Breakfast, lunch and dinner: 5 life hacks, how to take a break from “cooking”, spending a lot of time in the kitchen (+ a useful recipe)

Christina Chernyakovskaya is a culinary therapist. It helps people understand their cooking preferences, eating habits, favorite ingredients, and how they view food in general. Right now, during the pandemic, Christina’s help was very necessary. We found ourselves in a situation where we have to spend most of the day in the kitchen, and not everyone can say that they do it with pleasure. BeautyHack asked Christina how to make the right grocery basket, plan the family’s diet and what to cook so that it would be quick and fun.

Christina Chernyakovskaya

author of the “Culinary Therapy” project

Make lists and plan menus

In order not to get lost in the store and not spend a lot of time at the grocery shelves, not understanding what you need and what you will cook from this, I recommend making a short menu for at least 2-3 days. Decide what your family will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe you will understand that you need two or, on the contrary, four meals – it all depends on personal habits. Then write a grocery list and buy everything from it without leaving the plan.

Don’t “stretch” the grocery basket

Build the menu in such a way that some ingredients can be used multiple times. For example, for dinner you cook salmon, but you can also cook broth from the trimmings and you can pickle some of the fish. Or you buy pumpkin, make pumpkin soup for lunch, and stew vegetable stew or roast pumpkin pancakes for dinner on the second day. This will make it easier for you to create a menu and spend less time in the store.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner: 5 life hacks, how to take a break from "cooking", spending a lot of time in the kitchen (+ a useful recipe)

Always buy lots of vegetables – there are uses for them

Usually I buy a lot of different vegetables: they are easy to combine, stew, add to meat, fish, sauté. Therefore, in my refrigerator you can always find carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, white cabbage. If you have a small family, one vegetable is enough.

I also like to buy different sauces once and use them later as needed. Oyster, soy sauces, chili, coconut milk are bright ingredients that will enhance and “color” the taste of any familiar dish. They are stored for a long time, you can always return to them.

All of the above is a base that can be supplemented with any meat, poultry, fish, cereals and other products with a short shelf life.

Do not seek culinary delights

I cook very quickly and, despite my profession, I do not like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. In order to cope quickly, you need to clearly follow your menu. Don’t try to make complicated meals if you feel tired. Let it be food that you have already cooked that you are good at – now is not the time for feats.

Simple ingredients are always salvation in the kitchen

I have been cooking for 11 years now, I have a large library of different books, but now I practically do not use them. I start from the products and from what I want to get in the end. It is important to look only at recipes for baking and complex desserts, because proportions play a big role there.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner: 5 life hacks, how to take a break from "cooking", spending a lot of time in the kitchen (+ a useful recipe)

Returning to the basic list of products, I will say that I really love white cabbage. It is now the main ingredient in many of my dishes.

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The simplest and tastiest thing I want to recommend is white cabbage salad. It needs to be finely chopped (preferably young, juicy cabbage), add chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, season with olive oil, a little soy sauce, chili, honey. In order to make the dish more nutritious, you can add your choice to it: chicken fillet, crab, tuna, funchezu noodles. As a result, you get not just a salad, but a complete lunch that is prepared very quickly.

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