Knowing how to cook and create in the kitchen (without spending hours or your whole paycheck) is a huge step towards empowering yourself to live a healthy life.
Whether you’re looking to transition to a plant-based diet or trying to eat healthier, learning how to cook (without a recipe) is a good place to start.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that the standard American diet is literally killing us, people still have endless reasons about why they don’t eat a healthy diet. Though there are many variations of them, these excuses are usually centered around three issues –
- Not having the time.
- Not having enough money.
- Not enjoying the taste.
Some of these excuses simply don’t have merit. By saving you time and money (while increasing how much you enjoy your food), learning to cook without a recipe helps solve all three of the root excuses as to why you can’t eat healthy.
If you’ve ever felt frustrated that things aren’t going smoothly in the kitchen and like you’re spending too much time making meals, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there! Like most people, when I began trying to eat healthier, I was relying on recipes for most meals (especially for dinners or entertaining).
Every meal took a few trips to the grocery store, required so many dishes, and took forever. But, I felt like I would end up with an inedible mess if I didn’t consult the recipe every 90 seconds. Relying on the directions so heavily was exhausting and made cooking a chore. Even though I was cooking more and more, I still felt so unsure of myself in the kitchen.
After one too many frustrating 8pm dinners, I stopped searching Pinterest for my meal planning and started with what I knew (the basics..). As I began to gain some confidence at the stove, I started experimenting with my meals. I was the chef and I knew what I liked to eat better than anyone so, why not make it just how I liked it?
I learned how to make a stir fry from whatever was in the fridge, how spices worked together, how to estimate a cup, and much more. The more I learned how to cook without a recipe the more empowered I felt and the easier it was to eat healthy without feeling overwhelmed (or breaking the bank)!
It’s a process but with a little time and effort, you’ll be able to make affordable, healthy meals for your every day. The key to changing your diet is learning how to make real meals (sans recipes) that are easy, affordable, and healthy. Doing this will help you sustain your healthy eating habits. It’s much harder to change your diet if you’re trying to follow a recipe for every meal than if you make the effort to learn a few basic items.
Cooking without a recipe is important for a few reasons:
- Time Saving. Measuring all those ingredients takes time! Without a recipe you use your instincts to guide you. Plus, you’ll be more able to better estimate cooking time since you’re in control. (and negates excuse 1)
- Cost effective. Using ingredients you have on hand (especially leftovers or things on their last leg) saves you from wasting food or spending money on an item for one recipe. (and negates excuse 2)
- Improved taste. You develop your skills and pallet which means it’s easier to eat food that you enjoy. (and negates excuse 3)
For most of us, following a recipe to make meal daily is impractical (or sounds like hell). Good news is that you don’t have to have tons of time or skill or money and you don’t have to love to cook to make healthy meals. Eating real foods is about making it work for you!!
To start getting more comfortable in the kitchen stock up your PANTRY. Get comfortable preparing the items on there! Try experimenting with flavors you like and those you’ve been curious about. I’ve also created several MEAL IDEAS that I’ll be updating to serve as a bit of inspiration when you’re asking “What should I eat?”.
Now it’s time to relax in the kitchen!! Let your creativity flow and follow your taste buds. Start with what you know and work out from there. You’ll probably end up with a few flops but also so many new favorites. Enjoy!!
If there’s anything you’d like me to explain further or create a ‘how to’ post about, comment below or contact me! Flavors of Living will evolve as the needs of the community change.