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    10 Insanely Easy Vegetarian Meals I Rely on During the Week

    One of my goals for 2021 was to make myself more well-balanced and nutritious meals at home. I want to add more fruits and veggies to my everyday diet, rely less on processed and packaged foods, and make simple swaps for healthier versions of some of my favorites (such as pasta and tortillas).Although I already enjoyed cooking for myself, I knew that I just did not do it enough. I also have been a vegetarian for over 10 years, so I wanted to challenge myself to try some new recipes. I am very proud to report that all 10 meals I’m about to talk about were made within a week—so far, so good on that goal!
    I also want to take this time to thank the four most important things in my life right now, especially when it comes to achieving this goal: my air fryer, Trader Joe’s carb-savvy tortillas, my new Always Pan, and chickpeas. 
    Whether you are a vegetarian yourself or just need some inspo for the new year, check out these 10 incredibly easy (and delicious, if I do say so myself) vegetarian meals that I rely on during the week:

    1. Buffalo Chickpea Salad Wraps

    This is a new favorite of mine! Chickpeas are a super easy way for vegetarians to include protein in their diet, and they are also incredibly versatile—making them a non-meat-eater’s best friend.
    To make these salad wraps, mash up clean and dried chickpeas in a bowl and mix in plant-based mayo, buffalo or hot sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread on the tortilla of your choice (I love the carb-savvy ones from Trader Joe’s), and top with lettuce, avocado, onion, and feta cheese for the perfect WFH lunch.

    2. Burrito Bowl

    Looking at this photo makes my mouth water. Start by cooking onion, frozen corn, and peppers in a skillet with your favorite seasonings. When that’s finished, add the mixture to a base of brown rice and black beans (if you’re like me you’ll just get the microwave options), then add the toppings of your choice. I usually go with avocado, plain greek yogurt (as a sour cream substitute), chihuahua cheese, and a couple crushed tortilla chips. 

    3. Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Banana

    This is a simple one! I make plain microwave old-fashioned oats with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and then mix in agave syrup and cinnamon once they are cooked. I top it off with natural peanut butter and a banana for extra protein and deliciousness. 

    4. Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic

    A true classic and a lazy girl’s best friend: Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. I make mine in my air fryer (if you’re not doing this yet, it will change your life) with a dash of olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and then simply mix it up with pesto, balsamic glaze, and goat cheese crumbles. YUM. 

    5. Tofu Lettuce Wraps

    My mom and I have been making this recipe for years, and it just continues to evolve. I’m very excited to share that I recently cracked the code on how to get your tofu as crispy as possible, and the answer is two simple words: air. fryer. Seriously, this tiny little appliance made my life 1000x better, and if you don’t have one yet, WYD?!
    To make these lettuce wraps, air fry your drained and cubed tofu with your teriyaki sauce of choice and prepare some plain brown rice. You could also make some veggies to add if you’d like. Then add everything to a butter lettuce cup, and top with a bit of sriracha mayo and crispy chow mein noodles—or don’t, if you’re feeling extra healthy. 

    6. Spicy Potato Tacos

    As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, it was also the year that Taco Bell decided to take potatoes off the menu and break my little vegetarian heart. So if you’re in the same boat as me and still mourning that loss, this is a special treat for you: at-home spicy potato tacos.
    I make these by air frying (yes, I’m using it again) cubed baby potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. The potatoes by themselves are delicious, but I like to put them on a low-carb tortilla and add a sprinkle of cheese, avocado, plain greek yogurt, and hot sauce to pretend I am at Taco Bell. I also like to tell myself these are a healthier version—so, you know, if they’re not, please don’t tell me that. 

    7. Lunch Snack Plate

    This is what I like to call lazy lunch. Basically, it consists of anything in my fridge that needs to be eaten. For example: on the day I took this photo, I had some leftover buffalo chickpea salad mixture on a lettuce wrap as well as a side of veggies and crackers with plant-based cauliflower tzatziki dip. 

    8. Breakfast Tacos

    I would seriously eat these tacos every day if I could. They are super simple: scrambled eggs, veggie sausage (I prefer MorningStar), goat cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and hot sauce on low-carb tortillas. 

    9. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

    Ah, chickpeas, we meet again. This very easy mediterranean salad is just a mixture of washed and drained chickpeas, avocado, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. For dressing, I drizzle the mixture with olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You could also add cucumber and kalamata olives—I was just out on this day!

