You want to cook healthy meals that feel good in your body and give you energy to do the things you want to do during the day. This post shows you how to cook fast meals that taste good, without recipes.
Imagine this: It’s been a long day, and you’re getting hungry for dinner. Like many people, you’re trying to save money on eating out, so you try to think of something to cook at home.
You want something tasty that makes you feel good, but doesn’t take forever to make. Meal kits are one option, but with prices as much as eating out (and still requiring effort to prepare), it doesn’t seem like the best option. You have a few meals you’re great at cooking, but you’ve had them so many times recently you’re kind of burned out on them.
So you spend some time online searching recipes, until your stomach finally reminds you it’s time to just pick one! You settle on something that seems pretty straightforward, but when you look in the kitchen, you realize you’re missing half the ingredients.
At this point you feel a headache coming on, so you order delivery, but the disappointment keeps you from fully enjoying that meal.
Now imagine this: It’s been a long day, and you’re getting hungry. You’re hoping to enjoy a meal at home that cooks quickly, without a lot of hassle or an extra trip to the grocery store.
Like many people, you enjoy cooking sometimes, but wish it was easier to plan and prepare healthy meals. You know you could look at your favorite recipe sites for inspiration, but instead go even simpler and wing it, using the basic principle you learned in this post.
You spend a very short amount of time between deciding that you’re hungry and actually taking that first bite. It’s also a fun experiment to use your personalized template with the flexibility to use ingredients you already have in the kitchen, while knowing the flavors will work well together.
At this point, you feel a sense of satisfaction and confidence in your cooking experience and enjoy the meal you prepared.
Think of this:
- Which situation sounds more relatable?
- What do you hope for?
- What parts of each situation stood out to you?
- Are you bored of eating the same meals over and over?
- Want a tip to make meal prep faster?
- Wondering how to cook without a recipe?
There’s an easy fix to all of these challenges, and you’re definitely not alone. My clients will often feel overwhelmed by the idea of cooking at home, or they get bored and want to try something new.
I also find that this is helpful for self-care, for days when I’m rushed or too tired for “Big Cooking” and just want to be sure I’m nourishing my body without using a bunch of energy I don’t feel I have.
It’s a simple solution to a common problem.
How to Cook Healthy, Without Using Recipes or Wasting Time and Energy
Here’s the basic principle:
Flavors go together in groups
Use easy flavor combinations so that you can…
- speed up the cooking process
- use less energy on decision making
- have “template” ideas to use, change, and experiment with based on what sounds good to you and what you have on hand
How to know what flavors go together:
Notice patterns in recipes
You can create your own groupings based on looking at recipes and noticing patterns.
Look up multiple versions of the same recipe (example: spaghetti sauce), or look at many recipes in the same cuisine (example: Italian). Either way, the goal is to observe repeating groupings of seasonings, herbs, ingredients, and flavors.
An example might be onion, garlic, tomato, basil, oregano, and olive oil.
You can then use your identified flavor combinations to quickly switch up your basic meal ingredients like grains, veggies, soups, etc.
Then you get to experiment with what you like the best and what satisfies the most.
Make it even easier:
Want to save time and come up with personalized groupings without doing the work yourself? Request a flavor combinations coaching call so you can go over combinations that fit your preferences (includes multiple examples!).
Here’s to your new experiments in cooking!