Why Cooking With Less Is More Helpful, Less Stressful
Because we care deeply about our friends and families, we all want to prepare great meals for them whenever possible. Stress and frustration is not part of the bargain, however. So, when you’ve burned a 30-ingredient “savory” pizza and have to order from Domino’s as the only alternative, it will seem less likely to have been worth the trouble. Truth be told, sometimes less is more. Let’s explain what we mean by doing less with more in the kitchen.
Simple Meals Can Be Hearty
Think of the great stews you Mom made for you when you were a child. She used simple ingredients like meat, carrots, corn, and potatoes to create a hearty meal that was not only filling, but nutritious and delicious. The point is, not every meal has to contain an impressive list of ingredients, something that takes twice as long to make. What about a simple meatball sub sandwich with mozzarella cheese on a cold day? It’s simple, easy to prepare, and just as delicious as anything more elaborate.
Less ingredients Means Less Stress
It’s common sense, really. The less ingredients you need, the less you have to prepare, chop, cube, peel, dice, grind, or whatever. With fewer ingredients comes less stress, and with less stress comes more satisfaction and enjoyment from your kitchen labor. You’ll spend more time enjoying the taste and less time worrying over how it looks or the way it comes across.
Less ingredients also means less to clean up at the end of your meal. Many times you can cook hearty meals in one pot or pan with less ingredients and less fuss. Then, cleanup becomes a cinch, something you may even be able (at least partially) while you’re cooking. Fewer ingredients also means less of a chance that pre-packaged foods will end up in your cooking, something that contributes to elevated oxytocin levels, produced when you are under stress.
Not as stressful to plan or implement
How about that grocery list that looks longer than your arm? Just looking at it could be enough to stress you out. How about cutting that list into thirds for an entirely different response? All you need to do is adapt to cooking meals with fewer ingredients. Sure, it requires a little more thought to come up with something more creative than pouring milk into processed pasta and cheese sauce. It gets easier, though, when you’ve gotten used to it.
There’s more flexibility involved with cooking with fewer ingredients, too. It allows you to quickly change your mind about what to cook without a lot of food going bad. Mix and match different ingredients, as you like – be creative. It certainly makes for a more interesting dinner if you can put two or more new ingredients together in new way.
You might be used to putting on a show or buying large lots of food, but it makes more sense to try working with less for a change. You might be surprised at how much better food tastes when you’ve expended less energy and less stress putting it together. Be bold; get into the kitchen, pull a few new ingredients, and get started cooking a stress-free meal.