Small Kitchen Meal Prep

Finding space to make a week’s worth of meals in a kitchen that is more like a closet can prove to be challenging. Not only do I lack storage space, there is a lack of work space as well. This is my biggest barrier and what usually stops me from creating in the kitchen as I’ve done in the past.

I decided in this new year I would break down that barrier and find a way to work better with the space I have. When I move to nomad living my kitchen space will be even smaller than what I’ve got now. It’s time to take on this challenge and make it work for me so that when I go even smaller I’ll know better how to make a successful transition. The first hurdle to overcome was my attitude toward my small kitchen space. I’ve spent too much time being irritated by it instead of finding workable solutions for myself, though I will say the layout of my kitchen supplies is quite efficient.

I certainly utilize my kitchen and cook food for myself daily, but I don’t get into a day of preparing make-ahead meals like I used to do when I had more of a kitchen room. Playing in the kitchen and making healthful food is where I find my happy place. I really need to be in my happy place more often. It just feels good. With some motivating self talk, a little planning and a fresh attitude adjustment, I went at a menu for the week recently and the results were quite delicious. I considered the time and tools that would go into each recipe, being mindful of using minimal supplies. Check out what I enjoyed below in the slideshow. I ate well and felt great!

I made blueberry almond flour scones, ground turkey patties and crock pot coconut chicken curry with veggies. The scones and turkey patties each paired well with nutritious green smoothies and the coconut chicken curry made lunches a breeze and dinner super easy after my long work days. I added rice or green salad as a side to make my meals well-rounded.

I’ll be repeating this menu via a YouTube video in the near future so you can have access to the recipes.

Speaking of YouTube videos–my second video will be ready soon. I’d anticipated a shorter time frame between my first and second video, but alas! Life…..it sometimes has other plans. Thanks for sticking around friends. I’ll be back soon!

Until then, happy cooking and stay positive!

 

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Hoppin’ John and YouTube in the New Year 

Happy New Year, friends! I have spent most of 2017 quiet in the Word Press world. I have wanted to take my blog in a different direction for some time now. Being more passive than active with my creative process, ideas have been slow to blossom into what I would like this blog to become. 2018 will be the change I want to see and I do hope you’ll follow along.

I’m venturing into YouTube videos! You can find me here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjX2ZitoUdObYjMcrcXcOw

This is an exciting challenge for me. My blogs have been about gluten free and dairy free eating and recipe sharing. I still adhere to this way of eating and my YouTube videos will reflect that. However, the spin will be focused on the direction I feel I am headed in my life which is nomadic and minimalist living. I find my current small kitchen space to be similar to what I would be using while living in a camper van or RV. In my research I have found that many people who choose this way of living eat a lot of prepackaged foods that are high in lots of things not so good for your body and low in nutritional value. Using simple, healthful ideas and easy one pot meals I’d like to show you simple, scratch cooking meals that are affordable and good for your body.

I’ll start with a New Year’s day tradition in my family–Hoppin’ John! Customary in the South, this dish is eaten on New Year’s day for maximum good luck in the coming year. I made a pot of it today and wow, it is delicious!

I wish you all things good in this 2018 year.  As I enjoy a hearty bowl of Hoppin’ John I have my own wishes for growth and prosperity in my new ventures.

Check out my Hoppin’ John recipe then take a peek at my introductory video. Enjoy!

Hoppin’ John

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

4 cups collard greens

1 package of smoked beef kielbasa (or meat of choice) *optional

1 1/2 cups black eyed peas

3 cups vegetable broth

Saute’ garlic and onions for 2 minutes. Add celery and sauté another minute. Add peppers, mix until all combined and sauté until veggies are soft. Add kielbasa, stir to combine then add peas and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until peas are soft. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.

Lamb Logs Over Rice

Lamb logs? Really? I’m sure you must be thinking, what the heck are those!?  I wanted to make lamb kafta but didn’t have all the ingredients.  I also didn’t soak my skewers.  I wanted to eat my lamb, so here we have lamb logs!

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I tossed this all together, being inspired by other lamb recipes I’ve seen recently.  I think they turned out really flavorful and were delicious!!  I laid them over white jasmine rice that I made with turmeric root infused water.  Turmeric is a bright yellow root with powerful medicinal properties.  It’s main use is for the anti-inflammatory properties, but there are a wide variety of benefits in turmeric so I sneak it in whenever I can to make my body happy and healthy.  It didn’t turn out as yellow as I hoped so next time I’ll grate it into the rice water instead of just dropping chunks in.

I even got fancy and made a sauce!  I used plain Greek style coconut yogurt as the base.  I squeezed in the juice of one lime, added pinches and dashes of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, granulated garlic, cumin, parsley and coriander.  Gave it all a mix and, Wow!!  Fantastic! I drizzled it generously over the lamb and rice, snapped this picture then got to it!!

Here’s what I did to make my lamb logs taste divine.  You can adjust the spices to your liking.  I just guessed on the amounts and had fun!

Lamb Logs

1/2 pound of ground lamb (the best quality you can afford)

1/4 medium yellow onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tblsp. olive oil

Spices-granulated garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, fresh ground pepper, sea salt, parsley, powdered turmeric, powdered ginger.

Mix all ingredients until well combine.  I made four balls of the meat mix and molded each into similar size “logs”, arranged them on parchment paper and refrigerated them for several hours. I grilled them on the cast iron grill top, turning them occasionally for even grilling and used my instant read thermometer to let me know when they were done.  160 degree internal temperature is recommended for medium done, which is what I like.

Give this recipe a try or play around like I did.  If you enjoy lamb, this is worth it!