Eating as a minimalist
Tue, 17 Nov 2020 20:42:59 +0000
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a foodie. Although I do appreciate a nice meal, I don’t particularly enjoy cooking, and I definitely eat to live, I don’t live to eat.
Having said that, it’s probably no surprise that my cooking habits are pretty minimal. In the kitchen, like in every aspect of my life, I like to keep it simple.
These are some ways I try to be a minimalist in the kitchen.
Use what you have
I am fortunate enough to work at a grocery store where I get to take home anything we can’t sell, so often I won’t even have to decide what to buy. My first choice is always to use what I find in the staff fridge. This reduces the stress of decision making and sparks my creativity as I will have to assemble a meal out of surprise ingredients.
Having said that, I somehow always end up revolving around the same recipes.
A standard meal for me looks like rice, roasted kumara, corn and peas. I could live on this for days (and I pretty much do). In summer I love salads, but I keep them very basic: cos lettuce, sauerkrauts, avocado, cucumber. In winter I thrive on roasted veggies. My favourite comfort food is savoury porridge: oats cooked with sweetcorn, tomatoes, some herbs and sesame oil.
My pantry staples are rice, oats, lentils, potatoes, baked beans, creamed corn, tofu, and jars and jars of Mamia’s Sauce. My fridge and freezer are always stocked with fresh and frozen veggies (and pickles!).
Whenever I cook, I cook for an army. I then store everything in jars and freeze what I know I won’t be able to eat within a couple of days. This saves me money, time and energy as well as brain power when I have to decide what to eat.
This of course is dependant on the fact that I’m currently flatting with three other people and we share most kitchen appliances, but the items I always reach for in the kitchen are simple and very few: a blender, a pot, a pan, a rice cooker. I also pretty much always use my favourite plate, spoon and mug.
(Stay tuned for a more detailed post of what I do and don’t own in the kitchen!)
Keep it plain
Again, this applies to my particular upbringing, but I grew up on very plain foods - not to say that they weren’t tasteful, but hot chilli was never a staple in my mother’s kitchen. As a result I now can’t eat anything spicy at all, which makes it easier in terms of what spices I own and use. The two that have stuck are turmeric and paprika. Otherwise I season everything with salt, pepper and olive oil. I recently discovered toasted sesame oil, and I use coconut oil for stir-fry and baking.
As far as condiments go, I’m currently going through a chimichurri phase, but otherwise I mostly make my own sauces using Terra nut cheese, home-made tahini, and my all-time favourite peanut butter seasoning for stir-fry. I of course also keep a lifelong supply of nutritional yeast that I sprinkle on absolutely everything.
Of course this is what works for me. Everyone is different and we all have different approaches to cooking. I don’t particularly enjoy spending time in the kitchen, yet I would rather meal prep than get takeaways every night, but if that’s how you roll there’s absolutely no shame in that. Much the same, if you love cooking and every meals for you involves 5 courses, numerous appliances and more dishes that you might be willing to wash, by all means go for it.
Do you like cooking? What’s your favourite thing to eat? I’d love to hear from you!