Grocery shopping a chore? Cooking a hassle? 

It's time to think about your food differently. 

I know what you're thinking. What does this have to do with fashion? Well, meal recipes are similar to outfit recipes. You can use the same ingredients in a variety of ways to create entirely different results! Let's take a break from style and turn to our tastebuds.

It doesn't matter whether you eat Vegan, Paleo, or restriction-free. The process of meal planning, shopping, and cooking can be easy, delicious and healthy. Instead of cooking to adhere to recipes, cook to create your own using simple rules and flavor combinations. 

sweet + salty + sour + bitter + umami, maybe with a little spice

Keep these words in your head when you cook and you will be amazed at what you can create. We'll be diving into how these tastes work together to balance your meals and entice your palate. We'll also begin to think about ingredients as belonging to different capsules based on flavors, textures, seasons, and more. 

What will all of this mean for you?

By thinking about your meals in different ways, you'll save time and money. You'll learn how to use leftovers in new and delicious ways. You will conquer the grocery store, shopping efficiently to minimize waste. Oh, and your refrigerator and pantry will be organized and beautiful. 

A creative cooking assignment:

Pick your favorite vegetable or fruit that's in season now. Let's start with tomatoes. Head over to Pinterest and search for "tomato recipes". Pick out your ten favorites. As you can see from the board below, tomatoes can be used in so many delicious ways. Most of these recipes only need a few other ingredients to make a complete and tasty dish.

From fresh sauces to salads to soups, you can start with a simple tomato and throw something together in minutes. One of the reasons tomatoes are so amazing is that they hit on three tastes: sweet, sour, and umami. Sprinkle on some grated parmigiano-reggiano and lemon zest and bake for a complex, delicious dinner side. Or, mix into a simple salad or top a pasta. Vegan? Swap in chopped olives for the cheese. Paleo? Use zucchini or cucumber noodles for a raw or cooked "pasta" dish. See how easy this is? 

Assignment #2: try this same method with clothes!

Pick one specific item and search for it in Pinterest. What do you find? Make note of all the different ways you can wear this piece. Are there common threads between the outfits you love?

A simple grocery framework:

If there is one thing you can do to minimize waste and save money, simplifying your grocery list is it. This easy framework details the maximum variety you need for one week of groceries.