IN THE KITCHEN WITH POLLY & RACHEL
Tell us about yourself:
Our names are Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer, and we are moms, friends, bloggers at Thriving Home, and cookbook authors of From Freezer to Table. Our goal is to encourage moms to thrive in every area of home life.
As self-proclaimed “freezer cooking evangelists”, one of our main specialties is equipping others to make freezer cooking a lifestyle. Freezer cooking is simply prepping meals in advance and freezing them to have on hand for later. We know from our 15+ combined years of experience that cooking in this way can save you money, time, stress, and–most importantly–enable you to eat healthy meals at home with your loved ones.
How did you get involved in cooking?
We are primarily self-taught cooks who grew up in families where home cooked meals and dinner around the table was a priority. We value cooking and eating at home, using real food ingredients, and making meals that our families will actually eat. There’s been a lot of cooking trial and error over the last 15-20 years for us, but some of our most popular recipes have been seen by millions of internet readers!
Describe your cooking style:
We call ourselves “real-food realists.” That’s what our simple, healthy, family-friendly recipe collection is all about. We strive to cook with as many whole food ingredients as possible, including a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and local, organic, and/or grass-fed meats. But, when convenience is a necessity, we recommend products or tips for selecting the least processed foods to use in a recipe.
We also love to educate people on the benefits of freezer cooking and cooking in bulk. Freezer meals can taste just like a fresh meal, full of flavor and texture, if prepared correctly.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
Polly: The first book about the food industry that rocked my world was In Defense of Food. This was the first time my eyes were truly opened to how food is made and that quality matters.
Rachel: My education about the meat industry began long ago with the book Fast Food Nation and then the documentary Food, Inc. These two resources plus lots of additional research on the internet led me to believe buying grass-fed meats is very important for our family’s health and the well-being of the animals.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Polly and Rachel: Sometimes we joke that we are business partners with two sides of the same brain. Not surprisingly, we both came up with the same answer on this one!
- Sweet Potatoes – So versatile,tasty, and nutritious.
- Eggs – Packed with protein and can be cooked in so many ways.
- Avocados – Healthy fats and has great texture for spreads, salads, salsas, dips.
- Garlic – Makes everything, except your breath, better in our opinion. 🙂
- Butter – Because…it’s butter.
For the must-have tool, it’s a toss up between a chef’s knife and a cast iron skillet.
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Polly: Get a deep freezer and use it! You can save so much money by utilizing your freezer to save and store ingredients and meals.
Rachel: Season dishes at each step along the way to build flavor rather than seasoning just at the end of a recipe.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Childs
Anything else you want to share?
If you want to try out freezer cooking, you can get our Top 10 Easy Real Food Freezer Meals ebook for free on our blog. (https://thrivinghomeblog.lpages.co/basic-email-sign-up/)
We also have an amazing cookbook available at all booksellers: From Freezer to Table: 75+ Whole Foods Recipes for Gathering, Cooking, and Sharing. We are currently working on our second cookbook about freezer meals that work in both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot (January 2020 release from Penguin Random House).
Enter to win our November 2018 Thriving Home Featured Chef Prize Pack! Contest runs from November 1 – November 14, 2018.