How to meal plan like a gourmet chef


Do you find yourself wearing lots of hats? Not the kind that would protect you from the cold or the sun.

We are all running around, or sitting behind the computer all day, and the best meal planning efforts seem to get left at the checkout counter or a soccer practice.

Well, I’m popping in here today to help you change that. One of the hats I get to wear is a chef hat. My friend and psychic medium Lindsay is planning a retreat where I’ll be “chefing” and there’s a lot that goes into making sure that her event is a success.

So I am peeling off a curtain. Or an apron. Or just opening the doors wide open into my kitchen and spilling my secrets of meal planning like a chef.

1. Create a list of ingredients you can “play” with. Make sure to add in something new each week. Having the list will open up the doors to all the possible flavor combinations. If you are staying away from some options due to intolerances or dietary preferences, having the list of things that you CAN eat will become your go-to inspiration guide.

2. Have an arsenal of tools. Some of my go-tos include:

sauté pan

  • sharp knives (when you have sharp knives, things took less time to cut)
  • cutting board
  • pot
  • spiralizer – demo with zucchini
  • zester
  • blender
  • grill or grill pan (I have a heavy duty grill pan with a lid that acts like a brick)
  • sheet pans for roasting batches of vegetables
  • parchment paper
  • containers for storage

3. Have some good seasoning mixes. Overall winner in my kitchen is 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes. It goes with pretty much anything. Other options are: Taco seasoning; Indian Spices, Oriental seasoning mix.

4. Become familiar with these cooking techniques:

  • Sautéing
  • Roasting
  • Grilling
  • Poaching
  • Steaming
  • Braising
  • Curing
  • Fermenting
  • Blanching
  • Stir-fry

Find online classes, look on YouTube or come cook with me in Tampa. I always have some fun in-person cooking classes going on.

Knowledge of these techniques will never leave you standing in the middle of the kitchen lost.

5. Multi use ingredients. When you think of an ingredient, or a batch – think about how you can use them in multiple recipes.

Here are some examples:

Salad-in-a-jar – stir-fry

Vegetable Salad – smoothie – sautéed side dish – juice

Eggs: Hard-boiled. Soft boiled. Poached. Scrambled. Frittata. Frittata muffins. Omelet.

And voila. Now you have downloaded the information from my head and into yours. Happy cooking:)