I can’t really pin point when the change started to take place…
But the truth is I haven’t always been an organized person. No one has ever accused me of being ‘obsessed with cleanliness’.
I remember one of my friends mother coming to visit our share house in Surry Hills when I was working in my first ‘real job’ in product development for Kellogg. She told me she was amazed how I could look so well ‘put together’ considering the state of my room.
At the time I remember thinking ‘whatever‘.
But now I get it.
These days I’m pretty organized.
For me I’ve learned that outer chaos creates inner chaos. I actually prefer to keep things organized because it…
a. Makes me feel better.
b. Makes life easier.
c. Saves me time later on.
d. Makes me feel like a real grown up.
So today I thought I’d share some of my secrets that have really helped me get ‘on top of things’ in the kitchen (and other areas) even though I’m not a natural organized freak..
3 Secrets to Being Organized in the Kitchen.
The older I get the more I appreciate the power of habits for putting healthy eating (and other aspects of life) on autopilot. Habits make all the difference especially for people like me who aren’t naturally into alphabetizing their spices and the like.
The critical habits for keeping my kitchen organized include:
– My weekly shopping habit
– Putting away the shopping as soon as I get home
– Sharpening my knives every Sunday
– Keeping a running shopping list on my phone
– Cleaning up after every meal (a new one I’m working on)
– Prepping ingredients on the weekend (see below).
Although I love living in a clean house, I still hate to clean. This is where outsourcing is my best friend.
On a daily basis I have a deal with my Irishman that if I stack the dishwasher he wipes down the benches. It’s a small thing but makes a huge difference.
Then I have my cleaning man, Terry, who looks after the big ticket cleaning projects like floors and bathrooms etc. Terry is the best. He even comes with endless stories about his teenage daughter and his ‘bitches’ (show dogs that is).
3. Prepping Ingredients
Now that I have two little ones, dinner time really has become a bit of a rush. Every day I’m thankful I’ve spent all these years focusing on simple 5-ingredient recipes that don’t take much time.
But the other practice that’s saved my life (and sanity) more times than I can count is prepping ingredients in advance.
I love this because it makes it super easy to be able to look in the fridge and throw together a healthy tasty meal in almost no time. But unlike cooking whole meals ahead of time I’m not ‘locked in’ to eating a particular dish. So there’s still plenty of flexibility to save us from feeling bored.
Plus! generally prepping ingredients generally increases their life span which means less waste. Bonus!
Rosemary & Garlic Kale
I’ve called this recipe garlic & rosemary kale but I could just have easily gone for ‘greens’ in the title. Really any greens will work well. So feel free to mix it up with spinach, chard (silverbeet), rainbow chard or collards.
This is my current favourite way to serve kale. I love how the strong flavours of the rosemary especially compliment the intensity of the kale. One thing to remember if you find kale too bitter, seasoning with lots of salt helps to balance out / mask bitterness (and why salted dark chocolate can taste sweeter than regular… but that’s a whole other blog post!).
Enough for 2 as a side
Takes 15 minutes
1 large bunch kale
1-2 cloves garlic
1-2 stalks rosemary, leaves picked
1. Wash kale. Don’t dry as the water will help it steam. Cut into ribbons about 2cm (1in) or finer across the stem.
2. Heat a generous glug of olive oil on a medium heat in a largish saucepan. Add kale, garlic, rosemary and a few tablespoons water to the pot. Cover and cook stirring every few minutes until the kale has wilted down. Will take about 5 minutes. If it starts to burn or is taking too long add a little more water to help make more steam.
3. Remove from the heat and season generously with salt and pepper. See below for usage / serving ideas.
as a side – serve as a warm alternative anywhere you’d normally use a green salad.
for breakkie – top with poached eggs and some mayo.
in soup – toss in the cooked greens just before serving.
instead of pasta – serve your favourite bolognese or ragu on a big bed of this tasty kale instead of heavy old pasta.
with pasta – toss in cooked pasta and serve with lashings of grated Parmesan.
with legumes – toss in your favourite cooked lentils, beans or chickpeas for a more substantial meal. Finish with some roasted nuts or grated cheese.
fishy – toss in drained canned fish such as sardines, tuna or salmon. Or serve as a side to pan fried or BBQ fish steaks. A little lemon will help.
carnivore – toss in some cooked sausages, chorizo or crispy bacon. Or serve as a side with roast meat or a steak and some mayo.
different greens – will work with pretty much any greens such as spinach, baby spinach, chard (silverbeet), collard greens, beet tops.
carnivore – serve kale as a side to chicken or a steak.
carb lovers / more substantial – toss in cooked pasta, quinoa or brown rice.
different herbs – thyme or sage also work well.
lemony – toss in some lemon juice at the end.
no garlic – just skip it. I often do!