    10. Veggie Fried Brown Rice with Tofu

    I’m a huge fan of using leftovers, and this dish is perfect for that. I had some leftover tofu and brown rice from my lettuce wraps, so I fried up some veggies—in this case, peppers, carrots, corn, and red onion—then added the rice, tofu, a fried egg, and some more teriyaki sauce all in the same pan.  More

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    15 Items Wellness Experts Love From Trader Joe’s

    Thanks to cult-classics like Cookie Butter and Candy Cane Joe Joe’s (both of which deserve to be staples in everyone’s kitchen, BTW), Trader Joe’s doesn’t always get the health-food store reputation that it deserves. America’s sweetheart of grocery stores not only offers organic options at much more affordable prices than other stores, but they recreate genius alternatives of some of our favorite foods with cleaner ingredients and plant-based nutrients. There’s a reason Trader Joe’s is a go-to for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness experts alike. Whether you’re plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, or just looking to make your diet a little bit healthier, here are 15 easy, delicious, and oh-so-nutritious items at TJ’s that wellness experts pull of shelves:
    1. Green Goddess Salad Dressing

    Many salad dressings (especially creamy Green Goddess dressing) contain sneaky processed ingredients, added sugars, and unhealthy creams, so wellness experts love this list of clean ingredients (avocado, fresh herbs, apple cider vinegar, garlic, etc.). Bonus hack: it’s not just for your salads. Try it as a dip or pasta sauce to sneak in some nutrients for little picky eaters (and no shame if “little picky eaters” means you).  
    Try if: you’re over boring salad dressings.

    2. Unsweetened Açai Puree Packets

    While many açai bowls you can get at smoothie shops or restaurants contain added sugar, Trader Joe’s Açai Puree Packets are unsweetened. If “açai” sounds like a different language to you, the superfood has a wide range of health benefits and tastes delicious. Add to smoothies or make your own açai bowl and top with fruit, nut butter, and coconut shreds.
    Try if: you’re a sucker for an Insta-worthy breakfast bowl.

    3. Cauliflower Thins

    Made of cauliflower (over 60 percent), eggs, parmesan cheese, and deactivated yeast, these cauliflower thins are a delicious alternative to bread, tortillas, etc., for anyone who’s avoiding gluten or trying to sneak in more veggies. Spread avocado on top, pile on veggies and hummus, or DIY your favorite sandwich for healthy, delicious, and easy meals.
    Try if: you’ve never been able to say goodbye to sandwiches for lunch. 

    4. Organic Coconut Aminos 

    This healthy alternative to traditional soy sauce is free of gluten and soy, making it the perfect option for people with food sensitivities or allergies. It also has one-third the sodium content of traditional soy sauce, is plant-based (made from coconut), and certified organic, which are all labels that wellness experts cannot get enough of. Order it online here. 
    Try if: you’re a sushi lover who wants to make your takeout order a little healthier.

    5. Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry

    This cult-favorite stir fry is made with cauliflower instead of rice. The plant-based rice is mixed with chopped veggies and nutritious flavors like tamari, sesame oil, and ginger. Simply reheat the mixture over a skillet, and you’re good to go! Pro tip: add egg, tofu, or chicken if you want a little extra protein.
    Try if: you don’t time/energy/motivation to cook, but still want a delicious, plant-based meal.

    6. Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea

    With turmeric to reduce inflammation and ginger to aid in digestion, this tea is basically a wellness expert’s dream tea. And it’s certified organic!? You’re going to want to stock up on this tea before all the health nuts sell it out.
    Try if: you want a warming go-to drink that doubles as an extra dose of nutrients.

    7. Veggie Spirals

    Whether you’re craving pasta with tomato sauce, pad thai, or any other noodle variation, the veggie spirals are the perfect way to squeeze in some extra nutrients. These pre-spiraled frozen packages make healthy eating easy; simply heat them up and add to any recipe or top with any sauce for a way healthier version of your favorite noodle dish. You can either use them as a replacement for noodles or add them to the noodles you already love.
    Try if: you live for a good noodle dish. 

    8. Hi-Protein Veggie Burger

    With an impressive 26g of protein, a simple ingredients list, and 40 percent of the daily goal for iron, these plant-based vegan burgers are a dream for meat-free diets. The texture is more like a falafel than a chewy burger, which means you can eat with your favorite burger toppings or put it into salads and wraps to get some extra clean protein into your lunches. Order it online here. 
    Try if: you want to add more protein in your diet.

