Do you have cooking fatigue? I'll admit it...cooking is my passion, but during the shut-in, it started becoming a chore and a bore. Then my husband had a great idea that made it fun again: Go through all the recipes I've collected over the years, and choose a bunch to make each week. With a big clip organizing my chosen weekly recipes, I now have a predetermined meal plan of never-before-made soups, salad, proteins and healthy desserts that I take with me to the grocery store for easy shopping once a week. The result? New tastes and textures, delectable meals, awesome leftovers and renewed happiness in the kitchen.
I hoard recipes the way some women collect jewelry. If you don't already have a stash of recipes at your fingertips, here are some great resources to search and subscribe to. You can print or download and organize your favorite recipes:
- Food Network
- My blog has lots of recipes to scroll through:
- My book, Gutsy, has 57 original recipes
- New York Times Saturdays, "At Home" section
- Wall Street Journal Weekend
Recipes in hand, tweak them if you have known food sensitivities to certain ingredients; for example, swap out dairy milk for nut milk, coconut oil for butter, wheat flour for gluten-free flours. In my Fig Clafoutis recipe below, I exchanged buttermilk for almond yogurt and lemon juice, wheat flour for almond meal and refined sugar for lower-glycemic coconut sugar. And, with all this cooking, there's a big payoff: You get to control what goes into your body. While restaurants typically use inflammatory vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola for example) and an abundance of sugar and salt, you get to choose healthier ingredients that support your wellbeing.
To make things even easier, arm yourself with time-saving tools. These tools make the work so much easier, removing the hassle and amping up the fun. Some of you already know and depend on these tools. I'd love to hear from you if you have others you recommend; leave a comment below to share your ideas.
- Immersion stick blender: purees soups right in the pot, which saves you dishwashing time
- Spiralizer: makes vegetable noodles for steaming, sautéing or using raw in salads (I have the KitchenAid spiralizer attachment that slips right onto my KitchenAid stand mixer.)
- Steamer pot: great for quick-steamed vegetables and reheating cooked proteins
- Knives: a chef's knife, pairing knife and perhaps a serrated bread knife are all you truly need
- Knife sharpener: Sharp knives make all the difference: (I have a Chef's Choice sharpener.)
- Cutting boards: preferably wood or bamboo; use different ones for meats and veggies, or chop veggies first followed by raw meats
- Pans made of PFOA- and PTFE-free bonded titanium, ceramic, enamel or glass: for safely sautéing and cooking proteins and vegetables
- Vitamix or other high-powered blender
- Food processor: a great multifunction gadget for automated slicing, shredding and blending
A clafoutis is a souffle-like pancake baked in the oven. Figs are in season right now, and boy are they delectable. But berries or stone fruits such as peaches or nectarines would work just as well.
Coconut oil or coconut oil spray to cover bottom and sides of baking dish
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c almond meal or other gluten-free flour
1/2 c coconut sugar
1/4 t salt
2 to 3 cups fresh figs, halved
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a shallow 8 or 9" baking dish or cast-iron skillet. Into a blender, combine eggs, yogurt, lemon juice, almond meal, coconut sugar and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour into baking dish. Place figs face up onto batter in concentric circles. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!