A couple years ago I made Rawtarian’s banana cream pie and thought it was a lot of work. That pie is still one of my favorite things. I just made the filling as a pudding for dessert and it triggered my memory of how much work I used to think it was. All you have to do is throw everything in a blender. It takes about five minutes. I struggled to cook and prepare real food for a long time because I didn’t have my kitchen set up for cooking.
When my oldest son, Ryder, was born, I started getting into the paleo diet for health reasons. I also love the idea of cooking where most ingredients have some sort of nutritional benefit. It’s not always easy but these tips will make things easier and help you be more prepared and less overwhelmed.
Keep appliances on the counter
Place the appliances you use most on your counter and keep them plugged in. The effort it takes to find the appliance, set it up and plug it in can make anyone default to ordering pizza instead. Keep them set up so you just need to throw the food in. I keep the Vitamix, Instant Pot, food processor and Kitchen Aid mixer all on the counter, plugged in and ready to party.
Set a day for food organizing
Once a week, just before grocery shopping, take the time to organize your food.
- Go through the refrigerator and freeze any leftovers that you won’t eat before going bad. Be sure to label what it is and note if anything needs to be added. Trust me, you will forget in three months.
- Move your food back to the places where it’s supposed to be and easily accessible.
- Toss anything that has gone bad and take an inventory of staples you are low on. Do this every week before doing the grocery shopping. That way, when you come home with 15 grocery bags, you have somewhere to put everything and can add things you need to your list. The goal is to keep things neat and easily accessible so you aren’t spending 20 minutes gathering all your recipe ingredients before making a meal.
Have a back up plan
Try to make enough food to always have leftovers. Freezing leftovers, even in small portions, is great to have during busy weeks. If there is only a single serving left after a meal, freeze it and once you build up the stash, you can have a buffet style dinner one night, or use them for lunches. Danielle Walker at Against All Grain showed the world to freeze bone broth in silicone muffin cups in order to have small portions ready any time. Just freeze inside your muffin tin, then they easily pop out of the silicone and you can stash them in a Freezer bag/container of choice. I do this with everything from leftover sloppy Joe’s to bone broth.
Have another back up plan
Have a few meals that you know your family loves and you can always make with what you have on hand. Find the meals that work for you and always keep those ingredients as part of your staples on your grocery list. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Wellness Mama Beef and Zucchini Stir Fry
- Spaghetti with a clean jar of sauce
- Tacos-shredded chicken or ground beef
- Fridge dump stir fry-Just throw what you have together. Ground turkey, ground or shredded chicken work great with a bunch of veggies.
See my post, 10 Must Have Gadgets for a Paleo Kitchen, for most used tools in paleo cooking.
Having your kitchen set up so you are more efficient is a total game changer. Once you have your kitchen set up and have gadgets and food easily accessible, you will be a paleo champion in no time!