    9. Organic Tahini

    The only ingredient in this creamy butter alternative is ground sesame seeds. High in fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, and a variety of other nutrients, tahini is officially a staple in health experts’ kitchens. Add it to salad dressings to make them creamier, use it in baked goods recipes to up the nutrition, or drizzle over fruit for a decadent (and healthy!) treat. Order it online here. 
    Try if: you want to hack your baked goods. 

    10. Kale Gnocchi

    Of all the infamous Trader Joe’s gnocchi (cauliflower, sweet potato, chocolate), the Kale Gnocchi has got to take the (very healthy) cake. With a simple ingredients list of potato starch, chickpea flour, sea salt, olive oil, and, of course, kale, it’s the perfect way to sneak in some extra greens.
    Try if: you never remember to eat your greens.

    11. Juice Shots

    You already know that fancy juice shots are a must-have in the fridges of bougie wellness experts and health influencers. The problem for us normal people? Juice shots can be hella expensive (and for literally one sip…?). Luckily, the shots at Trader Joe’s are the cheapest I’ve ever found, while still being certified organic and full of superfoods and nutrients, making them wellness-expert approved. 
    Try if: you’re looking to upgrade your wellness game.

    12. Chocolate Hummus

    I know what you’re thinking: chocolate…hummus? While I fully trust and respect the Trader Joe’s powers that be (AKA whoever names the genius products), I think of this less as a chocolate hummus and more of a chocolate frosting or dip that sneaks in some healthy ingredients. With a base of cooked chickpeas and tahini, dessert just got a lot more nutritious. Use as a frosting for baked goods or as a dip with apple slices when you’re craving something sweet.
    Try if: you have a serious sweet tooth.

    13. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

    Perhaps one of the most beloved Trader Joe’s products of all time, the cauliflower pizza crust revolutionizes drunk food and pizza cravings by replacing greasy crusts and processed flour with nutrient-dense cauliflower and gluten-free cornflour. Try the Margherita variety for the days where “cooking” means sticking something in the oven, or the bare crust to get creative with toppings.
    Try if: you live off of frozen pizzas (AKA everybody RN)

    14. Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil

    The only three ingredients in this delicious snack are popcorn, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. Made with organic kernels and olive oil (instead of more processed oils or butters), this is basically as clean as a store-bought popcorn is going to get. Plus, it contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Order it online here. 
    Try if: you want a nutrient-dense replacement for potato chips.

    15. Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto

    Because even wellness experts love pesto. Not only is this option dairy-free, but it’s also more nutritious than the traditional version by incorporating kale and cashews in addition to the usual ingredients like basil, lemon juice, and olive oil. Use the decadent sauce on top of bruschetta, with your favorite pasta, or as a dip for veggies.
    Try if: you need a go-to sauce that’s as healthy as it is delicious.

    What are your go-to healthy Trader Joe’s products? More

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    8 Tips for a Successful and Easy Whole30—From Someone Who’s Done It

    Last January, I completed my Everest; the thing I’d been saying I’d do for years, but never actually pulled the trigger on: finishing Whole30. My reason for doing Whole30 was simple: I have an absolutely horrible stomach, and my doctor had been begging me to do an elimination diet for literal years. But it never felt like a perfect time to do it (newsflash: it will never be a perfect time to do it), and then one day, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided it was time to try to figure out my food sensitivities once and for all. 
    Throughout my experience, I had a lot of highs and even more lows, but I did finish the whole 30 days and learned a lot along the way. Thinking of doing Whole30 yourself? Here’s how to survive it while suffering a little less than I did:

    1. Know why you’re doing it
    Despite what you might think, Whole30 is not a weight-loss diet. You don’t count calories or restrict carbs or anything of the sort, and you’re strongly advised to not weigh yourself during the entire process—because it isn’t the point! The point is to take a step back to evaluate how you’re eating, find out what makes you feel good, and nourish your body with real foods for a while. If you’re thinking of doing it for weight loss, it probably isn’t for you.

