The Challenge

One of the most challenging parts about cooking is shopping.  Not so much shopping but all the questions and doubts along the way.  What should I make?  Did I buy too much?  Do I have enough?  Do I already have milk at home?  Did I forget anything?

The running narrative of doubts and decisions is what makes the process of cooking and shopping so taxing.  Not to mention, I often have a chatty sidekick in tow.  Mommy.  Needs.  To.  Think.

I’d like to say that I’ll make a plan on Sunday, double-check my list, and avoid the stress.  That however, is not how life works.  First, Sundays are fun days (not the same meaning as ten years ago, but still fun).  Second, my plans change throughout the week so I need a flexible meal plan.  Third, reading recipes after a long day makes my brain hurt.    

The problem is that I have too many things to keep track of to be able to, “wing it,” at the grocery store and feel confident that I will be able to make meals happen throughout the week.  So, what would happen if I limited myself to buying only a few versatile ingredients and made meals happen from there?  

In the fashion world, bloggers do this all the time.  They create small wardrobes, called capsule wardrobes, made of only their favorite items and then challenge themselves to see how many outfits they can make using just a few pieces.  (For more on this check out Unfancy or StyleBee).

Why not do the same in the kitchen?

A Capsule Kitchen… a kitchen made of only the best pantry staples and a few fresh, versatile, ingredients at a time.  My shopping trips will be a breeze and I can easily Improv Cook using whatever I have on hand.  I feel calmer already.

I'm going to need to test this out... 

My goal in testing a Capsule Kitchen is to:

  • Simplify shopping by making less decisions and having less to manage
  • Simplify cooking by using less ingredients
  • Waste less food (less wasted-food-guilt, and more savings)
  • Focus on seasonal items (less expensive, tastier, better for the planet) 
  • Always have the ingredients for an Improv meal on hand

I plan to chase these goals without compromising on the two most important things:

  1. Using mostly real food ingredients (fruits, vegetables, grains, high-quality proteins and dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and natural sweeteners)
  2. Making delicious food (of course) 

Do you want to join me?

I’m working out the details but you can bet these meals will involve a lot of cooking without a recipe.  So brush up on those skills and get ready to simplify.

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Next up I’ll share my Capsule Kitchen shopping list with you, stay tuned…