present path | tread lightly

Approach cooking like your wardrobe

by Thomas Finch

One of the success over the past couple of weeks has been overhauling the way I cook.

I used to collect and hoard recipes that I would find on the Internet and save them for a later date where I’d attempt to cook a range of different recipes every week. Not only was I overreaching in my attempt to cook new recipes, but I found I had to hunt high and low for a certain speciality ingredient or I needed a specific type of cooking equipment to really make the dish at its best.

No more though. Previously I’ve written about approaching the Internet like grocery shopping, well now I’m recommending you approach home cooking like your wardrobe. A simple wardrobe that is.

Just like we wear the same clothes week after week, we can also cook the same meals week after week.

Home cooking is known to be far better for us than processed food and is significantly cheaper than eating out at restaurants. To combat the lack of will-power and other excuses‌ obstacles we can face when it comes to cooking, we need to keep it simple. Otherwise we get caught up in the paradox of choice and decision fatigue.

Most of us likely eat the same cereal or similar meal for breakfast so why can’t it be the same for the other two meals of the day? I’m not advocating that the other two meals be the exact same, since we need a balanced diet overall, but a regularity in staples.

So rather than a meal plan, I suggest a meal template.

Just like our wardrobes where we likely have a smaller amount of base items like trousers; say a pair for work, a couple of pairs of jeans compared to more shirts and t-shirts; the same can be said of our meals.

A meal template consists of choosing a base dish and working on top of it. Some examples might include risotto, quesadillas, baked potato, pasta, soup, salad – these are your base templates. Then you can choose and change what you add in or on top of these items each week – like your t-shirts.

This is nothing particular new, but the approach to it may help you simplify your weekly shop and cooking routine.

Template tips

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