The most difficult part of getting an at-home cooking set-up going is deciding that you’re going to get an at-home cooking set up going. It just seems like so much work! Who has time to cook every day? And you need to have food available in the fridge or freezer to prepare, which requires planning ahead and going to the grocery store. You have to pick out recipes. And get your partner and family to agree on them. AHH!
I hear you.
But I’m telling you- it’s worth it. For your wallet, your waistline, and your personal sense of satisfaction. Decide that it’s important, that it matters to you, and get a system going.
In this article and the next, I’m going to cover exactly how a modern person with a big, busy life can set this ball in motion. This month I'll focus on simple recipes and kitchen setup. Next, I’ll cover meal prep and groceries.
Keep a clean and orderly kitchen to encourage its use. You should be calm, grounded and at ease in your kitchen. You may need to remove work papers and clutter, get a fan if your kitchen is hot, or have that talk with your roommate about dirty dishes. You will not use your kitchen if you don’t like being in your kitchen.
It’s also worthwhile to organize the sh*t out of your fridge and pantry. Health coach tip- keep vegetables and other especially nutritious or perishable items on the top shelf where you can see them. They’ll be fine outside the crisper, and they’ll be the first thing you see when you open the door hungry. Put “use sparingly” items in the crisper. Out of sight, out of mind.
Run a tight ship. Know what’s in your fridge and pantry. Don’t let things rot and sit there. Keep it sexy.
I recommend investing in a basic blender or food processor, a good quality knife and cutting board, and stocking up on various herbs, spices, condiments, sauces, and oils.
Do not have to look like Instagram food porn. The food you make at home should taste good, promote health, and turn off your hunger hormones. That’s it.
In keeping with that spirit, here are 6 simple how-to recipes for the beginner cook:
-Tear into bite size pieces, discarding the stems if they aren’t your jam.
-Fill a pot with 2-3 inches of water and boil.
-Once water is boiling, place a steamer basket or stainless-steel colander with the kale into your pot. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, reducing heat if necessary.
-Season with lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
*This steam cooking method works for other vegetables like green beans, carrots, or broccoli. Google “steamed ________” to determine length of steam time.
-Preheat skillet with 1.5 inches water on medium high heat.
-Once water begins to bubble, place seasoned salmon into skillet and cover; cook 4 – 6 minutes.
-BLOOD SUGAR BALANCING SMOOTHIE-
Here’s the formula:
20 g clean protein powder
1-2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
Handful of greens (kale, spinach, cucumber)
1 tbsp healthy fat (avocado, nut butter, coconut or MCT oil, etc.)
½ tbsp chia or flax seeds- optional
¼ cup fruit- optional
Put all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.
-HARD BOILED EGGS-
Use older eggs to make peeling easier. Highly recommend prepping for grab & go mornings.
-Put eggs into pot and cover with water.
-Turn heat on high and bring to boil.
-Remove from heat, add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and cover for 10 minutes.
-Pour water through strainer and let the eggs cool, or dunk in an ice bath for immediate use.
-MAKE-YOUR-OWN NUT BUTTER-
1 cup raw nuts of choice (walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc. Fun to experiment with various combos)
2 teaspoons sea salt
-Process nuts and sea salt in a food processor on high for about 10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached, scraping sides of bowl when necessary.
-OVEN CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS-
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Make marinade in a bowl by mixing together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp sea salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
-Put the raw chicken drumsticks in a big ziplock bag. Use tongs or wash hands immediately after handling raw meat. Add your marinade and seal the bag. Mix and massage the marinade into the chicken until all pieces are well coated.
-Using tongs, place each drumstick on a baking sheet.
-Bake for 35 minutes.
*Experiment with other spices if you like such as curry powder, oregano, or tarragon.
One final tip- Make extra so that you have leftovers for the following day. Cook once eat twice!
Now get in there!!!!