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?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Everyday Dinners

Reminder – you do not have to be a skilled chef (or spend tons of money) to eat healthy, real foods that taste great.

You have the power to make simple changes that make significant impacts on the way you eat and feel. Eating healthy doesn’t always mean a fancy meal, a picturesq dish, everything from scratch, or always following a recipe. Sometimes a healthy meal is simply putting together whatever’s in the pantry or leftover from last night.

It is very possible to make healthy changes in your life without spending a ton of money or spending hours in the kitchen. These meals didn’t even require a recipe or measuring cups! Start to learn how to cook without a recipe by learning a few basic cooking techniques and refining your taste (AKA getting into the kitchen and experimenting!).

These are my 100% real, everyday dinners. You’ll see lots of leftovers, salads, and potatoes. Why? They’re versatile and I’ve always got them on hand. Plus, they’re full of lots of good nutrients and minerals.

For each meal I’ve provided an estimation of some key nutritional highlights. They’re not perfect, but should give you a glimpse into where my vitamins are coming from. Noted- I do take some supplements as well! More on that coming soon. 

I focus on getting a variety of foods on my plate and use spices to keep it interesting. I’m always trying out new creations. I’ll keep updating here to show you what I’m cooking up next. But, to make sure you don’t miss a thing, be sure to follow me on Instagram! Share your creations with #FlavorsOfLiving.


 

Lentil Stuffing Bake

img_5994-1

Stuffing = lentil, mushroom, kale, cranberry (recipe coming soon)

  • Calories – 148
  • Protein – 8 g
  • Iron – 16%
  • Vitamin C – 8%
  • Calcium – 3%

Crust = Pillsbury crescent roll 

  • Calories – 100
  • Protein – 2 g

All American

img_4485

Vegan sloppy joe with beefy crumble + manwich + mustard

  • Calories – 255
  • Protein – 18 g

Baked russet potato + nutritional yeast

  • Calories – 130
  • Protein – 6 g
  • Vitamin C – 45%
  • Potassium – 620 mg

Side salad with tomato + onion w/ oil + red wine vinegar

  • Calories – 25
  • Protein  – 1 g

 

Southwest Roll Up

img_4787

Sprouted tortilla + Tofutti cream cheese + mashed sweet potato + mashed black beans w/ fresh cilantro + hot sauce

  • Protein – 12 g
  • Fiber – 11 g
  • Calories – 315

    Freezer Shepard’s Pie and Village Salad

Shepherd’s Pie (recipe coming soon!)

  • Calories – 348
  • Protein – 17 g
  • Potassium – 1442 mg (41%)
  • Irong – (32%)
  • Vitamin C – (75%)

Village Salad

  • Calories – 70
  • Fiber – 3 g
  • Protein – 2 g
  • Vitamin C – (17%)
  • Iron – (7%)

Continue reading

Flavored Water

Admittedly, I haven’t always been the biggest water drinking but learning the benefits of drinking water, buying a few good water bottles, and trying out delicious flavored water have converted me.

So why infuse your water? Well, one, it tastes great. That’s a plus in itself but also means you’ll be more likely to get in your 8-10 glasses of water today. Two, nutrients from the fruits leak out of the fruit into the water, especially water-soluble vitamins like as B vitamins and vitamin C! It’s like making your own “vitamin water” without the cost or hidden chemicals.

These delicious combinations liven up the flavors and provide some great nutrients! Mix the flavors and concentrations to create a water you really enjoy.

For all of these recipes, just fill a jar or small pitcher with filtered water (maybe with ice). Then add in fruits (maybe crush them if they’re enclosed, like blueberries). Finally, add some herbs if you’d like! Just a note, the herbs really infuse in the water so start with less and then add more if you want.

Continue reading