This weekend I spent some time trying the Cook For Good method which was put together by Linda Watson. You can view more information on her website here.
The basic idea behind cook for good from Linda’s site is:
Cook for Good if you want to save money by cooking and eating delicious food. You’ll be doing good, too: good for your health, good for your family, and good for your community and your planet.
Eat well on an average of $1.17 a meal for the regular plan and only $1.73 for the “green” plan which uses mostly organic or sustainably raised ingredients (prices from May 2009 using the spring menu.The cart cost for the green ingredients comes out to just $1.91 a meal, 8 cents less per meal than the food-stamp allowance in North Carolina. The cart cost shows how much you’d actually have to spend at the grocery store buying everything on the shopping lists, even though you will have some ingredients left over, such as part of a bottle of oil.
(Please visit her site and read more in the “background” section of where this idea came from. I love the reasoning behind her doing this and it goes to show that anyone can eat healthy and do so inexpensively.)
First let me say this idea of cooking is so appealing to me because of the following factors:
1. The price per meal is so low. I like thinking of my meals on a per dollar basis and this is calculated for you on her site. (an average).
2. Its organized. I bought her e-book and the plan is super simple to follow with step by step directions.
3. Its broken up in parts. There are 2 parts to the cooking, Phase I and Phase II. This makes the process much less overwhelming.
What I cooked:
Oatmeal cookies (I don’t like raisins so I omitted them)
Black Beans (cooked in crock pot)
Pinto Beans (cooked on stove)
2 loaves of Good Whisk Bread
Believe it or not, I spent a total of 3 hours over a Saturday evening and Sunday morning cooking, preparing and cleaning up. It was EXTREMELY helpful to start the beans the night before, mix the bread up the night before and let it rise in the fridge. I also baked the oatmeal cookies the night before just to have that out of the way.
I got up early Sunday morning and had enchilada sauce, pasta sauce, and the pinto beans made in no time. I divided up all the sauces and the beans and I got 3 containers of each sauce which I expect to be worth 2 servings for me. (If I didn’t mention it before, I cook for one). I divided up the beans into 2 cups and put them in freezer bags to be frozen and used later in other recipes. I have 4 bags of those so I expect those to be roughly 2-3 servings per bag.
The black beans are still simmering away in the crock pot and the good whisk bread has been divided up in the loaf pans to rise for another hour or so.
I reviewed Linda’s recipes in her e-book and I’m really impressed with the simplicity of all the recipes. A lot of times, I try to get too creative when I’m cooking which really isn’t necessary all the time. I figure between the beans, the sauces that I made today, I should have enough for approximately 3 weeks worth of meals. I still have some meals leftover from my OAMC cooking experience (you can read about that here) so I can work those meals in and stretch this one cooking session out longer.
This method of cooking definitely gets an A+ in my book. It was much easier to do than the OAMC method I tried (which was really no method just make a bunch of things on the same day). If you are interested in trying this, I would recommend purchasing Linda’s e-book to get the detailed methods of how to do this cooking. She is so organzied, she lays this out in a step by step list of instructions. I love it !!!
I look forward to seeing more recipes from Linda on her website. Linda – if your reading this, please post more soon!! 🙂