What I love most about cooking in the summertime is the simplicity of every meal. Fresh produce from the farmer’s market combined with a little sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice is basically all you need for a perfect side dish every time. I default to using that combination for every type of veggie (from zucchini to tomatoes to anything in between) and am never disappointed. At the heart of every meal I make in the kitchen, simplicity and freshness is really at the core.
A topic I get asked often about is how to make time for cooking. I think the number one thing to keep in mind is to keep it SIMPLE! While it’s great cooking from recipes and using them for inspiration in the kitchen, when I cook at home (which is 95 % of the time), most meals are simply some type of protein, a veggie or two, something green and leafy, and a healthy cooking fat or sauce (usually something avocado oil- or organic butter-based). Overcomplicating things and spending hours and hours planning a different dinner every night (especially if you’re feeding a houseful of people) is a surefire way to get off track and to seriously stress yourself out and probably do your health more harm than good.
Here is a step-by-step guide for meal planning on the fly:
- Pick a protein.
- Pick 2-3 veggies.
- Cook everything in coconut oil, avocado oil, or organic butter.
- Season generously with sea salt, pepper, and fresh lemons or limes.
- Add a sauce or topping to keep things interesting. (Check out Primal Kitchen products at Thrive Market if you haven’t already.)
- BOOM! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served.
The other thing I’d say is practice makes perfect. It took me years to get comfortable in the kitchen and I still have plenty of flops when I try to get too creative. To start, keep things simple and don’t get discouraged. Remember that making time to cook and educating yourself about food is the #1 thing you can do to benefit your (and your family’s) health, so it’s well worth the time investment! (Also, if you’re interested in more tips on meal prepping, check out this post from Katie.)
In the meantime, try out this delicious Crunchy Roasted Broccoli! With the added toasted almonds and Primal Palate Garlic & Herb seasoning, this side dish is hearty and full of yummy flavors and textures. It pairs well with a burger or some grilled chicken, or even as a cold dish on top of salad greens and more veggies – whatever your heart desires! Serve it on top of white rice or inside of a roasted sweet potato if you’re looking for additional carbs.
Let us know what you think in the comments below — how much time do you spend cooking each week? What else would you like to know about meal planning?
- 1 head of broccoli, washed and stems removed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp Primal Palate Garlic & Herb seasoning
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Wash and chop broccoli into small florets.
- Place broccoli onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Toss with melted coconut oil and spices.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy.
- While broccoli is cooking, toast the almonds. Place the almonds in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stirring continuously (so they do not burn), cook the almonds for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Remove from the heat and toss with the roasted broccoli.
- Toss with juice of 1 lemon. Serve warm or store in the fridge up to 1 week.
- Find Primal Palate spices here: http://www.primalpalate.com/ref/79/
More delicious side dishes!