In the Polish Girl Scouts, I was always told to put on your plate what you can eat because you had to finish it. No food was going to waste, the camp counselors said. “There are starving children and people in world and we are fortunate to have food on our plate. No food goes in the garbage so you better eat what you have on your plate! Even if you need time to finish it.,” they would say.
Growing up with this mentality, I am careful with taking risks with new ingredients hence why I usually follow recipes from other chefs or read Cook’s Illustrated, particularly “Vegetables Illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen Tested Recipes”, and then overtime I adapt them to my taste; with this said, I am even learning how to reduce food waste with the peel scraps and pulp leftover from juicing to reduce food waste. I am also aware that not many people have the luxury to experiment and if they don’t like it they don’t have to eat it. World Hunger is a serious issue. If and when I waste food, guilty thoughts come into my head; I don’t have it in me to throw out food knowing that there are others starving in the world. I take the risk when I know and understand the vegetable(s) more. I learn how to prep and cook vegetables. (I really dislike being wasteful. Even if I make something I don’t like, I find a way to make myself eat it- put it in a taco or on toast).
Yes, it may sound complicated and time consuming at first but when you learn and get familiar with your ingredients and food, overtime it will be second-nature to you, will be more comfortable with taking risks and develop your own recipes.
Don’t be afraid to take the risk of learning something new. There are many opportunities in the kitchen. Be open to new opportunities in the kitchen.