I was having a conversation with a friend today, and I could tell she was getting a little overwhelmed by all the kitchen gadgets and products out there, many of which I use regularly. There are lots of stores, lots of recipes, lots of methods, lots of ingredients, and lots of things to learn. Of course it’s overwhelming, especially if you’re not used to cooking from scratch to begin with. My advice is it’s okay to simplify things.
Sometimes I feel guilty if the meal I’m preparing isn’t elaborate, picture-worthy or mouthwateringly declicious. I once apologized for a simple meal I’d made, and my boyfriend had to remind me there’s nothing wrong with simple.
Just stick to a basic formula and you’ll be in good shape. A protein, a fat, and fill your plate with fruits and veggies. Season with spices to make it taste good.
Take last night for example. I had absolutely no creative juices flowing in the kitchen and we were about out of everything, so I didn’t really feel like I could put together a beautiful meal. So, I thawed out some grass fed ground beef (protein), chopped up a couple of sweet potatoes, a squash, an onion and dried mushrooms (veggies), sauteed it all in a couple of tablepoons of coconut oil (fat). I stirred in a container of gravy left over from the previous night’s pot roast (seasoning). I didn’t even have a name for it and I don’t think I could have come up with anything creative had I tried. I ate mine as is, and the guys had theirs over barley.
I went back to get some for work and it was GONE. Simple, healthy, delicious.
Here’s another example. Because there were no leftovers for lunch, I had to put something together. It was my early start day at work so there wasn’t a lot of prep time this morning. For lunch, I threw together some leftover roasted beets, leftover roasted cauliflower (veggies), a piece of leftover pot roast and some turkey (protein), and drizzled with olive oil (fat) and balsamic vinegar (seasoning). Breakfast was almost as simple: 3 eggs scrambled (protein), zucchini, summer squash and dried mushrooms (veggies) sauteed in coconut oil (fat) and sprinkled with sea salt, ground pepper and onion powder (seasoning).
The point is, sometimes (often) it’s fun to make a beautiful, elaborate meal. But if you don’t feel up to it, you don’t have to. Not every meal has to be picture perfect or time consuming. I follow a bunch of Whole30 peeps on Instagram and I’ve noticed that many of their dishes – particularly the popular ones – are, you guessed it, simple. There are plenty of elaborate options out there for when you’re feeling it, but when you’re not, don’t let food stress you out. Food is designed to make you more healthy, not less healthy. If you’re stressed, you’re less healthy.
Ditch the stress. Go for simple. What are your favorite simple foods?