7 Kitchen Habits that are a Regular Part of My Health Caper
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
I know – it’s a wee bit self help-y to be popping a Steven Covey quote at the top of this post. Normally, I wouldn’t. In this case, though – it’s appropriate. Promise!
The thing is, this health caper does require an investment of time. And when you start out – it’s a significant investment. It’s one of the reasons I’m such an advocate for developing systems and routines that you do every week (or so); so that you almost automate as much as you can. Set and forget!
So you can free your brain up to engage in other things!
I started thinking about this topic a little more after the inaugural The Squirrel and the Kiwi Show. My lovely AIP buddy Sophie (from over at A Squirrel in the Kitchen) and I knocked heads and thought a monthly live session on making this Autoimmune Protocol healing caper more manageable might just be a useful thing.
And, I realised that I have some regular kitchen habits that really help me to stay on track.
Perhaps my kitchen habits may be habits that interest you…?
So. Here we have 7 kitchen habits that I undertake regularly as part of my health caper.
1. Create Your Own AIP Recipe Folder:
There are so many fabulous free recipe offerings from a wonderful collection of bloggers available now. And yes, I know that Pinterest is an option. But – call me old fashioned – I find a physical folder where you pop copies of the tried and true recipes that you love saves time, not to mention trees, when it comes to having your favourites to hand.
It’s also a great resource when your partner or your kids are having a turn in the kitchen – just hand over the folder and let them choose something. You can rest easy knowing it’s all AIP-compliant!
2. Make Bone Broth:
One of the very best kitchen habits you can cultivate for your health is a regular bone broth making session. Want to know why bone broth is the bomb? – head here.
I now make my bone broth in a stove-top pressure cooker. (Instant Pots are not yet readily available down here in Australia). My pressure cooker has transformed my bone broth making life. Literally. It is so much faster. Highly recommended.
If you do nothing else, please – make bone broth part of your kitchen routine.
3. Weekly Soup Equation:
Each week, after I’ve made my bone broth (usually on a Sunday), I whip up a batch of my Soup Equation soup.
There’s no recipe required. It’s a formula I’ve developed to allow me to quickly and easily transform whatever vegetables and herbs are in season into a tummy-warming and nutrient dense soup. It’s a great way to add more vegetables to my diet.
There is evidence showing that the rapid absorption of nutrients that comes from pureed soup numbers like the Soup Equation soups help to keep us full for longer, too. Bonus!
4. The Leafy Greens Kitchen Hack:
We all know we need to be eating more vegetables – especially leafy greens, don’t we?
A diet rich in fiber from vegetables (and fruit) can cause an amazingly rapid positive change in the types of bacteria growing in your gut (we’re all about gut health around here!). I’m talking as little as three days! And, that’s before we get to the nutritional benefits of eating more vegetables.
But – the thing about leafy greens is that they can be a bit of a pain to prepare. All that a-washing and a-spinning and a-chopping…
So – when it comes to leafies, I pick up three or more bunches of a variety at the farmers market. Whatever is in season and looks good. When I get home, if needed I’ll remove the stalks from woody greens like kale, and throw everything into my kitchen sink with a good glug of apple cider vinegar. I fill up the sink with water. Once they’ve had a good soak and swish, it all gets spun to remove any extraneous matter before I get out my largest kitchen knife and shred all the greens.
Once shredded, the greens are popped into an airtight receptacle in the fridge. They are now ready for me to grab as needed. I have no excuse not to add a handful (or two or three) to soups, braises, stir fries and hashes. Voila!
5. Ferment Your Vegetables:
It’s no secret that fermenting my vegetables is one of my favourite AIP hobbies. It’s like my own personal little science experiment every time i do it because each batch turns out differently to the previous. Nature is pretty bloody fabulous that way.
But, there’s more to it than that. Fermenting your own veggies is an economical way to add yet another hit of gut healing nutrients to your plate, and it’s yet another way to eat more vegetables, too.
We have a generous spoonful of fermented vegetables with every savoury meal.
6. Make a Batch of Green Sauce:
Salsa Verde. Sauce Vert. Grüne Soße. Whatever you call it in your neck of the woods, I’m a MASSIVE devotee of green sauce.
Green sauce can ‘sexy up’ the most pedestrian of meals. It tastes wonderful drizzled over almost any kind of protein (I can’t readily think of one it doesn’t marry well with). We love it with roasted vegetables. Green sauce – I love the stuff!
Now, I have a number of green sauce recipes on my site, but the one I really love is my ‘Lucky Dip’ Green Sauce number (and the recipe for this is in my JFC Soup Equation eBook). The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made with whatever random leafy greens and herbs you have lurking in your fridge. That makes it perfect for end-of-the-week leftover leafies and herbs that you don’t want to waste. It’s a little bit of kitchen alchemy.
7. Essential Roasted Vegetables:
This is the recipe consistently on highest rotation at my place, my Essentials Roasted Vegetables.
They’re so easy to make and so forgiving if I’m not quite sure what time dinner needs to be on the table. I can use whatever is in season and it’s the best way I know to get a wide variety of vegetables on my plate with the least amount of effort.
I always make at least double what I need. Leftovers taste great in salads, hashes and soups. They’re a great option when you feel peckish or have a case of the ‘hangries’ – I have been known to stand at the kitchen bench eating leftover roasted veggies!