    2. Give yourself time to prepare before you start
    Want to know how my Whole30 journey began? The day after Christmas of 2019, I decided January was going to be the time I finally did Whole30. I went to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients I needed, and while I was at the grocery store, realized everything I had eaten so far that day was Whole30 compliant. I thought, “Why waste a day?” and decided to start right there with no preparation.
    Any Whole30 veteran will tell you that this should have been a fatal mistake. In my opinion, all of your success is going to ride on whether or not you’re prepared. If I could go back, I would have given myself a full week ahead of my start date for preparation. I could use basically nothing that I had in my fridge (condiments, butter, the works), and making sure you’re stocked with things that are compliant is absolutely key. Research recipes, come up with a meal calendar, and go into it ready to go. I can’t recommend the Whole30 Book enough to help with this.

    3. Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep
    Whether or not you’re usually a meal prepper, preparing your meals before you need them is so, so important. When you inevitably have situations where you’re hungry and ready for a meal, needing to figure out a Whole30 compliant meal is truly hell. If you really don’t like meal prepping, at least have your ingredients cut up and stored in your fridge and know what meals you’re going to be eating a few days out. 

    3. Mentally prepare for how you’re going to feel
    Think you’re going to immediately have clear skin and feel like you can run a marathon? Guess again. 
    A few days into Whole30, I literally felt like I was going to die. I was completely lethargic and could have slept all day, every day—and that’s how you’re supposed to feel. One of my favorite things about The Whole30 book is that it breaks down how you’re going to feel every day, and it’s completely spot-on. You aren’t going to feel good until at least halfway through, and getting to that point is really tough (most people quit around day 10-11 because that’s when you feel the worst).
    You’d think that eating exclusively whole foods would make you feel amazing, but your body is going to withdraw from the things it’s used to (looking at you, sugar), and there’s no getting around the slump you’ll feel those first two weeks. I, of course, didn’t know this before I started, but once I got the book and could track how I was supposed to feel each day, the process got much easier.

    4. Stock up on compliant condiments
    Whole30 has been around for quite some time, which luckily means that many health food companies have gotten on board and created condiments and sauces that are made exclusively with Whole30-compliant ingredients. 
    My personal favorite compliant brand is Primal Kitchen—a year later, I still use mostly their condiments because they taste so good and are an easy, healthier swap. (Pro tip: their chipotle mayo was my favorite thing throughout the entire process!)

    5. Have snacks ready in case of emergency
    Yes, one of the rules of Whole30 is that snacking isn’t allowed, but sometimes, things happen, and you literally just need to get something into your stomach. It is absolutely vital to have things on-hand for when that happens. It’s probably going to be a handful of nuts or an Rx bar (not all Rx bars are compliant—I’d recommend researching which ones are beforehand and ordering yourself a full box of them).

    6. Get a handle on what’s allowed—and what’s not
    Hours and hours of your Whole30 are going to be spent reading nutrition labels. I cannot tell you how much time I spent on Whole30 looking at the labels of everything I picked up and then needing to research specific ingredients to see if they’re allowed. Of course, you aren’t going to memorize an entire list of allowed ingredients (especially since some are so weird and sound forbidden), but getting a handle on the common ones will save you loads of time throughout the journey.

    The 30 Whole Days app is magic for one reason: it has a function where you can scan the barcode on a food container, and it will tell you whether or not it’s allowed. It doesn’t have every food under the sun, but it also has a search bar where you can research a specific ingredient and it will tell you whether or not it’s approved. It is so much easier than constantly turning to your book or going through Google trying to figure out if something is allowed. 

    8. Remember that it’s only 30 days
    Whole30 is tough—really, really tough. I struggled quite a bit through mine and am adamant about never doing it again. But it helped me figure out my food sensitivities, and it’s important to remember that it’s only 30 days of your life—and you can do anything for 30 days. Doing Whole30 once changed my relationship with food and knowledge of what makes my body feel good so much, and even though it was a struggle, it was very much worth it.  More

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    8 Expert Tips That Make Meal Planning a Breeze

    When you see the word “meal prep,” do you automatically get stressed? Perhaps you add “preparing healthy meals ahead of time” to the category of adulting tasks you never seem to be “adult enough” to get to. Maybe you’ve tried and tried (and tried) to meal prep, but because you’re bored/busy/unmotivated, it hasn’t become a habit. While I feel your pain, meal prepping is a key part of a healthy diet because it ensures we can make healthy decisions and opt for nutritious foods, even during busy or stressful weeks (AKA every week).Here’s the good news: you don’t have to spend your entire weekend grocery shopping and chopping, and you don’t even have to put a lot of time and effort into it to get your meal-prep game strong. Using a few expert tips, meal prepping can not only be easy, but it can be so streamlined, you won’t have to give it a second thought. Here are eight expert tips that make meal planning a breeze:

