Cooking with Claire Robinson
Photo: Food Network
By The Clean Eating Team
Clean Eating: Why do you think five-ingredient meals are important?
Claire Robinson: Five is a perfect number that you can remember on one hand. It keeps it easy, it keeps it approachable, but most importantly, it’s the amount of ingredients that I’m able to create some incredible-tasting dishes with. I’m having a blast teaching people all sorts of new things they can do with just a few ingredients because you can taste every single ingredient in each recipe and that’s something I love.
CE: Do you think that most home cooks are a little intimidated by cooking?
CR: I think that a lot of home cooks these days are busy like everybody else. They’ve got their families, their work, their friends, and it’s amazing how life can take over. Eating is one of the most important things that we do every day. I think that home cooks have just become slightly overrun with life. I’m hoping that I can inspire people to enjoy going to the green market again, put their favorite music on and cook their heart out.
CE: Other than the five-ingredient approach, do you have any other tips or tricks for making cooking easier?
CR: Read a recipe before you cook it. I can’t tell you how many of us don’t. I’m even guilty of it sometimes: I kind of glance. Just read it and figure out what you’re doing before you get cooking. The most important thing is to really have fun, because if you’re not then you’re going to end up ordering take-out.
CE: What about tools? Do you have any must-have kitchen tools?
CR: A good knife will make your life so much easier. It’s great to be able to get a full knife set if you can but, to be honest, one sharp knife is really all you need. Accidents happen more when your knife is dull because you’re pushing harder to cut the food. When you use fresh ingredients there is a lot of chopping and peeling and you have prep involved with almost every ingredient you’re working with. You don’t need to have all the tools, but a good knife is worth every penny.
CE: Do you have any tips or tricks for food shopping?
CR: I started going to the green market and letting the market inspire me. You don’t always have to go with a plan. The best thing is to let one ingredient hit you, buy it and cook something around that. That’s what I do. I’ll choose something that looks as beautiful and fresh as I’ve ever seen it and I take it home with me. That’s how I determine what I’m going to cook for dinner.