Kitchen savvy doesn’t have to entail mastering complicated multi-step recipes or chef-worthy techniques. Yes, it’s useful to know how to chop an onion, crush fresh garlic, marinate meat, and a handful of other kitchen skills to make the prep process run smoothly, but when you start with fresh, quality ingredients, allowing those things to speak for themselves in terms of flavor and freshness provides not only an ease to the process, but yields quality dishes every time full of real, wholesome, body-nourishing flavor.
When it comes to bringing nourishing, simple, and flavorful meals to the table, keep this tip in mind: K.I.S.S. and Make it Up. Say whaaaat???? Keep It Super Simple, for starters. Delicious, healthy meals don't have to tout a long list of complicated ingredients or require hours spent in the kitchen. Heck, they don't even have to require a recipe!! Make it up. Stock your fridge and pantry with quality ingredients, and let those nourishing foods speak to you when it comes to throwing together a dynamic dish.
Filling the fridge and pantry with quality whole food items allows for a smooth, stress free meal prep process (for more on how to navigate the grocery store jungle, see this post for a few quick, useful tips). What do I mean by “quality, whole food items?” When it comes to meat sources, this is one area where you don’t want to sacrifice on quality. Opt for grass fed beef or bison, free range poultry, pastured pork and lamb, and wild caught fish. If you can find a local source, even better! Get to know your farmers and ranchers. They're some of the best people in the real food realm. For produce, you don’t have to go all organic. A very general rule of thumb: if you’re eating the peel of the fruit or veggie, choose organic. Any chemicals or pesticides used will reside in the peel. With organic, you’re ingesting less junk that way. If it has a hard peel that will be removed, going the conventional route isn’t so bad. For more on produce quality and how to choose, check out this easy guide.
Picture this: dinner time is rolling around, so you look through the fridge and pick out 2-3 veggies to sauté or roast, and a quality protein source. Maybe everything goes in the same pan or on the same baking sheet, even easier. A little seasoning, grass fed butter, coconut oil, pastured lard, grass fed beef tallow, etc, and you’ve got an exceptional, well-balanced dinner with minimal effort. Real food equals real flavor, every time.
Check out the list below for some of my all time favorite flavor building staples. Each item is linked for ease of sourcing. For additional support in simple meal-making and transitioning to healthier eating, be sure to check out my Work With Me page for info on how we might be able to work together on your health journey!
Fave flavor building pantry staples:
- Coconut aminos: slightly sweet, umami flavor similar to soy sauce, but without the endocrine disrupting potential of soy
- Organic fresh and dried herbs (buying in bulk is cheaper. This is a great source for quality organic dried herbs)
- Smoked sea salt and other flavored salts: smoked salts add such a unique depth of flavor
- Organic Dijon mustard
- Avocado oil
- Raw apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar
- Fresh garlic
- Organic coconut milk
- Fresh turmeric (can be frozen and easily peeled/grated for use)
- Fresh ginger (can be frozen and easily peeled/grated for use)
- Pure maple syrup
- Fresh lemons/limes
- Homemade bone broth
- Pastured bacon (look for uncured, minimal ingredients, and sugar free if possible)
- Organic sugar free jams/fruit spreads (fantastic as a quick, simple meat marinade)
- Organic tahini
Easy seasoning DIY blends:
Italian: oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme
Mexican: oregano, garlic, cumin, chili powder
Oriental: turmeric, ginger, garlic, sesame seed, pepper
Now get in the kitchen and flavor some creativity!
In good health,