As she teaches cooking classes, Laura Stec offers a cornucopia of lively tips and quips. Here's a sampling:
• "The fresher the food, the more alive it is."
• Buy from the bin to avoid unnecessary packaging.
• "Grains sleeping in a bulk bin need to be woken up" before they're cooked. (Stec said this after rinsing grains and giving them a shake.)
• "Vegetables stay happy when you keep the cutting board clean," so keep a bowl next to the board for scraps, which you can compost.
• "Keep water as far away from vegetables as possible." Vegetables are best when cooked with high, dry heat.
• Let meat sit a while before you slice it, so the juices don't run out.
• Switch to kosher salt (for better flavor).