Simplify your kitchen life with these three hacks from my new Minimalist Guide!
I am SO EXCITED that today is finally here.
I have been working hard all summer and it’s time to share my Minimalist’s Guide to Eating Well with all of you meal-planning rebels out there.
I want to help you streamline your life in the kitchen, so you can save time and money while still eating delicious food.
When I first started dreaming up a resource to help you eat well, no matter your schedule or your cooking skill, I thought a lot about all of the different stages in my life where cooking has felt like a chore.
I remember when I first moved to Vancouver with my (future) husband. Wanna know what this RD-to-be actually ate? Most nights, it was a box of Annie’s macaroni and cheese or Lundburg risotto, with a sautéed veggie on top.
Yup, that’s it. Hey, at least I was eating veggies.
I didn’t really know how to cook full time, or plan a grocery list or meal plan.
Over time, my kitchen skills grew but I also grew bored of my too simple go-to’s. Not wanting to have to search out recipes and shop for them, I relied on the same staples like Greek salads, chili and yes…still that mac and cheese. Sometimes, I loved it…but I couldn’t really think out of the box and ended up grabbing take out.
Fast forward to now. I am in the kitchen a lot. Developing recipes for my blog, my upcoming cookbook, and clients. So when it comes to feeding my family, if there aren’t development leftovers, I want something simple. Tasty. And flexible enough to make use of whatever is in the fridge so I don’t have to go to the grocery store for the third time this week.
Which is where the Minimalist’s Guide to Eating Well comes in.
Whether you’re a kitchen newbie – or a wellness junkie who is ready to simplify and just wants to get more plants on your plate in a yummy way – this is for you.
To celebrate launch day, I am sharing three simple hacks that can help you simplify your kitchen life, deliciously.
But, first things first, ditch the internet hyperbole and just put more plants on your plate.
No matter who you are, better health comes from eating more whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. If you’re generally well, eating this way will help you feel more energized and prevent chronic disease. No weird fad diet necessary.
If you have a condition that requires special dietary considerations, the same parameters apply. If you have IBS and eat low FODMAP, you still want to eat more low FODMAP plants to help you fight inflammation and keep your gut healthy. If you follow a more paleo style diet, you’ll feel better the more that plate is filled with plants. And, if you are curious about embracing a vegan diet, well…it’s easy to end up relying on hyper-processed foods but if you keep it whole food, you are going to feel amazing.
Sound good? Here’s how to make eating more plants deliciously simple.
- Stock your pantry weekly…so you always have the right ingredients.
Once you have established a basic kitchen with cooking oils, spices and a few condiments, it’s all about keeping staples on hand. Because if you look in the fridge and there is nothing there, you’re gonna call for takeout.
The basics of a good, balanced meal don’t change: you need whole grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, some nuts and seeds. As long as you have two to three of each (if you’re cooking for four, you might want to up that), you can make a good meal. Try and avoid impulse purchases that will end up going bad before you use them. Keep a minimalist approach to your pantry, like a ‘Capsule Kitchen’.
Make a grocery list of all of your faves (or use the one in the guide!) and keep your pantry stocked once a week. Doing multiple weekly shops takes time that you could be using for other, more enjoyable, things.
2. Prep the basics so they’re ready to go.
Everyone loves grain bowls…which is why we’ll pay $16 for them at a cafe. So, why don’t we make them? Because all of the components take time. Of course, if they’re prepped in advance, it’s a breeze.
The easiest way to do this is to double cook. If you’re making a batch of quinoa for dinner on Wednesday, why wouldn’t you double it? It doesn’t take any extra time. Take those leftovers, toss them in the fridge – or a freezer bag – once they’re cooled and now you have a healthy grain that will streamline meal prep later in the week.
You could also do a few weekend batches of staples. On Sunday, when you’re doing laundry…or watching Netflix, just get the stove going with things that take too long to make on a Tuesday. Like boiling chickpeas from scratch. Roasting sweet potato. Or cooking barley. Then you have them ready to go for salads, wraps and grain bowls all week long.
I love condiments. And sauces. A little bit obsessed, actually, because they take everything up a notch. Grain bowls taste good, not because they are a bunch of plain ingredients in a bowl. Because they are coated in delicious spices and sauce. So always have one or two sauces on the go.
I use hummus as the base for a lot of salads (literally, I spread a big scoop of hummus on my plate and then top with salad) or I put a big dollop on a grain bowl. Tahini is a neutral palette to create so many different sauces with herbs or spices. You can add lemon and garlic to it, chipotle peppers or even a bunch of green herbs for a goddess situation.
Healthy eating shouldn’t be boring. Or expensive. Or time consuming.
I created The Minimalist’s Guide to Eating Well to help you simplify your kitchen life. It’s 60+ pages that make for easy weekend reading…and a lifetime of delicious cooking.
I hope you’ll love it!
PS: If you find you are constantly buying veggies, only to throw them out, long after they’ve been forgotten. I’ve got something for you! Check out my FREE guide to Waste Less. It’s part of my #EatWellMinimalist approach which can help you save time and money in the kitchen.