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Creative Cooking 101

By Vega on October 9, 2014

Creative Cooking 101

There are days when no recipe matches the drool-worthy image in your head. Or evenings when you’re missing two ingredients in that perfect recipe, and don’t know how to make the right adjustments. Or maybe you’re looking for some more flavor in your cooking now that farmer’s markets are winding down. Whether you’re dying to know how to create a new recipe, or need an extra push to become a fearless kitchen explorer, take a deep breath, and dive into the world of creative cooking with Thrive Forward: Kitchen Edition.

Pantry Raid

Whether you’re building a recipe from a concept, or from what you have in your cupboard, the first thing is do is to take an assessment of your pantry and fridge. Take stock of what basic staples you have (i.e. grains, flours, beans, produce, spices). Notice what ingredients and flavors are inspiring you right now.

Substitution Survivor

The best place to start when creating your own recipes is to take a favorite recipe and make tweaks. It will become your own after making three changes. This is a great exercise to see how ratios and ingredients work within the recipe. Use Lesson 2 of the Kitchen Edition (Clean Substitutions 101 with Peggy K) to see how basic substitutions can transform your favorite recipe into a cleaner, plant-based one that still resembles the original—and tastes great.

Build a Baking Base

Because cooking allows you to be less restrictive with measurements, baking can sometimes seem more intimidating to improvise.  That’s why baking is definitely a place to start with a basic recipe and make your own adjustments. Quick muffins and breads are often the simplest to ad lib. Peggy K shares her base muffin and cupcake recipe as well as some examples of variations in Clean Substitutions 101.

Savor the Seasons

Embrace seasonality by shifting your plate towards local foods. Local fruits and vegetables taste much better—and are even better for the planet. When creating a new recipe or dish, find out what’s in season and go from there. Download Taste, Flavor and World Cuisine in Thrive Kitchen Edition Lesson 4: Discovering New Go-To Meals – Seasonal Inspiration, to see how to play with extra ingredients, such as spices, to create a flavorful balance to your local produce.

If you haven’t yet, register for Thrive Forward and explore the new Kitchen Edition as part of your lesson plan. Already registered? Click on the “Add Full Chapter to Plan” plus sign (+) above the chapter listing to add it to your customized lesson plan. Chef Susan Feniger, Chef Matthew Kenney, and holistic nutritionist Peggy K join Brendan Brazier to help you cook to thrive. Use their tips and tricks to grow the confidence you need to get more creative in the kitchen.

How are you getting creative in the kitchen this fall?


No matter what better means to you, Vega shares the knowledge, nutrition, and inspiration to support your quest to thrive.