How to cook foods [you're too embarrassed to ask how]

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Simplicity.

 

Eating food is not meant to be overwhelming.

 

It’s just not.

 

Somewhere between being a baby and knowing when we want our milk (and we want it NOW); and being an adult—and maybe ‘knowing’ in our heads what we ‘need’, versus what we think our taste buds want gets quite confusing and conflicting.

 

 

 

Like really confusing.

 

Grass-fed beef. Chicken. Seafood. Pasture-raised eggs. Greens. Fresh fruits and veggies. Water. Healthy fats like nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut butter, nutbutter, grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut flakes, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed—these are the foods we know we should eat.

 

BUT, takeout. Popcorn. Frozen Lean Cuisines. Sandwiches. Chicken tenders. Fruit-infused smoothies. Starbucks pastries. Chips and queso. Diet Cokes. Margaritas. Mac & Cheese. Coffee with Half-and-Half. Brownies and cookies. French fries. The diet foods that you hold onto for security (they are ‘safe’ or the ‘only things you can eat’)–These foods seem so much more comforting right? And convenient. And tasty.

 

 

…Not to mention simple (to grab and go…to pick up…to satisfy an instant ‘want’).

 

At the end of the day…the majority of us just want simple.

 

After all, we are busy people. Food is fuel to do all the things we want to do in our lives outside the kitchen.

 

But the irony of it all?

 

Eating food that makes you feel amazing, and is gratifying to the tastebuds, and takes no time at all is actually quite…simple.

 

All you have to do is: fry, bake, stew or poach a nice piece of good quality meat, fish or seafood; Then steam, bake, roast or boil a side of fresh or frozen vegetables, making sure to add a good amount of tallow, butter, Ghee, lard, coconut oil or olive oil in the process for taste, energy and health, and VOILA!

 

 

Grub.

 

Simple right?

 

The ONLY tricky piece here is if…you are not 100% comfortable cooking in the kitchen.

 

Well you’ve come to the right place!

 

This post is dedicated to you IF:

 

  • Recipes get you more stressed out looking at the long list of ingredients, rather than inspired.

 

  • You’d rather watch paint dry than spend 2-3 hours meal prepping on your Sunday afternoon

 

  • You think eating healthy homecooked meals=bland, boring and not-tasty

 

  • You’ve never used a skillet, crockpot, meat pounder or Spiralizer

 

  • You want to feel more confident in the kitchen, but you’ve never been one to ask how to do it

 

That used to be me too.

 

In fact, I’d hear about the simplest of foods that people ranted and raved about making (like spaghetti squash, or their own roasted chicken at home), and I’d think: that sounds complicated.

 

No time like the present to get your hands dirty.

 

Here are some of my favorite, easy peasy ‘recipes’ for whipping up some of the most basic meats and side dishes known to man(and girl)kind.

 

#TooGoodToBeTrue #SoEasyYourLittleBroherCanEvenDoIt

 

Meal Prep Friday: Meals Made Simple

 MAINS

Easy-to-Peel Hardboiled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen pasture-raised eggs

Directions

  •  For shells that slip right off, place the eggs in a pot filled with enough water to cover them by one inch. Heat the water on top of the stove on high until it comes to a rolling boil. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. After 15 minutes, drain the water from the pot and run cold water over the eggs. This stops the cooking process. Once the eggs are cool to the touch, tap one on a countertop until it’s covered with cracks, then roll it on a countertop under the palm of your hand. Start peeling from the large end.

Eggs Over Easy (atop fresh salad)

 

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 cups organic spinach
  • 2 cups organic arugula
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 bunch fresh dill weed
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • coarse ground sea salt, to taste
  • dried oregano, to taste
  • coarse ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Crack eggs in the pan and immediately cover with a lid. Cook the eggs to your desired consistency and keep an eye on them while preparing the salad.
  • In a large mixing bowl add spinach, avocado, cucumber, dill and celery.
  • Mix in the bowl along with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and oregano.
  • Toss to combine. Split salad between two large plates.

 

“Julia Child’s Worthy” Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter or ghee
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 whole organic chicken (about 4 lbs.) cleaned and dried
  • 2 lemons, zest both
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425º F
  • In a bowl, mix the butter or ghee, garlic, thyme, rosemary and zest from 2 lemons. Add a little salt and pepper
  • Place chicken (patted dry) inside a roasting pan
  • Slice one of the lemons and place inside cavity along with the onion wedges and a few extra rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • Tie legs together (optional) with water-soaked twine
  • Brush chicken with the butter/ghee and seasoning mixture you prepared in the bowl. Place some under the breast skin if possible.
  • Squeeze juice from the remaining lemon over the chicken, then sprinkle skin with salt, pepper and a little paprika
  • Roast in 425º F oven for about 40 minutes (using a meat thermometer is highly recommended – when the temperature reaches 165º F, the chicken is cooked through)
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving
  • Important Tip:
  • If skin starts to darken too much while roasting, lightly place aluminum foil over the chicken and leave in place for the remainder of the cooking time

 

Crispy Chicken Thighs

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • sea salt, pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoon ghee
  • additional seasonings of choice (optional)

 

Directions

Blot the chicken dry with a paper towel.

Flatten the chicken with a meat pounder (or cut a gash in the thickest part of each thigh piece with scissors) to ensure uniform cooking.

Turn the chicken skin-side-up, and sprinkle salt

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Melt the ghee in the pan and place four chicken thighs skin-side down in the hot pan.

Season the meat side with your favorite seasoning blend (I like garlic powder, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar)

Let the chicken fry until a crispy and golden brown (around 7-10 minutes total-flip both sides), rotating the pan 90 degrees at the halfway point to make sure the heat from the burner is uniformly distributed.

