I have found that the easier and the more fun you make cooking, the more you will do it. As your budget will allow, invest in fun, timesaving gadgets to make your time in the kitchen easy, fun and adventurous. I suggest making a list of the items you need to make cooking easier and tell your family and friends what they can give you for birthdays, Christmas, etc. You might want to check out the article OUTFIT YOUR KITCHEN. I never liked to cook and now, 3 years later, I’m actually writing a cookbook! Who would have thought it? I’ve learned to have fun in my kitchen, and cooking and revising recipes has become easy, fun, and a way for me to be creative.
Spending time in the kitchen will get simpler as you become accustomed to it. I recommend setting and scheduling on your calendar 3-4 hrs. every week or every other week to bake and create a couple of new dishes. Also schedule ONCE a week to grocery shop and load up for the whole week! I know people who stop by the store every single day and pick up a few items . . . and to me, this is a waste of precious time and energy. You schedule everything else . . . why not schedule your shopping and cooking time? Isn’t your health and that of your family worth it? Print out my "SCD" COMPLETE FOOD LIST and take it with you to the store so you won’t be racking your brain to remember what is and is not ‘legal’. Once you learn the foods, you won’t need a list. When you have a variety of legal foods in the frig/freezer, you will have lots of choices and you won’t feel panicked about what's for dinner . . . and you won't be tempted to grab ‘illegals’ or overeat on fruit and nuts and hate yourself an hour later or get sick. Yep, I know how it is . . . been there . . . done that . . . and learned my lesson!
When cooking, double or triple recipes and cook and freeze things so you won’t have to be in the kitchen "creating" every single day. For the most part, we eat pretty simply: grilled or broiled meats and steamed veggies with something created from a recipe once or twice a week. Every once in a great while, it’s fun to try out a new recipe to keep from getting bored. If you have one or two items already cooked when you come in from an exhausting day at work, it’s not difficult to steam a fresh veggie or grill a quick piece of chicken to go with it!
For easy, fast food preparation and clean-up, I rely on a George Foreman Grilling Machine. Almost anything can be cooked in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. Mix it up the night before, refrigerate it, and put it on to cook the next morning before leaving for work . . come home and, VOILA, it’s ready to eat! I recommend limiting the use of the microwave, as many health experts believe that the intense heat destroys many of the vitamins and changes the chemical structure of foods. A large stir-fry (wok-type) pan is an absolute must for stir-frying vegetable/meat dishes. We love our vegetables this way. Use a small amount of olive oil and cook lightly, leaving them crunchy (after you’ve healed, of course); then add meat, chicken or shrimp, that you’ve cooked ahead, if you like. A pressure cooker is another great item to add to your kitchen for fast, easy, nutritious cooking. It cooks quickly under pressure and seals in all the vitamins and nutrients and foods are so tasty and tender!
The one piece of equipment that I could not live without is my food processor. It makes chopping, pureeing, and mixing large amounts a breeze. If you are investing in one piece of equipment (in addition to the yogurt maker, of course), make it this one. I recommend you get a large one so the motor will be strong enough to do the big jobs without overheating. The small ones will limit you considerably. Even if you’re only cooking for one or two, making things on a large scale will save you oodles of time and energy. With a large processor that has a heavier motor, you can process all the liquid ingredients combined with the almond flour in a recipe for about 60 seconds, and get a finer texture to any baked goods that is more like the texture you get from wheat flour. Some prefer the finer texture as opposed to the more coarse texture of the almond flour.
Of course, you have to have the electric Yogourmet Yogurt Maker from Lucy’s Kitchen at (888) 484-2126. . . it’s small and makes the job really simple. I much prefer it to the one with the individual cups. Our motto: “A-cup-a-day keeps the doctor away”!!! It’s sooo good . . . and good for you! I have not found any yogurt maker locally that compares to this one. The homemade yogurt has become a staple in our kitchen . . . but I did have to build a tolerance for it before my body could handle it well. Don, however, could handle it immediately and won’t go a day without his ‘fix’.
I’ve learned to get creative with food . . . and have discovered some great dishes by mistake. Did you know that most people only use 10-12 recipes for cooking? Trial and error different ones until you find 10-12 you really like, perfect them to your liking, and use them over and over again. When you cook, cook large amounts and freeze and rotate. Don fills our whole gas grill full of meat when he grills, and then I freeze in small portions. I read recently about a woman with a large family who uses a large slow cooker or roaster and cooks a turkey, chicken, and roast (in the same pot at the same time) every weekend and has her meat fixed for the whole week! Then you can slice and freeze in meal-sized portions. All that’s needed is to ‘doctor’ it up a little differently each meal so we don’t get bored. With a homemade sauce here and there, and chopping some of it for stir-fries, you can have variety and fix a meal in a hurry.
You can use any of your favorite recipes and substitute almond flour for regular flour, honey for sugar (1/2 amount of honey as sugar), and baking soda for baking powder. Use individual spices, instead of blends, as these are less apt to have illegal ingredients. Also you can puree fruits in your processor or a blender to use in place of butter in recipes. You can use Tropicana orange juice or lactose-free homemade yogurt when the recipe calls for milk. Dripped homemade yogurt can be used to replace dry curd cottage cheese in recipes. Applesauce can be substituted for eggs, (I think eggs are one of natures most complete foods, however) and olive oil for butter in the nut bread recipes, if you like. Of course, the texture of your recipe may change somewhat when you substitute.
Once every 6 weeks or so I like to make a huge amount of Italian Tomato Sauce, Kay’s K-1 Sauce, catsup, mayonnaise, or mustard (STAPLES IN KAY'S KITCHEN) and freeze in 1-cup containers, zip lock baggies or 2 oz. plastic Dixie cups with lids that I found at Sam’s. It’s great to have one or two of these on hand to enable you to fix fast dishes and to break the monotony of eating the same things every day. I also like to buy seasonal fruits or veggies and slice and freeze them to enjoy all year. A few of my favorite, easy recipes are found in Recipes on this site.
Cooking healthy meals is not hard . . . it's only a mindset. Our site will educate and hopefully inspire you to get on the "health wagon" with us! And remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Take it one step at a time . . . for as you know . . .
"Inch by inch, life's a cinch and yard by yard, it's hard".