How can you make cooking easy and a habit? This is so important since cooking for yourself is the main way to be healthy, lose weight, and boost energy. Let’s address the basics, ways to cook, efficiency, and some extra ideas to make cooking easy.
The basics on how to make cooking easy
Sharp knife. Cooking is so frustrating when you have a dull knife. Plus, it’s dangerous too. In order to make cooking easy, we must enjoy the process and it must feel easy.
Menu plan. You need a plan for the week (or at least a few days) and not show up to a meal with no idea what to cook and not having any ingredients to boot. It can be planned to details or easy reminders like fish Friday, taco Tuesday, meatless Monday, etc. You would want plenty of variety so you don’t get bored and therefore, consume diverse nutrients.
Schedule grocery. If you don’t shop, cooking is not easy. Plan to go to the store at least once a week. I go twice since I want fresh produce. The second trip is a quick in-and-out 15 minute endeavor just for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Stock kitchen. Your kitchen should always be well stocked and so when life gets in the way, you always have something to resort to. Make sure you have plenty of frozen meats/fish, frozen vegetables, whole grains, produce, canned beans, spices, etc.
Cooking methods to make cooking easy
Oven. I love my toaster oven because it’s no big deal to use it in the summer too when you don’t want to heat up your house. It’s easy to throw meats, quiche, roast veggies, etc. and walk away while you work or do other things.
Slow cooker. I haven’t bought an Instant pot but I love using my slow cooker from time to time when life is busy. Make a batch of meats and roots and load it up with fresh vegetables when you eat.
Of course there are other easy cooking methods too such as sautéing, grilling, steaming, etc.
Mise en place. This is what the French call “put in place.” Like those TV chefs, you have all your ingredients ready for action and you’re not scrambling to find things while the fire is on. This is how you make cooking easier.
Efficient ways to make cooking easy
Batch cook. When I toss something in the oven, I add a bunch of other things too such as chicken, root vegetables, and anything you would enjoy roasted. You can cook up extra beans, chicken, whole grains, etc. These can be used as sides, on salads, in a main course that’s already pre-cooked, or as a snack. Make cooking easy by having ingredients readily available at all times.
Leftovers. I love cooking plenty of dinner and using it as leftovers for lunch the next day. For some people, they will do this for multiple meals; more bang for your effort. Who doesn’t love that? Plus, you can always spoof it up by adding fresh vegetables.
Extra ideas for making cooking easy
Clean as you go. A messy kitchen makes me not want to cook. And since cooking is so important for our health and weight loss, I clean as I go and the final clean up is no big deal. While I’m waiting on the pot to boil or simmer, I’ll just clean up the counter and dishes in the sink while I’m listening to my favorite podcasts, audible books, or shows.
Go global. I find it so much more exciting to cook by country. Is it Italian tonight or Chinese, Moroccan, Thai, French, Mediterranean, etc. This really helps me decide which spices to use and travel through food. Make cooking not only easy but fun and delicious. It’s all about your mindset.
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~ Samantha Hua, Online Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA