I remember when I was younger and learning how to cook, my mom told me, “If you can read, you can cook.” For the most, she’s right. As long as you can read a recipe you can hobble together a meal. Of course, there are fancy techniques and words and recipes that do require a little more know how, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook.
But I get it. If you’ve never spent any time in the kitchen it can feel a bit overwhelming. And you don’t want to spend a ton of time putting something together to have it turn out like garbage. That’s the worst. When most people want to try to eat healthier, one of the biggest issues besides the idea that eating better means more money (not necessarily true) is that they don’t know how to cook.
Which is why I’m putting this little round up together. I’m calling it chef free because you don’t need to go to culinary school to create a delicious meal. Even if you do know how to cook, sometimes it’s nice to have a simple recipe you can return to again and again. One that you know will taste good, feed you well, and not keep you slaving over the stove for hours.
DOT UPDATE: Just a quick update on Dot (if you don’t know the whole story you can read it here). She’s been home for a full day now and she’s doing well! She’s eating which we are EXTREMELY happy about and doesn’t seem to need the appetite stimulant and anti-nausea meds that she was taking before. She’s still pretty tired and moves a little slower than usual, but I’m not too worried about that just yet. We go back to the vet next week to get her kidney levels checked again and see how she’s doing on her antibiotics. Overall, we’re just super happy she’s home and we can snuggle her whenever we want. While she might not appreciate the abundance of snuggles, I think she is happy to be back too.
Chef Free Meals
All of these require little cooking knowledge, few ingredients, simple steps, and they turn out pretty tasty!
Sweet Potato Toast– Pro tip: Make a whole bunch of these on your meal prep day and you’ll have quick breakfasts/snacks for the week.
Parsley Cream Zoodles– This is my go to quick and simple meal. You can use any herbs for the sauce and if you don’t have a spiralizer use a julienne peeler or a box grater.
Tomato Cucumber Salad/Olive & Tomato Salad– Both of these salads are on constant repeat in the summer. I always have one in the fridge and they get better the longer they sit.
Thai Chicken Cucumber Salad with Ginger Dressing– Again if you don’t have a spiralizer, just use a peeler or grater
Quick & Simple Gazpacho– If you can blend you have dinner. You can even skip the cream drizzle and it’s still delicious
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup– Slow cookers will forever be the best friend of people who think they can’t cook because they do the work for you.
Lazy Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls– Like cabbage rolls but don’t want to work for them? Thanks, slow cooker.
Kitchari– The ingredient list looks complicated but it’s mostly herbs and spices. You’re pretty much just throwing everything in a pan and then eating it.
Balsamic Pork on Roasted Corn & Shallot Salad– I like this marinade for chicken and fish too.
SkinnyPop Walking Tacos– I always seem to have the ingredients for tacos on hand. I know popcorn and tacos sound weird but it totally works PLUS you won’t have to clean any plates. Win.
Creamy Avocado Fettuccine– Use whatever pasta you like or any vegetable you want.
Cherry-Lime Popsicles– Don’t have popsicle molds? Use an ice cube tray and toothpicks or dixie cups and popsicle sticks.
Kettle Corn– Sounds like it would be fancy, but it isn’t.