I didn’t travel much as a kid.
My parents moved from the midwest to Colorado right before I was born. So when my dad had a week of vacation, it was spent driving back “home” to be with my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
I didn’t see an ocean until I was 22.
Not long after, I took a job with an audit agency, and I started “traveling” for a living. We’d spend a week or two in the office before heading out on the road again. I saw most of America this way, and I’m grateful.
It put the travel bug in me.
Ten years ago, we headed to Europe the summer before her senior year to celebrate our daughter’s upcoming graduation. We bucked the trend and worked from home, so we brought the office with us, touring Spain and Italy.
People laugh when I tell them one of my favorite memories was … grocery shopping.
To save money, we booked flats rather than hotel rooms so we could have access to kitchens. Cooking for yourself is one of the best ways to save money. And eat healthier.
And you also learn a lot about the culture.
The first time we went shopping in Italy, we headed to the produce section and picked up a veggie. The produce manager moved in quickly, voice raised, hands flailing. He could tell we had no idea what he was saying. So he patiently showed us disposable gloves, had us put them on, and only then touched the produce. Ohhh, okay.
After several weeks, we were craving Mexican food. So we searched the aisles for things we could use to make our own version of fajitas. And they were pretty good!
By the end, we were seasoned pros! Inserting a coin for our shopping cart, disposable gloves in hand. We even had friendly faces greet us at the checkout lanes, recognizing us after just a few weeks.
This story leads to February’s cookbook choice: The Blue Zones American Kitchen by Dan Buettner. I’ve followed Dan for many years, having read his earlier books about the Blue Zones. When this book came out a month ago, including it in my Cookbook Club was only natural.
Dan worked with chefs from the healthiest regions across America to bring you carefully crafted recipes passed down from heritage cooks who continue to share recipes from generation to generation. They’re plant-based, good for you, and staples in different cultures’ kitchens.
You’ll get an education as well as discover yummy recipes you’ll love serving at your dinner table. My favorite so far? You can never go wrong with soup. Give the Black Bean and Potato Soup a whirl.
About the GorgeousWellth Cookbook Club
Each month I select a cookbook for the month and use it as inspiration for dinner at least once a week. Each month I’ll choose a favorite I’m working with, and share a thing or two I learn.
Wanna play along? I’m keeping this pretty informal – I just want to inspire you to pick up a great cookbook and start cooking too. Hopefully, you can get a lot of these from your local library. If not, you might be able to pick them up gently used through Amazon. Or if you choose to use them for your inspiration as much as I do, maybe it’s time to invest in these and have them ready and waiting on your shelf.
I won’t be sharing the recipes, but I will share some of the results. Let me know if you try any of these, and let me know what you think. Be sure to tag me on IG @loriosterberg or use #GorgeousWellth Follow along as I’ll be adding new cookbooks each month!
Happy plant-based cooking!