 

 

Pulled Crockpot Pork inspired by Everyday Paleo

Ingredients

4-5 lb pork butt roast

2 yellow onions, sliced

Dry Rub

3 tbsps chili powder

1 tsp coriander

2 tsps cumin

2 tsps onion powder

1 tablespoon dried parsley

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

2 tsps sea salt

 

Directions

Mix all dry rub ingredients together.  Rub the entire roast with the dry rub (you should use it all.)  Place a layer of onions on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Place the roast on top.  Put the rest of the sliced onions on top of the slow cooker.  NO LIQUID NECESSARY!  Cook the roast on high for 5-6 hours and then turn down to low for another 3-4 hours or until the roast is literally falling apart and easy to shred.

 

 

Pork Chops & Apples

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil;
  • 2 large onions, sliced;
  • 4 sliced and cored apples;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Directions

  • Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Melt the cooking fat and fry the chops, about 5 minutes on each side, until well cooked and browned.
  • Set the pork chops aside, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onion and apple slices.
  • Cook for about 4 minutes, until the onions have caramelized and the apple slices are slightly soft.
  • Serve the chops with the topping of apple and onions.

 

Skillet Burgers

                                                                                                                                     *picture by PaleOMG

Ingredients

Burgers

  • 1 lb. grassfed beef, bison or ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon, divided

Toppings (options)

  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or coconut oil, duck fat, etc)
  • sweet potato, peeled and sautéed into ‘noodles’
  • Pinch of sage
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1 roma tomato
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • grassfed raw goat cheese/cheddar cheese slice

 

Directions

Burgers

  • Preheat your skillet on medium heat. Spray with coconut oil cooking spray, or use non-stick/cast iron
  • Ensure your meat has been at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Place meat, salt and pepper, and half your lemon juice in a bowl and combine everything with your hands
  • Divide the meat in half and form 4 even-sized patties ensuring you depress the center of your burgers with your thumb making a well
  • Place your burgers on skillet and cook covered for 3 minutes
  • After 3-4 minutes, flip your burgers and cook for another 2 minutes covered
  • Open the lid and top with your goat cheese (if using cheese) and leave your burgers until your cheese is melted and burgers are cooked through. Remove from the skillet
  • Top with toppings of choice, wrapped in a lettuce wrap if desired

 

Easy Chili

Ingredients:

1 lb grass-fed ground beef

1 medium onion (chopped) or sprinkle onion powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

4-5 cloves garlic (minced) or garlic powder

1 can organic tomatoes 14.5oz (petite-diced)

small can tomato paste (optional)

3-4 tbsp chili powder (depending on how you like the heat

2 tsp dry oregano

1-2 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper

Directions:

Add coconut oil to a pan on medium heat, brown ground beef with chopped onion and minced garlic. Then add tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt. Then simmer the mixture for 20 mins or until the meat and green peppers are tender and the tomatoes cook into a sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

SIDES

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • sea salt, pepper, to taste

 

Process

  • Rinse cauliflower under cool water and pat dry.
  • Using a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower to a coarse texture (approximately the size of rice grains). (If no cheese grater, simply chop heads of cauliflower off stems and chop in half) Using a food processor to pulse the cauliflower to desired texture works as well.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic for 3–4 minutes, or until the onion is relatively translucent.
  • Add in the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for 4–5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

 

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

1 Spaghetti Squash

 

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and halve squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.

 

  • Arrange squash in a 9×13-inch casserole dish, cut sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

 

  • Rake a fork back and forth across the squash to remove its flesh in strands…like spaghetti!

 

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3-5 medium sweet potatoes or yams
  • foil

 

Directions

  • Wrap all the sweet potatoes or yams in foil
  • Place in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

 

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 big bunch kale;
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted, or pure olive oil;
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice;
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste;

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Wash the kale thoroughly under lukewarm water, drain and pat it dry.
  • Cut stems off of the kale leaves and cut the leaves to obtain chips of similar size.
  • Place the kale in a bowl and rub the melted cooking fat into them.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the lemon juice and combine.
  • Place kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 12-18 minutes, until crispy. Check on the chips at12 minutes and toss them to make sure none of them overcook. Some parts will still be soft and this is desired.

 

Zucchini Noodles (No Spiralizer needed)

Ingredients

  • 3-6 Zucchini Squashes
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or Kerrygold butter
  • sea salt and pepper

 

Directions

  • Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into long, thin ribbons.
  • Place large skillet on stove on medium heat, add the butter or olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and stir/cook it for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle the zucchini ribbons into the skillet separately so that they don’t stick together, then sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  • Very gently stir and/or toss them around to lightly cook them for about 1 minute. It doesn’t take long!
  • Plate and serve with diced tomatoes, fresh basil and meatballs, chicken breast or salmon
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try this recipe.

 

 1-Ingredient Ice-Cream

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas;
  • Optional for garnishing: fresh fruit cut into chunks, unsweetened coconut flakes, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, shaved dark chocolate, vanilla extract, chopped nuts, orange zest,

Directions

  • Peel bananas and cut them into even slices
  • Place slices in a glass bowl and freeze overnight.
  • Place the frozen banana slices in a food processor and process until smooth. (This process will take a while and you will have to scrape down the side of your food processor multiple times with a spatula).
  • The bananas will become very crumbly at first, but eventually you will have a very soft and creamy mixture.
  • At this point, place banana mix back in the glass bowl and in the freezer for about an hour; or enjoy it right away if you like very soft ice cream.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve.

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