    Source: @blueapron

    1. Go the delivery service route
    We get it: some weeks are just so busy that you don’t have time to plan, prepare, and cook your meals. If you find yourself opting for takeout every night or you check Uber Eats more than you check Instagram, a meal delivery service might transform your eating habits and lifestyle. Blue Apron offers health-conscious options like vegetarian, carb-conscious, 600 calories or less, etc., so not only can you select meals that you’ll look forward to all day, but you’ll be eating meals that help you achieve health goals. With 23 weekly recipes, there is quite literally something for everyone, no matter your tastes or diet preferences. 
    Plus, Blue Apron is now offering a variety of customizations since they know everyone (and their tastebuds) are different. For example, you can now swap, add or upgrade proteins on select meals to ensure that everyone in your home can enjoy the meal, no matter preferences or diets.. In other words, even your vegetarian roommate, meat-loving significant other, or picky kids will love it (insider tip: look for the “see options” box under the meal’s image after signing up to see if it is customizable). 
    Thanks to more customization, it’s like you really are your own gourmet chef, except with a lot less hassle and a lot more ease. When you’re doing all the “prepping” online, the groceries show up at your door with a recipe and perfect proportions, and you can customize to your personal tastes or preferences, cooking becomes a no-brainer. Blue Apron removes all the pain of meal prepping: you’ll have delicious, fresh, healthy meals every night and won’t even feel tempted to order a pizza.
    New customers: click here to save over $60 on your first 3 boxes!

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    2. Organize your fridge
    Have you heard the saying that your life is only as organized as your fridge? OK, even if it’s not a real saying, I’m saying it because it’s true. If you can’t even see what’s in the fridge (we all have that one jar shoved to the back) or it’s so full that you don’t have room for anything new, you’re making your life (and your healthy diet) a lot harder. Reorganize your foods by first cleaning out anything expired, and then store the oldest foods in the front and newest in the back (grocery-store style) so you remember to eat those first. This will highlight what foods you have, but most importantly will reduce food waste. Finally, label foods and invest in the right containers (preferably sustainable glass containers that are clear so you can see what’s inside) of all sizes to store prepped veggies, easy-to-grab snacks, and leftover meals.

    3. Make extra sauces and grains
    Casserole is great, but it can only ever be casserole (and who really wants casserole every day?). If you get tired of meals and are never a fan of leftovers, cooking one dish to reheat through the week may not be the best plan of action. To eat brand new dishes but still utilize the convenient power of planning ahead, cook more of a sauce or grain than you need for your dish. For example, if you’re making a pesto sauce for pasta on Monday night, make extra, so you can keep it in the fridge to put a pizza on Tuesday, drizzle over roasted veggies and chicken for lunch on Wednesday, and spread onto avocado toast on Thursday. Likewise, if you’re making rice, a big batch ensures you’ll have a basic grain to repurpose into risotto, lunch bowls, or stir-fries.

    Source: @notyourstandard

    4. Make a meal schedule
    Meal prepping only works if you know what you need for the week. In your daily planner or weekly calendar, plan out breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get a rough idea of what meals you’ll be making all week long. Planning it out in your calendar also means you can see if any busy days or late nights are coming up where you won’t have time to cook and can either plan on takeout, food delivery, or prepping the whole dish ahead of time. Once you have a plan for your week, make a grocery list based on the recipes.
    If the hardest part for you is finding recipes (first of all, check out some meal prepping recipes like here, here, and here), you can instead make a list of all the produce, pantry items, and meat/dairy you love and know how to prepare first. Once you have a good idea of your go-to’s, then come up with some recipes. Starting with the grocery list of your basics and then find or think of recipes based on the list ensures you won’t try any difficult recipes or have to buy items you don’t otherwise use. 

    5. Do a different step on different days
    Many people prefer dedicating an entire day to grocery shopping, washing produce, chopping or prepping, and batch cooking for the week. For others (especially meal-prepping newbies), fitting so many tasks into one day can feel overwhelming. If you fall in the latter category, try separating meal prepping steps into different days. For example, go grocery shopping on Saturday (bonus points that it will be less crowded); chop easy-to-prep produce like cucumbers, onions, and carrots on Sunday; and bulk cook a grain or roast veggies on Monday. Tackling one task at a time might make meal prepping much more manageable and help you form habits.

