Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.
John & Dana
Simplicity has meant different things for us over the years, but there were two seasons in our life that merited the greatest reflection of our choices.
The first season was in preparation for a cross-country move to Portland, Oregon after our wedding. We whittled down our possessions to only what would fit in our Honda civic coupe. It was a romantic and ridiculous adventure crammed in that tiny car. However, it enabled us to move to a place we love.
Although we eventually received some of our wedding gifts at our new home, we lived for a couple weeks with two plates, a cast iron skillet, and basic utensils. Somehow, it didn’t feel like anything was missing.
We approached a second season of simplicity when we wanted to start devoting our resources to projects and business ideas we cared about. We had been treating our website intentionally and it was time to decide how seriously we wanted to take it. We sold almost all of our furniture (most of it was unnecessary), bought a slightly nicer digital camera, and intentionally pared down our expenses so we could reinvest our money into our business.
These two seasons of simplifying and greater mindfulness led to a style of cooking that begs us to err on the side of simplicity. We love making food that nourishes us, but also identifies with our tendencies in life. We felt that we tend to keep things simple and easy and our cooking style should typically reflect the same.
Three things we’ve learned from simple cooking:
1. Simple recipes don’t require sacrificing on flavor. This seems to parallel any notion that when you don’t have “all” of something, you’re potentially missing out. Rather, we like to think that fewer ingredients means that each one must be carefully curated as to really make the recipe phenomenal.
2. Simple cooking makes the process more approachable. Whether you are intimidated by cooking or see it as a simple means to nourish your family, it can be a potentially daunting process. Further, overcomplicating the process takes your time and energy away from the things you love. Simplifying your cooking frees you to enjoy other pleasures in life.
3. Fewer ingredients can make dishes more wholesome. Keeping your recipes simple means you need to be mindful about why you are using each ingredient. Knowing how food energizes our bodies makes us students of making sure that every ingredient we consider is one that gives us something of value.
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and overwhelming. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be a fun, engaging, and meaningful experience to nourish yourself and those around you.
For more simple cooking inspiration, try five of our favorite recipes that require less than 7 ingredients, 30 minutes or 1 bowl to prepare:
- 5 Ingredient No Bake Granola Bars
- One Bowl Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
- 30-Minute Butterless Alfredo with Peas
- One Pot Loaded Veggie Nacho Soup
- Hot Pink Lovers Juice – No Juicer Required
Read more from John and Dana at Minimalist Baker .