Healthy cooking at home doesn’t have to be hard and it definitely doesn’t need to be boring. Whether you feel like you can take on Top Chef or if you’re just learning how to boil water, here are a few useful steps on how to prepare your kitchen and yourself for some easy, delicious and healthy meals.

1. Keep it Simple

Trying a new recipe can be a great way to shake things up in the kitchen, but start with ones that don’t have too many ingredients or steps. Better yet, try a recipe where you already have some of the ingredients on hand in your fridge. “Clean out the fridge” soups can be big winners.

2. Be Organized

The most time consuming part of cooking is usually gathering all the ingredients and tools that you need to start. You will save yourself a lot of time and stress if your kitchen counter is clear of clutter and all your tools/equipment are organized and easy to access. Also, as much as you can, clean as you work; the cooking process will be less stressful and there’ll be less to clean up once you’re done.

3. Volume Cooking

It’s always a good idea to have some meals ready to eat especially when you don’t feel like cooking. Your freezer is your best friend here. When making a meal, try making a little extra to store away in the freezer for next time. And on those days when you have some helpers around (worker elves or family members), make large batches of snacks and meals to store away.

4. Get Equipped

There are several key tools to have in your kitchen that will help to cut down on your preparation time and make cooking much more manageable.

  • Food Processor: Not only can it help with a lot of your chopping and shredding, this tool is great for making quick bean dips, pesto, marinades, nut butters, and even ice cream in much less time.
  • Rasp: The micro-blades on this tool are not only the best for removing zest from citrus fruit, but it’s also very effective at mincing ingredients like garlic and ginger, grating hard cheeses and getting that perfect amount of spice from cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
  • Speed Peeler: This Y shaped peeler goes above and beyond its regular peeling duties. Use it to get those ultra-thin slices of raw vegetables like beets, zucchini, and asparagus for some exceptional salads.
  • Parchment Paper: Wrap your fish and vegetables in a little parchment paper before putting in the oven. Bake your falafel directly on top. And even freeze your blueberries on it. This tool is great for non-stick needs and helps minimize the cleanup too.
  • Chef’s Knife: This 6 to 8 inch blade is used for the majority of work in the kitchen, so forget the large knife blocks and invest in a good quality, sharp chef’s knife that feels comfortable in your hands.

Try these simple and delicious recipes from the ELLICSR kitchen that we’ve prepared using some of these helpful cooking tips.

Pumpkin & Dandelion Falafel & Refreshing Carrot Mango Lassi

-Geremy Capone, Wellness Chef, ELLICSR Kitchen

Watch Geremy and Christy’s nutrition and diet video below and check out the rest of our LiveLaughLearn series for living life post-cancer diagnosis.

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