    Source: Allyson Trammell

    6. Use spices, dressings, and sauces
    Prepping ahead of time doesn’t have to mean foregoing cravings. To adjust to what you’re craving, update basic grains, veggies, and proteins with spices, dressings, or sauces. For example, try a store-bought tomato sauce, DIY a creamy dressing, or play around with spices like turmeric, cumin, or garlic powder to elevate ingredients. You can also sprinkle on herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley to diversify tastes. A bowl of rice and veggies could become a sushi bowl with a little soy sauce and pickled ginger, or a Mexican dish with some taco seasoning, lime juice, and cilantro. The good thing about meal prepping basics is you can transform them into whatever flavors or foods you’re craving at the moment.

    Source: Love and Lemons

    7. Prep produce right away 
    Sure, you can wash and prepare produce as you need throughout the week, or you can make your life a lot easier by washing and prepping before putting the groceries away. When you get home from the grocery store and unload all your new goodies is a key time to put all produce in the sink to rinse, wash, and dry before putting them away. Also, doing a little light prepping will not only save a lot of room in the fridge, but will save you time during the week. Try chopping tomatoes, dicing onions, separating celery stalks, and slicing lemons as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Keep in reusable containers to easily access ready-to-go produce throughout the week.

    8. Pre-bag smoothie or soup ingredients 
    If your days are so busy that even making a smoothie or homemaking soup feels like too much time, consider freezing ingredients at the beginning of the week. Try adding fruits, leafy greens, and nuts and seeds to reusable bags and store them in the freezer to keep them fresh. In the mornings, simply add ingredients to a blender with some water or almond milk. This smoothie hack can work for lunchtime with a simple soup. Portion out veggies, protein, and spices or herbs (like garlic, ginger, or thyme) to individual bags, and store them in the freezer. At lunchtime, simply add all ingredients to a pot with your stock of choice, and let simmer until fully cooked.

    This post includes a sponsored mention of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    The Kitchen Tool Instagram Can’t Stop Raving About Is On Sale This Weekend

    Chances are, if you’ve scrolled Instagram within the last few months (have you done much else?), you’ve seen someone raving about a new chic pan that not only can do the job of a ton of the tools in a kitchen, but also looks beautiful enough to sit out on the stove all the time—ideal for small spaces. Our Place’s Always Pan steams, sautés, cooks grains, simmers soups and sauces, fries, and more, all on a non-stick surface that cleans easily. According to our director of brand partnerships who uses her Always Pan for just about everything, the non-stick surface is the real deal. Because it’s such an all-in-one powerhouse, it can replace your fry pan, saucier, skillet, saucepan, non-stick pan, and more. No more using three or four pans just to get dinner on the table—you can do just about everything in this one pan. 

    Say goodbye to those old, not-so-great pans you bought affordably for your first apartment. The pan even comes with a basket that serves as a colander and steamer and has a a notch on the handle that’s designed to hold your utensil, keeping your counter clean while cooking. The pan comes in six different colors, each more gorgeous than the last, and colors can sell out, so if you’ve been waiting, now’s the time.

    Though it’s too late to get the pan in time for Christmas morning (in most colors, at least), the Always Pan would make a truly great gift for anyone in your life who enjoys cooking or has to work with space or storage issues—or a treat for yourself. If you’re looking for more kitchen-related Black Friday deals, Our Place is also featuring its dinnerware collections in various sizes.
    A pretty pan that cuts the number of cookware you actually need down to a fraction of what you’d think it’d be? Sign us up. More

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    I Never Spend More Than 30 Minutes on Dinner—Here Are My Secrets

    My first year living on my own, I ordered a take-out burrito bowl basically twice a week. I would rather starve all day and eat one hefty, greasy meal I picked up somewhere than spend the energy and time to cook myself something. For one, I barely knew how to cook eggs, let alone a meal, but I also found myself struggling with all the time it’d take to cook. I relished my free time way too much to spend it cooped up in the kitchen. And I couldn’t dare picture how some people actually found cooking to be a self-care activity. Isn’t that what the eating part is for? Fast-forward and in 2020, I’ve done basically a 180. Do I get takeout sometimes? Absolutely. But for the sake of my finances and my health, I began teaching myself a little here and there about cooking at home. But even while I’m spending all my time at home, I don’t enjoy spending a ton of time in the kitchen, so I vowed that every meal I made would be under 30 minutes (a good motivator, if I do say so myself). Over time, I’ve gotten more comfortable in the kitchen, but one thing’s remained: I spend way more time doing my skincare routine than I do cooking dinner. Here are my secrets:

