Images via NoTakeOut screen shots
If you are resolving to cut back on take-out foods, but really aren't sure how taking over at the stovetop will go, there's a cool website that will help out. NoTakeOut plans your meal from each ingredient and tool needed down to every last step of preparation so you can take the kitchen by storm. And while the website doesn't purport to be a "green" option, it has a whole lot of potential for being just that. Skeptical at first, I checked out the site and clicked on the recipe of the day. It was one by Alice Waters (founder of Chez Panisse, author of The Art of Simple Food, green chef extraordinaire) and even as a vegetarian, I was immediately sold on the site.
NoTakeOut was sure to mention where in the shopping list organic is preferable (though, it seems like organic for every ingredient is best, but they list a "Organic Why and When" for people who still think organic is some kind of trick on the part of grocers. You've got to start somewhere...), and glancing through the recipe, it was easy and not intimidating, even when trying to cook something from Alice Waters can feel like you're setting the bar high. It's totally do-able even for a hurried non-chef.
And while the menu recipes most often list a meat dish with relatively few vegetarian recipes, a creative cook (or practiced vegetarian) can figure out the meat options with the lowest carbon footprint, meat substitutes, skip the meat, or skip the recipe altogether and find another in the archives.
The archives are rich with choices for meals - though they tend to list them on the website according to what's seasonal. And the fact that the steps even run down when to slice the bread, and which wine to pair with the meal, it's tough to go wrong!
The mission statement of NoTakeOut is, "To help busy people deal with the challenges of modern life and rediscover the simple pleasures of family, friends and a home cooked meal." They state, "All our menus are comprised of a variety of fresh seasonal foods, creatively combined to give you healthy meals in a reasonable amount of time."
Sounds like an easy way to eat seasonally (and locally if you get your ingredients at the farmer's market or "local" section of the grocery store), frugally, and healthfully.