I want to introduce you to a term I coined this year: Intuitive Cooking. Not intuitive eating, but intuitive cooking! It's a type of cooking that comes from within! Not looking outside yourself but looking within; knowing and trusting yourself. Using flavors, ingredients, fruits/vegetables, and spices you love, and then applying all the cooking knowledge you have from your years of eating breakfast lunch, and dinner. I guess I could also call it cooking from the soul.
We all know the basic principles of a balanced meal. Heck, we learned this in elementary school. A protein, vegetable, grain, and some fat in there somewhere.
So often we give our power away to outside influence, or to those that have "more" experience than you or better credentials in the cooking, kitchen, or in the nutrition department. But what if I told you that the key to success in the kitchen comes from within you. GASP! Yes, what if I told you that you have EVERYTHING (all the information) you need, you already have, you just have to trust it and trust yourself.
Will you make a few mistakes? Yes. Is it kind of scary to be out of your comfort zone? Yes. You might have some temperatures wrong or cook times a little off? That's a given. But like anything in life, mistakes teach us lessons. Once you make a drastic mistake you usually don't make it again. What's the saying? Teach a man to fish...? You know where I'm going with this.
I'm going to tell you a secret! Are you ready? I look at ingredients, think about something, throw it together, and it comes out AMAZING!!
Let me tell you another secret: I'm not special! 🤯 I wasn't born with a talent that you don't also have! Nope. Everybody has a creative side. We just have to tap into it. And believe in it.
So now that the secret is out of the bag. Everybody has a creative side. We just have to tap into it.
The Secret Ingredients
What are your absolute favorite vegetables?
What are your favorite grains?
What are your favorite greens?
What are your favorite proteins?
Do you have dressings you love?
Use this section for process shots, alternating between the step and image showing the
This process is so teachable. Like any art, it just takes trying...creating...putting your own spin on it...putting the pen to paper or the paintbrush to paper.
Cooking is an art!
When I cook I get lost in it. I lose track of time. Each new meal is not a chore but rather another fun canvas for me to paint on.
Next time you cook - put your fear aside! Pretend you are the most famous, talented chef that ever lived! Get your apron out and impress your family. I know you can do it!
Still don't think you can do it? Book a call me, we can walk through it together.
Learning this lesson/skill is life-changing! You will become quicker (saving you time) in the kitchen, know how to use old vegetables in your fridge (save you money and save on waste), and keep you and your family HEALTHIER than you could ever imagine!
This dressing you see above, I created in my head. I tasted something similar at a restaurant and then came home and replicated it. Without a recipe. AGAIN, I'm not a culinary genius. I just trust that I can use my, experience, knowledge of ingredients and flavors, taste, and other senses to create things in the kitchen.
Once you tap into the skill of intuitive cooking (a skill you already have located deep within you), you can quickly and confidently make recipe substitutions that fit your dietary requirements or needs. You can easily swap ingredients that you don't have on hand for ones that you do have.
Will it feel like a shit show sometimes? Yes.
If somebody suggested you pick up the skill of roller skating...you might say yes or no. I definitely wouldn't say that rollerskating would help you in everyday life to be healthier; I wouldn't call it a necessary life skill. But my point is that it's learnable. It takes a little falling and a little pain but it's something you can learn! At any age.
So why not learn cooking? Why not learn a skill that is actually fun, and provides you with so much freedom. NO MORE RECIPES! NO MORE WORDY FOOD BLOGS. NO MORE SPENDING HOURS EVERY NIGHT MAKING DINNER!
That sounds like a skill worth learning. WATCH ME IN ACTION MAKING THIS [vegan] FRIDGE DUMP DINNER!
Fridge dump dinners are amazing because they taste great and they use everything in your fridge. See my recipe for how to create one of these for yourself.
INTUITIVE COOKING | FRIDGE DUMP DINNER
- 1 air fryer OR
- 1 frying pan OR
- 1 baking dish
- a cruciferous vegetable, thinly sliced
- onion, thinly sliced
- protein of choice, chopped
- herbs, scallions, lettuce
- starch (i.e. potatoes, rice, noodles)
- sauce or dressing
- Whatever vegetables you choose to use, be sure to consider the texture, the water content and cut them accordingly. For example, if you're using onion and broccoli, be sure they are cut to similar sizes and thickness. If you're adding potatoes to that as well, make the potatoes super thin. Othewise, the cook times will vary and something will burn or something won't be cooked thoroughly.
- Put all these vegetables into an air fryer. Follower air fryer instructions for cook times and temps.
- Find a protein (optional, you do not need proteins at every meal), cook it how you love it. In a frying pan or in the air fryer. I added my protein (which was not RAW, it was pre cooked) to the air fryer with my veggies.
- Grab seasonings you love. Do you like cumin? Or pepper? Or coriander? Or parsley? What about Spike? Or onion powder? Use any of these to season your veggies and proteins.
- Decide on a base. Do you have fresh greens? Make this into a salad. Do you have rice on hand? Make this into a heartier bowl type of dinner. I added raisins for sweetness and green onions. I had those items on hand. For crunch and protein I added toasted sunflower seeds. You could have chosen pecans or walnuts.
- Add everything together and enjoy! If you think it's too dry or bland try adding a fun sauce. Or just use lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Sauces are KEY to enjoying your last-minute plant-based quick meals.