    Source: Blue Apron

    One of the hardest parts of cooking is meal planning and getting everything from the grocery store. Although your meal might only take you 30 minutes, it might take you three hours to figure out what to make, create a list, wait in line at the grocery store, and get everything—and I forget something almost every single time. A meal-delivery service like Blue Apron takes away all of that time and energy planning and buying groceries, so your meals actually can take under 30 minutes.
    My favorite thing about Blue Apron is that you can easily see the recipes when you order, and they always tell you how long it takes to prep and cook. I’m able to order meals that exclusively take under 35 minutes to make, plus I can see how much prep work is involved. I’m making exciting new dishes I never would have made, but they feel easy and doable like everything else I cook. This has led me to keep all of my recipes handy to recreate them again, helping me to build an arsenal of quick and easy meals I know I already like. 
    New customers: click here to save over $60 on your first 3 boxes!

    Source: rawpixel

    2. Save everything you see on IG, Pinterest, and YouTube
    One of my biggest sources of cooking inspiration as of late has been Instagram and Tik Tok. I’m constantly seeing new ways people are making delicious, easy meals that take seriously no time at all. However, it’s easy to forget them all. Lately, I’ve been saving all of my meal ideas in one place so that I can easily come back to them. I use Pinterest because you can Pin anything from the web right there, so pictures I see on Instagram, YouTube videos, and Tik Toks can be saved amongst all the other great recipe content on Pinterest. Every Sunday I look through this catalog of ideas and pick one or two to try for the week. 

    3. Eat breakfast for dinner!
    Once I got out of the funk that breakfast foods need to be eaten for breakfast and dinner foods can only be eaten at dinner, my world changed. Although I absolutely love breakfast foods, sometimes I’m craving a heartier meal when I eat in the mornings and opting for something that would ordinarily be a lunch or dinner for me has been a lifesaver. But like I said, I love breakfast foods (I could eat exclusively sunny-side-up eggs and hash browns with hot sauce for the rest of my life and be the happiest person on Earth), so when I’m in a rut about what to cook for dinner, I go with my go-to breakfast. As long as it has some protein and maybe a side salad (hence the maybe), I’m good to go.

    Source: Anthropologie

    4. Keep a go-to grocery list and meal ideas list on your phone
    This was one of the first pages I made when I started a Bullet Journal, but you can put it basically anywhere: a note on your phone, a page you keep in your purse, on your computer, or even in your car. I first created a list of all of my favorite easy, go-to meals. I started with things like chicken quesadilla, turkey tacos, chicken caesar wraps, pita pizzas, spicy noodles, and an egg scramble. Then, I broke each of those meals down into all of their ingredients and wrote that as a master grocery list. Then when I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I already have a pre-made meal plan and grocery list to get me through the week. This has truly saved me on nights when I’d rather do anything but cook, but if I have these on hand, I know I can make a meal I absolutely love.

    5. Don’t underestimate the power of a doctored-up frozen meal
    Like most people, I live in the frozen section of a grocery store. It’s so much easier, and if you know what to look for, it’s not the worst thing for your body either. But sometimes you need a little something more, so I love taking frozen staples and doctoring them up just a little bit. I’ll take frozen cauliflower rice and cook it in a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha with grilled chicken and a scrambled egg. Add some veggies, and you have the most basic fried “rice” on the planet. Another favorite of mine is using frozen breaded chicken tenders for salads, sandwiches, and wraps for an adult meal instead of just dipping them in BBQ sauce and fries (which I definitely still do on occasion and have zero regrets).  
    I do the same with frozen vegetables, always serving them in a sauce or a ton of my favorite seasonings to make them taste a little fresher. Find whatever ways you can take the frozen items in your freezer to the next level.

    Source: @allyson.trammell

    6. Keep all of your go-to spices on-hand
    Make sure you have a constant flow of all of your go-to spices, seasoning blends, and sauces. For me, that’s garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha, soy sauce, chili paste, cinnamon, and taco seasoning, but your list will be different based on what you like to cook! Having these in my cupboard and fridge at all times makes it easy to doctor up a plain meal or add a little extra flavor to something.

    This post includes a sponsored mention of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More