Cooking without a recipe

Here is my way to cook without recipes.

Have a variety of foods on hand, which can be done with different parts of the plant. These foods have different functions for the plants, so using these different parts will inherently give you a variety of flavors, nutrition, colors, textures. …and cook times.

  • Roots: onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc
  • Stalks, stems and such: celery, leeks, fennel, bok choy, and includes cabbage, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc (for me, this category is anything that grows on the stalk and stems, in the area just above the soil)
  • Leaves: herbs, kale, spinach, chard, etc
  • Seeds: lentils, quinoa, beans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc
  • Condiments: olives, capers, hearts of palm, hot sauce, mustard, honey, etc (anything in a jar or can)

The Roots, Stalks and Leaves can be main characters of a dish. But also each of’m can be supporting actors based on their ratio in a dish.

The condiments are always supporting actors, or gawkers. LOL!


Here is my step-by-step process on: How to Create a Recipe.

And, there is always the option to talk with me. Under 10 mins is free, and any more than that the fee is $30 for a 30-minute call. Click here for more info.

Here is a visual aid of all vegetables and their categories…

…scroll down and you’ll see:

bulbs, tubers, roots, stalks, leaves, fruit veggies and more.

Examples of dishes using different parts of a plant:

  • My ragu has onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and sometimes spinach.
    • onions are from the ROOTS category
    • bells and mushrooms are from the STALKS category
    • spinach = LEAVES
  • A salad often has carrots, celery, lettuce, herbs and some type of seed or nut; and its dressing could have mustard and honey.
    • carrots = ROOT
    • celery = STALK
    • lettuce and herbs = LEAVES
    • pumpkin seeds or walnuts = SEEDS/nuts
    • mustard and honey = CONDIMENTS
  • A pan of roasted veggies often have a mix of just roots: carrots, onions, potatoes; and sometimes has bell peppers (stalks).
  • My Tom Kha soup has:
    • roots: onions, carrots, ginger, galangal
    • stalks/stems: lemongrass, hearts of palm, mushrooms, bell peppers
    • leaves: cilantro, kefir lime leaves