Cooking magic: How to save time and energy in the kitchen

Cooking for yourself is an important part of your healing journey. Eating out will tempt you to eat trigger foods, and though it may be unavoidable, try to eat most of your meals home cooked. This means making large batches that can be taken for lunch, frozen for later or eaten for a few days. When cooking for yourself you can stock your fridge the delicious foods you can have so you don’t feel deprived.

But who has tons of time to spend in the kitchen? Cooking can be time consuming if you enjoy doing it from scratch and chopping veggies, but because I’m a lazy and impatient cook I found ways to cut down on kitchen/cooking time that I will share with you.

This is the age of technology and kitchen gadgets are no exception. A few kitchen appliances and some time saving tips (using precut, frozen veggies) and simple cooking techniques can save you time, money, and energy while still eating healthy. And for creative types, cooking can be just another creative outlet as you experiment with new foods and make up your own recipes. It gets easier and easier with experience.

Before I was diagnosed with IBS I didn’t know how to cook, but it’s not rocket science, the more you do it the easier it gets.

Introducing…appliance heaven

IBS and cooking irritable bowel syndrome

The follow blog is part of a three part series on running an efficient kitchen!

These appliances will save you an enormous amount of time in the kitchen.

Rice cooker:

Before I got a rice cooker, my brown rice would take forever to make and stick to the bottom of the pan. Not only is the rice cooker speed up the process and eliminate problems, but it can also multitask as a steamer. So you can cook your rice and steam your veggies at the same time! In the photo above the silver pot-shaped container is a small steaming basket the fits on top of the rice cooker. If you want to eat quinoa and veggies, you just pour in two parts water, one part quinoa and cut up some sweet potatoes, kale, and carrots to steam. The best part is that you just set it and forget it. When the grain is cooked it will turn off and go into warming mode. You don’t have to watch it! Just be careful not to overfill. The food will be ready and waiting for you.

High-powered blender:

Green smoothies are all the rage now.That’s mostly what I use my blender for. I must admit that eating greens can be boring and time consuming because they require a lot of chewing. Blending up your veggies will predigest them, making it easier for your body to break them down. Chewing your smooth helps even more. If you have some produce that’s about to go bad, just throw it in your blender with some fruit and coconut water or regular water and you can drink your nutrients. It offers a nice change of pace.

Warning: Some people with IBS can have trouble digesting raw veggies, so instead of making smoothies you can boil your veggies and make soup.

Just throw some veggies in water or chicken stock and boil. Then let it cool a bit and throw it in the blender. Now you have some veggie soup with a creamy texture (no cream added) and it almost as simple as boiling water.

Crock pot (also called a slow cooker):

This is my favorite appliance. I got it at a garage sale for only $15. It’s very simple and basic and does a wonderful job. You can also get fancy digital slow cooker that have self timers so they can be programmed to turn off by themselves. It is safe to leave a slow cooker on when you are at work because even on the high setting it gives off low heat. This slow cooking process makes meat fall off the bone. If you like stew then you NEED one of these!

The reason this is my favorite appliance is you can throw in a bunch of ingredients, set it to high and low and do other things for 5 to 8 hours. When you are ready to eat, you just ladle out the contents, no additional effort required. It’s like someone else just made you dinner.

You can throw in frozen or fresh veggies, any type of raw meat or fish, some sort of liquid (coconut milk, water, chicken stock, Indian curry sauces) and the grain of your choice. Add herbs or spice and then just forget about it. It’s that easy. Check out the ingredients for quinoa and cauliflower stew, one of my favorites, the quinoa and cauliflower become creamy.

Make it at home:

Easy prep: Throw in 3 cup of chicken stock, one cup of dried quinoa (wash it first)  and a head of cauliflower! If you want protein in this dish you can throw in some cut up piece or raw chicken but this tastes divine without meat too. That’s it, just leave it for 6 to 8 hours on low! If you want it 2 hours faster, set it on high. This is the easiest recipe in the world and so good. You can substitute chicken stock for coconut milk if you want a richer flavor. 

Mandolin: (for slicing magic)

The mandolin is pictured above, leaning against the blender. It takes the pain out of slicing veggies, makes perfect sliced onion medallions and is so fast and easy. Caution:  It is super sharp, so don’t space out when you are using it. The mandolin produces evenly sized slices and you basically use it as if you were using a grater. 
Stay tuned for upcoming editions of my easy cooking series!

angelafavheadshotAngela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.

Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.

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