Cooking Without Recipes

                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 –

  1. Not having the time.
  2. Not having enough money.
  3. 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?

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Alternative Milk Guide

Milk alternatives taste great and offer a great range of options. They are made from filtered water, nut/seed/rice, and possible sweeteners or flavors.

Below I’ve gone over the basics about the 4 most prominent types of milk alternatives. I haven’t even touched on hemp milk, oat milk, flax milk, etc. Beyond the types there are also sweetened and sweetened versions and even flavors (hello chocolate almond milk!).

Milk alternatives don’t contain the ridiculous amount of chemicals and antibiotics of dairy milk. For all you omnivores out there, remember you are what you eat ATE.

Side note – if you think dairy is the best source of calcium, think again. Marketing is a powerful tool. Continue reading

Vegan Resources

Because of the many people and organizations outraged at today’s agricultural system and mistreatment of animals, there are a ton of free resources to learn more about why eating a plant based diet is important, how it impacts your body and the world, and how to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients necessary.

Web Resources

Vegan Outreach gives you a good overview with tips on how to make the switch, reasons for being vegan, and how to eat vegan.

Friends of Animals has created a great 24 page guide filled with health information and recipes (even a burger inspired by Chicago Diner!). They spend a few pages ‘debunking the myths’ which provides a good basis for many common misconceptions about plant based diets and answers questions you may have.

The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice is a more in-depth look at how to maximize your vegan experience. He covers core foods, social changes, and more. Continue reading

Grocery List

Knowing how to shop when starting to eat a plant based diet can be really overwhelming! It took me lots of trips to the store and too many spoiled kale bunches to figure out what works for me… I hope this post helps some of you!!

The sample list below should be a good starting point. Customize it for whatever you like or don’t like! That being said, a new diet is a great chance to try out new food (or try foods you think you don’t like in a new way) so I encourage you to push yourself to try out something new. Continue reading

Flax Egg

When you think about it, most baked goods are just different combinations of the same few ingredients. Puddings, cakes, cookies, pies, and breads are all made from a few versatile ingredients (primarily flour, sugar, eggs, milk).

Vegan baking is made much easier by the variety of milk alternatives and the ease of making flax eggs and chia eggs.

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