Cooking With Cline
Something that not many people know about me is that I love cooking and baking! I may not be the best at it, but I love learning new recipes and seeing how other people are spicing up their meals. My friend, Regan Cline, started a series on his Instagram called Cooking With Cline that's all about quick, healthy, and affordable meals on a college budget. Keep on reading to learn more and go give him a follow here to keep up with his series!
Hi my name is Regan Cline and I am a junior at the University of Washington studying finance! But, I also am in my free time a cook for myself and strong advocate of meal prepping. Given these hobbies, I started doing my own Instagram stories I dubbed “Cooking with Cline.” Think of it as a homemade Tasty video, but with tips on how to cook, eat, and prepare better instead of just a pretty video (I am working on improving the aesthetic but I happen to also have a filming budget of $0).
I started doing this a couple months ago and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from people that appreciate the tips or just like the look of the videos themselves. I love doing it because I want to help people see that it isn’t that hard to cook for yourself and it can be done with the equipment in a college kitchen (and on a college budget). I know a lot of people that will watch a video on a dish and not make it or make it and then not eat it, both of which are to me a hugely sad fact. I think that for several reasons. One, it’s a waste of money and time to not eat what you cook. Two, if you don’t cook the meal at all, you are still wasting money – and potentially time. On average, it takes me two hours to cook 12 meals at a cost of around $5 per meal. And lastly, eating out is almost always less healthy than cooking for yourself. Most cheap restaurants a college student is going to add significant amounts of unhealthy oils to their food aka bad fat aka say goodbye to your New Year’s resolution of losing weight.
Now even though I addressed the problems of time and money, hopefully to your satisfaction, there are some common things that usually get in the way of people not cooking for themselves. Let me talk about what I think those are here:
“I am not a good cook”: That’s not true!!! Cooking is not hard. I know I say that and I have been cooking since I was a young teenager (which really is not that long ago), cooking is truly not difficult. It just takes patience, that is ALL. The reason people mess up cooking is because they don’t have the patience to go get the right ingredients at a store, wait for water to boil, or read a recipe fully. All those things are a personal choice you have to make if you want to start cooking. You aren’t a bad cook you just haven’t practiced cooking with patience yet. If you are pointing to past failure in cooking, that is not a good excuse. You aren’t cursed or poorly trained or “bad at food,” you just haven’t practiced enough yet. Practice makes permanent not perfect, so practice patience and careful execution and you will get better.
“I don’t have the right equipment”: Look, you can pick up crap dishware and cookware at a dollar store that will get you by until you realize that you can cook and that it is better for your health and wallet than eating out all the time. If you have a tiny bit more money to spend, go to a value village in a nice neighborhood where rich people give away their old kitchen equipment for cheap. #comeups (If you actually have money, I highly recommend Food52. They are an amazing company with fantastic products and customer service.)
“It’s a lot of work”: You know what, it is. No way around it. I think four days in advance of what I want to cook for the next week, shop two days ahead, and wake up at 5:30 AM in the morning on Sunday sometimes so I can get it done. But I love cooking and I love being able to cook for myself and others. Someday I will have a family and I refuse to not be able to prepare and execute a healthy meal. On a serious note, do you know what the biggest killer in America is? Heart disease. Not all the stuff you see on NCIS; people die because they don’t take care of themselves and eat healthy. (If you want some references here you go: https://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm ). I know eating healthy is not everything, but it is a huge start on the road to achieving a level of health that will benefit you an immense amount.
I hope that my this serves as some encouragement to start cooking for yourself, and that doesn’t mean you have to prep 12 meals! Just set aside one or a few nights where you cook for yourself. I don’t care if you cook chicken and broccoli with some feta cheese melted on top (dang I just thought of that and that sounds not half bad), just start somewhere. And if you want some more ideas, hit me up at @reganicline and check out my saved stories (shameless plug but hey this helping each other thing goes both ways).