Cooking: one of the most important life skills, but one that often feels intimidating and incredibly time consuming.
How many times have you thought to yourself, “I just don’t have time to cook,” or “that recipe looks good but it’s way too complicated.”
We’ve heard from many people that they just believe that they “can’t cook” and struggle to make anything more complicated than boxed mac n’ cheese.
We totally get it.
Cooking can feel scary and overwhelming! We’re certainly not professional chefs and we’ve both had plenty of home cooking “fails” over the years.
Unfortunately, cooking at home does take more time and effort than takeout, but we’ve got some tips to make it easier to start making simple healthy meals at home in less time than you think.
We’ve rounded up a selection of cooking tips and go-to kitchen habits that, with a little extra effort and some practice, will make you a confident at-home chef in no time.
So if you’re feeling like you need some extra guidance in the kitchen, read on!
We’re hosting an extra special LIVE cooking class on February 6 where we’ll walk you step-by-step through cooking a full plant-based meal plus answer your questions in real time.
This is the perfect opportunity to learn healthy cooking tips and tricks directly from us in real time, so don’t miss out! RSVP here.
What are some of your favorite ways to make kitchen time more efficient? Please leave us a message in the comment section below.
With home-cooked meal love,
Jo & Jules
5 Steps to Confidence in the Kitchen:
- Cook your way through a cookbook: One of the best ways to learn is through doing, so sometimes you’ve just got to jump right in! A great way to gain confidence and skill in your cooking is to pick your favorite cookbook and start cooking your way through it. As you work your way through the book, you’ll start learning new techniques, tips, and find favorite recipes that can become easy go-tos when meal planning. Some of our favorite cookbooks include, The Healing Kitchen, Whole 30 Fast and Easy, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Raw Food Detox Diet, The Clean Plate, Eat Drink Shine and, of course, our new Conscious Cleanse Cookbook.
- Plan your menu: The easiest way to feel in control in the kitchen is to know why you’re there and exactly what you need to make. When planning, focus on simple meals like vibrancy bowls, salads and soups. You’ll soon start to recognize which recipes can be doubled for lunch leftovers or frozen for a future dinner. A paper kitchen calendar works great, or you can use a magnetic whiteboard on the fridge. We’re currently crushing on Anthropologie’s Weekly Meal Planner Notepad. We use the Recipe Library and Meal Planner tool on our Conscious Cleanse On Demand membership site combined with this paper tool and it’s magic!
- Prep your base ingredients: Each week decide what the base layers of each meal are going to be. If you’re a vegan, perhaps it’s a large batch of quinoa and a pot of garbanzo beans. If you’re a meat lover, bake several chicken breasts and salmon fillets and keep them in your grab-n-go glassware. Then, just assemble your meal when you’re ready to eat from the prepped ingredients in your fridge. The go-to base proteins we’re making in our kitchens right now are the Ginger Broiled Salmon and Chipotle Lime Lentil Burgers.
- Prep your veggies & dressings: Salads are the ultimate natural “fast food,” especially if you pre-chop or pre-roast your veggies. Designate a few large jars or storage containers to hold your salad components. Pre-chop raw veggies and pre-roast cooked veggies and store them in your fridge. Then when you’re ready to eat, just top salad greens with some of your prepped veggies and salad dressing, and voila! Instant salad! A good sauce or dressing can also totally change your meal. Our favorite dressings right now are our Maple Tahini Dressing, Sweet Basil Dressing, and Garlic Caesar Dressing.
- Take a cooking class: Taking the time to learn new recipes and kitchen skills can be a huge confidence boost, and a great way to do this is by taking a cooking class! There are many online classes available out there where instructors can show you how to make recipes step-by-step (we’re hosting a LIVE cooking class on February 6 that you can check out here). We’ll show you how to make cooking fun and easy!