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Creative cooking

As a baker, I'm always looking for inspiration when coming up with new desserts. In a previous article, I mentioned that Pinterest is a "go-to" when it comes to needing creative ideas. But sometimes inspiration hits when we least expect it. Although this article is not about baking, it's about how bakers think and utilize every day items to come up with something amazing.

I had just gotten done making a birthday cake at my facility and drove home to finally relax. I was hungry and craving a salad from Chipotle, but didn't feel like getting back in my car and waiting on line. I thought to myself that I could probably throw one together with items I already had on hand.

Being Italian, when I scoured the pantry, all I could find was many Italian staples. Then inspiration struck!

I could make an ITALIAN rice bowl!

I also wanted something a little on the healthy side, so I grabbed the quinoa and kale.

I made some quinoa in place of the rice and used the kale as a healthier alternative to the lettuce.

Replacing cannellini beans for black or pinto beans and caramelized onions for raw, diced ones, I knew I was in business!

I had an avocado and knew it would be the perfect fusion item. Drizzled some olive oil and sprinked some Italian seasonings over the bowl and BAM! My dinner was complete!

As I sat on my couch and ate my faux rice bowl, I patted myself on the back for being so clever. And it was then that I realized that a huge part of being a successful baker (or cook or chef) is being able to think on your feet and come up with creative dishes sometimes with only the items you have on hand.

So go out and whip up something amazing today! You might be surprised what you come up with!

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