Minimalist Kitchen Guidelines

These are the general rules I abide by, and these tips help to keep the kitchen as streamlined and enjoyable to cook in as possible.  Not only do these tips help to save money, but they also save you in time spent cooking.  Living like this adds to health and peace, and you can pick and choose the guidelines you want to live by, and personalize everything to your liking.

1. Soups are a splurge.

Soups take a lot to heat, to prepare and a lot of specialty ingredients or herbs.  Bone broths have naturally occurring MSG which can lead to migraines, as with a dairy base.  My life improved tremendously after I eliminated making soup at home for the most part, even though nobody loves dipping bread in soup more than me!  No microwave is necessary when my side is always rice. I still have a soup from time to time, but it’s as often as I bake: about once a month.

2. Crackers over bread.

It’s easy to overeat because sandwiches come in a specific size.  Crackers encourage you to eat until you’re full.  That’s what I love about eating at home: It encourages to listen to your body.  No predetermined amount.  Crackers are also better than bread because they don’t weigh on energy nearly as much and also store significantly longer and more compactly.  They don’t require a toaster either!

3. Water over everything else.

Filtered water, no beans, no sugar, no flavor, no ice, no lemon.  Wow, what a beautiful thing!  So simple.  So pure.  No more lugging in drinks for soups and with extra sugar that we don’t need.  In fact, sugar is linked to two of the biggest killers in the US currently: heart disease and cancer.   Better for our health, wallet, and most of all, storage space. Tea is the next minimalist drink after water because leaves store compactly.

4. Keep smoothies simple.

Can you get all smoothies down to 3-5 ingredients?  It’s worth a try.

5. Condense recipe cards.

I’d rather have 5-10 amazing recipes with one simple side like rice than many cookbooks that will collect dust and grease.  When you cook similar recipes again and again, the recipe card instructions can shrink.  Condensing cards makes preparing, shopping for ingredients, and drawing up shopping lists easy. When the food is high quality, you barely miss the variety. Most of us eat out of the house at least once a week, so we will still have novelty where it comes to food.

6. Baking, to a minimum.

I don’t eat bacon at home anymore, which I always fried in the oven to avoid splatters.  Pork in general wasn’t worth it for me, but if it is for you, not a big deal.  However, baked goods definitely weigh on mood and weight.  People that suffer from depression are often told to watch sugars and carbohydrates.  No sooner way to bring down mood and energy in a cubicle than to have bread at lunch.

Why not buy baked goods out if you must have them, instead of make them?  I cannot tell you how great it is to never have to clean the oven, to not store many ingredients only required to bake bread.  Microwaves and ovens barely used means efficient meal prep, quick cleaning, and very little kitchenware required. Baking requires so many ingredients and kitchenware.

7. Freezer goods, to a minimum.

Leftovers and mixed veg kept to a minimum is very nice. A clean freezer and fridge makes sure that nothing goes to waste. Fewer condiments mean greater health. The only thing I keep in the freezer are ingredients for smoothies and protein.  Jamming the freezer full will mean a lot of freezer clean-out; things will be forgotten and containers will warp.  Disregard this tip if you never have waste in the freezer or if you can already see everything easily.

By keeping ingredients few though, I don’t have to label everything:  Everything gets used in a reasonable time.

Simplicity rewards in surprising ways.  The closer we get to the core, the more meaningful and healthy life becomes. I call this effortless living.

9 thoughts on “Minimalist Kitchen Guidelines

  1. How do you prepare the rice for each meal? On the stovetop? Do you have a rice cooker? Thank you so much!

  2. How do you prepare your rice? Do you have a rice cooker? Do you cook it on the stove? I remember you said you have it almost daily but I’ve never seen a rice cooker in any of your videos. It would be great to know. Thank you so much!

  3. I agree with you on most of this bbecause I am retired and love having less, but as far as soups go I love to make them for two! I make myown vegtable broth and use. A lot of vegs from the outdoor farmstand! Can’t beat it! And it has all the nutrition one could want with low calories. Dot give up on soups because you can freeze the rest!

  4. Great tips! Like a simple closet, a simple pantry reduces decision fatigue and dissatisfaction.

    Have you tried Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base? That’s what I use for soups, and I love it. There’s no MSG, and the ingredients are pretty clean and recognizable as real food.

  5. I make smoothies almost every day with (1) milk, (2) frozen berries, and (3) honey. My boyfriend uses (1) apple juice and (2) frozen berries. Really simple!

  6. Love this list. I myself have been keeping the freezer very minimal in order to create more storage space for the milk that I’m freezing and stashing away for my babies when my maternity leave is up.

    About the soup though, it’s true that soup takes a lot of heat to cook and, although there are plenty of 5 recipe and under soups, most take many ingredients (which is good if you’re trying to jam a lot of produce into one nutrient-dense meal). Would you consider cold soups? Gazpacho, Spanish cold soup, is absolutely delicious and usually very light and nutritious. I often make gazpacho for myself and my family to take to lunch at work/school because it requires no heating (good for school kids who don’t have access to a microwave!) just a blender or processor to meld the ingredients together. It’s an acquired taste, admittedly but it also helps that I live in South Florida so cold soup is a very refreshing alternative. Best part about cold soup is that it pairs well with crackers 😉

    Cheers!
    -Ali
    http://www.minimalistmaestra.com

  7. Will aim to employ these when my high schooler starts college. At YT I recall you’re putting an InstantPot through its paces. Which model did you get? (I am in the market for one and part of my decision process is to gather opinions).
    Thanks!

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