Welcome to cococado!

Avocado

Avocado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s so much I want to say about cococado – why and when and how.. But for now, it’s easier to simply introduce myself!

Since very shortly after first laying eyes on my chubby duck-billed baby face some year ago, my mom has called me ‘coco’.

I find this nickname hilarious for several reasons.

1. I am as pale as they come.
2. My first (and last) bowl of coco-puffs was eaten around age 15.
3. The name on my birth certificate could in no way be the basis of this nickname.

She claims it captures my essence.

My mother raised me with a beautiful, clean diet. My idea of comfort food is still brown rice, asparagus and tofu pillows. Nothing artificial, no food coloring, not too much sugar or salt, and as many whole foods as possible. I have always regarded these guidelines as ‘the way to eat well’, and (whether or not I’ve always abided by them) I had always planned to implement them in my own adult life.

The caveat:

Up until just a few years ago, all things culinary eluded me (and frankly, freaked me out). Not only was it just easier to make macaroni and cheese from a 365 box and steam broccoli, it also guaranteed that there would be no touching of meat, mincing of vegetables, dirtying of many dishes, or any real possibility of failure. This was my cooking philosophy when I met my husband.

When we started living on our own, I came to a few distinct realizations that had me hovering around the kitchen a bit more often. As you can imagine, the mac and cheese got old (figuratively!) and one can only eat so much broccoli before it starts getting on one’s nerves. Secondly, it’s no secret that eating out is expensive. Even with our commitment not to drink alcohol, we couldn’t afford to eat healthily at restaurants (a dubious venture, anyway) and also have electricity. We had also come to the conclusion that we wanted our diet to reflect the kind of lifestyle we were striving for – one that was clean and joyful. Fun but aware. Interesting, varied, and colorful.

This led me to the thought that, inevitably, I had to tackle this problem. I mean, I love food… Shouldn’t I learn to love it in all of its stages?

Surprisingly, one of the best and most satisfying breakthroughs that I’ve experienced since my kitchen adventures began doesn’t have to do with actually creating food at all. As I have expanded my arsenal of amazing whole foods, I have come to love many different things that I had previously avoided like the plague!

This list includes:

Spinach
Walnuts
Mushrooms
Pine-nuts
and Cumin

But the most outstanding by far, is the Avocado. Just the other day I was asked what my favorite food was. Unbidden, a luscious ripe avocado popped into my head, halved and ready – just waiting for me to whack the seed with my knife and remove it with a satisfying twist. I was shocked! Just a year ago, a similar (but much more sinister and icky) version of this vision would’ve appeared had I been asked about my least favorite food. This situation is how the name cococado was born. A new frame of mind for this reformed avocado-hater.

That was more than 3 years ago now, and it isn’t always (read: hardly ever) a hitch-free journey. It can be immensely frustrating to eat nutritiously, cost-effectively, responsibly, and deliciously all at once! Even now, that set of criteria don’t always coincide 100% for every meal, but mastering nutritious and delicious is a long road.

Luckily for us, it’s one paved with mandoline-sliced eggplant, peppered with buckwheat pebbles, and, of course, the occasional avocado pothole.

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Soon, I’ll be posting some basics that I feel like I should have on here – like a pantry/ingredient guide and an update on my current cooking philosophy. I hope you’ll stick around and bear with me while I work out all the quirks! It will be well-worth it, I promise!

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