Who we are

Joy

Joy

Hi! As a wife, mom, daughter and health coach I came to realize that it’s not always easy cooking for just one or two people. When my daughters Teresa and Laura left for college, I had to find new enthusiasm for cooking tasty, healthy meals for my husband and me. The first step was to shop differently. Shortly after my daughters left, I went grocery shopping and came home with three gallons of milk. My husband looked into the refrigerator and asked “Who’s coming for a visit?” “No one. Why do you ask?” I replied. “Well, you sure ‘got milk’” he teased. Old habits of cooking for 4 or 5 (when hosting an exchange student from Spain) were hard to break. I had to start by purchasing less, dividing recipes, and planning meals using left-overs. I started to look at it as a fun experiment and embraced the mantra “I will cook delicious and nutritious food because it’s (or I’m) worth it!”  I hope this blog helps you with ideas and recipes that work for you, if you are like me (and my daughters, mom, mother-in-law, and friends) and cooking for just one or two.  Enjoy a “Taste of Zest!”

Laura

Laura

Hello there! Upon entering college I noticed that a good meal among my peers consisted of ramen noodles, mac and cheese, or coffee because of their price and ease. As a horticulture student who grew fruits and veggies on campus and in my little garden patch at home, I knew there had to be an alternative to these food choices. I just couldn’t pass up sharing with other students how incredible Minnesota grown strawberries taste and how you can eat these bright flowers called nasturtiums. I made it my goal to inspire my college peers to really enjoy their food and fuel their bodies and minds. So, I joined the nutrition program. This past year I moved to an apartment and had to prepare every meal for myself. I was constantly faced with challenges like trying to make small portions, eating a whole bag of apples before they spoiled, and having the motivation to make one meal after the next. I found myself often falling into the “mac-and-cheese trap.” Slowly I have learned ways to cook and enjoy many more fruits and vegetables. I would like to share my experiences with you and also learn from you! Join the “Taste of Zest” community!

Teresa

Teresa

As a long-time blog reader and sporadic blog writer, I am excited to join the Taste of Zest team as we blog about our adventures with cooking in small quantities. I am a graduate student/student teacher and I spend my days talking about Shakespeare with 9th graders. Although I am not a “food professional” like Laura and Joy, I love cooking and experimenting with new recipes. Weirdly enough, the act of cooking has been therapeutic stress relief for the past few years. I recently moved from a house with six other roommates to an apartment with only one roommate and I am learning how to scale down my cooking to fit my new living situation. I also love art and photography and I am excited to venture into the world of food photography. My favorite time of the food year is late summer, when the produce is the most flavorful and colorful. I only buy cookbooks with great pictures and think food is one of the most beautiful things in the world. As you read and cook from this blog, I hope you enjoy the tastes, sights, and community that you find here.