Keep It Stocked & Simple

I like to follow the KISS rule for the kitchen: Keep It Stocked & Simple. The goal isn’t to be the best cook, but instead to be smart, mindful and passionate in the kitchen and really, in everything I do. I’ve learned that simplicity and smarts make for fantastic, easy and healthful meals!

The more I practice my enthusiasm for healthy cooking, the more creative I become. I’ll take a risk on a new recipe, or a new herb or spice. I’m developing my skill set in the kitchen at the same time that I’m enjoying the challenge of a new meal. If something doesn’t turn out perfect, I’m cool with that. I tried something new and don’t mind if it’s testing my abilities—as long as I’m improving every day with heart and understanding.

I want to feel well and create meals from the heart. I’m happier when I stretch myself and try new recipes, and my family benefits too!

I have 3 key things I take into consideration when planning the weekly family menu:

  1. Healthy
  2. Simple
  3. Gluten free

(Well, maybe 4 things… as I always add a dash of LOVE. It’s immeasurable, fun and won’t turn out right without the spice of life! 💓)

Everything I put on the table is carefully considered. Produce and meat has to always be fresh, or—if frozen—be in whole food form without additives or sauces. As much as I love to cook from scratch, I get busy or am sometimes not up for a big production and cleanup. Making my own salad dressing or grinding my own gluten free bread crumbs just isn’t a priority.

I like to stay stocked with single ingredient, fresh go-to items and there’s always vegetables in the fridge. I can wrap anything in a lettuce wrap or make a salad with yummy meats on top.

I’m not a big pantry person because most processed foods made for the shelf are full of added salt, sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, but I do have certain things on hand for when I’m in the mood for quick n’ easy. Amy’s has a great variety of gluten-free soups to choose from. I also like black beans, nuts and tuna for lean protein. And frozen chicken breasts topped with Rao’s marinara sauce from the pantry satisfies my craving for a home cooked meal without the fuss.

I have a big bowl I like to keep filled with bananas, avocados and apples on my kitchen counter. They are pretty to look at, easy to grab and go, and of course… gluten free. A bag of fresh spinach and a couple of heads of romaine lettuce work great for all sorts of combinations from a spinach omelet to a lettuce wedge with a small steak.

I keep two crates of 18 eggs in the fridge, always. This way I can whip up a side of scrambles or serve an Egg Sandy to any hungry person—any day of the week.

Plan ahead and keep your kitchen well stocked with your favorite single ingredient foods and it’ll be easy to eat healthy when you’re not up for the effort. Cut yourself some slack and let your creativity fly with whatever is on hand. There’s no one to impress!

An apple and an ounce of peanuts goes a long way in terms of nutrients, fiber and feeling energized when you need an afternoon snack. A banana and a cup of coffee (no sugar) is a great healthful “fast food” alternative to any chai creme frappucino and a biscuit. You certainly don’t have to forgo these things altogether, but if you can stick to a healthful way of eating at least 80% of the time, you’ll be able to tell a big difference.

Gluten free can turn into care free once you master it. And if you keep at it, you’ll be a master of your kitchen, your health, the health of your family and lovin’ life to the fullest!