photos of dishes selected from many of the best food blogs around the world. You can easily browse through these images, then click anything that appeals to you to learn about how it is made. While a wide range of food is included, there are definite seasonal trends that can help inspire you to make use of the freshest ingredients. (Green hint: a quick search reveals quite a few delicious recipes tagged "organic," but almost any selection can provide the basis for a sustainable dish.)
Cooking By Numbers is another fun resource for quick meals in a pinch. Just check any basic ingredients you have on hand from a list, and click for recommended recipes. This site may require a little creative embellishment to create truly extraordinary dishes, but it's a great resource if you just can't figure out where to start.
Want to brush up your cooking skills as you go? Download a podcast from the Free Culinary School blog. These interesting and highly listenable podcasts cover the tips and tricks used by the pros, from basics knife skills to perfect finishing touches.
Creative Commons image by Katherine Raz.

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