A Completely Unexpected Lesson from Ottolenghi Simple


[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #00adef;”] L[/dropcap]ast Christmas I was beyond excited when my Irishman gave me a copy of the Ottolenghi Simple book.

Even though it’s not exactly simple by Stonesoup standards, I loved it so much.

So I started a project to cook every recipe from the book. Or use every recipe as inspiration for a dish of my own.

Just for weekend cooking (during the week I test out my own ideas and recipes).

My Ottolenghi project been super fun.

It’s given me some brilliant ideas.

Like this Ginger Sour Cream.

And this Mint and Almond Salsa.

But the completely unexpected lesson is how much easier my weekend planning has become.

Rather than flitting from book to magazine to book, I’ve had one go-to source.

It’s reminded me of the power of positive constraints.

The idea is to limit the choices you have.

Which simplifies decision making.

And makes your life much easier!

An example of limiting choices

One of my coaching clients was feeling overwhelmed.

So I suggested she experiment with ‘positive constraints’ for her cooking.

To only use the recipes in my Simple Meal Plans.

And she did.

While there’s still overwhelm in other areas of her life.

Dinner time is no longer a source of stress.

She’s enjoying creating simple, nourishing meals.

And even better how she looks and feels because of her consistent healthy (and delicious) decisions.

Yay for less choices!

What about you?

Have you ever tried using just one source of inspiration for new recipes?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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“The automatic meal planning service you offer is amazing.

Which is why I am on my second year with you and see myself using your service for a very long time!

The meals are minimalist, healthy, quick, and delicious.

Your meal planning service is the foundation to my sanity and have empowered me to consistently deliver healthy meals to my family.

Your service has lowered my stress. As I told you before, you turned me into a lazy (happy) chef… “

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  • Hi Jules. Happy birthday! I’ve been following you for years and enjoy your straightforward approach to unfussy, healthy, good food. Thank you for the delight you bring to my life.
    On the matter of choice, you make an interesting observation. I discovered years ago that when I’m faced with a large array of options, I get overwhelmed and can’t easily decide. If I’m presented with a smaller, curated selection, I manage quite well to choose my preference. It’s like that for me with food, clothing, books, etc. It was an interesting discovery I made about myself.
    Thank you for sharing your passion. Happy birthday once again!

  • dear Jules , I just want to wish you a happy birthday and thank you for everything that you post, I like a lot of the recipes, am thrilled with the alternatives and the fact that there are so few ingredients and things are still delicious!! lots of love to you , Jennifer

  • Happy Birthday Jules, Yes I also feel so much better when my life has fewer choices. I do need to keep pulling myself back into that mindset though. One thing is to meal plan, thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

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