I'm not a great cook...can I really do this?


hollysnaps

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Hi. i am honestly not a great cook--it's not a passion for me. I'm always rushing, and although I'd love to be able to create so many of the amazing Whole30 compliant recipes, it's just not realistic for me. I need to keep my meals and snacks simple, but I get bored and dissatisfied with a meat and 3 vegetables at every meal. My friend made a gorgeous compliant meal for me recently, and it would be great to eat like that several times a week, but my experience tells me that is just not my reality. Is it truly possible to be successful on this program without being a patient gourmet cook? Thank you in advance for your advice!

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Yep, no gourmet skills necessary. I'm far from a gourmet, and have done two Whole30s, plus eat Whole30ish otherwise. There are countless others like me on the forum.

Meat isn't your only protein option: there's eggs, seafood and fish too.

And it's not 3 veggies per meal: the recommendation is 1-3 cups of veggies per meal.

Find decent canned options for things like salmon, sardines, chicken and tuna. Keep eggs on hand. Make friends with a crockpot. Have two - three veggies always available along with some cooking fats, compliant mayo, olives and/or avocado.

Planning is 75% of being successful. If you have the desire, you can do it.

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Definitely yes, you can do this without complicated cooking. I AM a good cook but right now my priorities do not lie in the kitchen, so I am deliberately keeping my meals simple: grilled, roasted, baked meat or fish, eggs, roasted or steamed vegetables and salads, occasional fruit. Dry roasted almonds. You get the idea.

 

I'm lucky in that for me, mustard or a little Tesserae catsup or balsamic vinegar or a Paleo spice rub or some clarified butter is a BIG DEAL. I'm hungry and I want to eat and everything tastes delicious! And then, I'm done and I feel completely satiated and I want to get back to my activities.

 

Don't get me wrong: I would totally enjoy some more complex dishes but I also enjoy "simple" food. And for now, my non-food priorities far, far outweigh my need for "exciting" food.

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I need to keep my meals and snacks simple, but I get bored and dissatisfied with a meat and 3 vegetables at every meal.

I mean, Whole30 is never going to be as simple as eating a bowl of cereal or drinking an Odwalla.

But there are some methods to make things easier:

http://meljoulwan.com/2010/10/13/the-secret-of-veggies-steam-saute/

http://meljoulwan.com/2013/12/29/whole30-2014-week-1-meal-plan/

http://thepaleomama.com/2013/05/guest-post-the-simple-paleo-life-paleo-batch-cooking/

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If you were to grill a dozen chicken breasts, for instance, you could:

 

Make the Pina Colada chicken (one pan, 15 minutes and on the table) When I make this I add 2# baby zucchini and serve it like a one-bowl stew

Have thinly sliced chicken breast simmered in coconut milk and curry spices and served over sautéed cabbage (use bagged coleslaw for time saving)

Make taco salad (in the linked recipe just sub the cooked chicken for the beef and prep time is nearly zero)

Cut it up and throw it into a stirfry (again, one pan, 15 minutes and done) (the linked recipe would need to omit the fish sauce to remain compliant)

Make Tom Kha Gai.

 

5 meals, one instance of cooking chicken, lots of veggies, no repeats, tonnes of flavour. Also tropical, Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Thai.  :)  Around the world in a week and with minimal prep/time spent.

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I am on day 24 of my first Whole30 and my husband does most of the cooking in our house but I do the planning.  My saviors have been the compliant sauces as once a week we grill up some chicken or pork and try a new sauce!  Also some of the recipes are really simple and I started following Whole30Recipes on instagram....great simple recipes from there.  You can do this!

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Yep, no gourmet skills necessary. I'm far from a gourmet, and have done two Whole30s, plus eat Whole30ish otherwise. There are countless others like me on the forum.

Meat isn't your only protein option: there's eggs, seafood and fish too.

And it's not 3 veggies per meal: the recommendation is 1-3 cups of veggies per meal.

Find decent canned options for things like salmon, sardines, chicken and tuna. Keep eggs on hand. Make friends with a crockpot. Have two - three veggies always available along with some cooking fats, compliant mayo, olives and/or avocado.

Planning is 75% of being successful. If you have the desire, you can do it.

 

I am really liking this Whole30 lifestyle and I am curious what you mean by "Whole30ish".  Does that mean Paleo?  I haven't gotten that far in the book yet but would love to hear your perspective.  I have an autoimmune disease and Whole30, currently on day 24, is really helping me to feel better.  Reintroduction should show me even more about how food affects me.  Thanks! :)

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I am really liking this Whole30 lifestyle and I am curious what you mean by "Whole30ish".

For me, it means eating whole nutrient-dense food most of the time. I was gluten-free before my Whole30, so that hasn't changed (diagnosed gluten-sensitive): I'm pretty militant about keeping gluten out of my life.

I have red wine far less often than before doing a Whole30: maybe a glass once or twice a week, if that. I have quality dark chocolate sporadically. I keep all grains out of my house, for the most part. Once in a great while I'll have a quality gluten-free pasta from Italy. I keep legumes and dairy out of the house. While dining our or at someone's home, if something with non-gluten grains, dairy or legumes is unique and special, I may have that. I don't worry much about sulphites or added sugars in dressings or sauces, for example. I also try to avoid soy and MSG.

I decided how I wanted to "ride by own bike" once I completed my reintroductions after my Whole30.

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For me, it means eating whole nutrient-dense food most of the time. I was gluten-free before my Whole30, so that hasn't changed (diagnosed gluten-sensitive): I'm pretty militant about keeping gluten out of my life.

I have red wine far less often than before doing a Whole30: maybe a glass once or twice a week, if that. I have quality dark chocolate sporadically. I keep all grains out of my house, for the most part. Once in a great while I'll have a quality gluten-free pasta from Italy. I keep legumes and dairy out of the house. While dining our or at someone's home, if something with non-gluten grains, dairy or legumes is unique and special, I may have that. I don't worry much about sulphites or added sugars in dressings or sauces, for example. I also try to avoid soy and MSG.

I decided how I wanted to "ride by own bike" once I completed my reintroductions after my Whole30.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your input!
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