Soul

Basic Kitchen Tools

In my quest for a Romantic Minimalist life, I was determined to make simple, healthy meals that didn’t take a gourmet

grocery list to make them. Clean up should be minimal and easy as well. My Basic Kitchen Tools list is just what I need.

  1. Cutting board
  2. Knives
  3. Metal bowl set
  4. Pasta bowl set
  5. Heavy flatware set
  6. Colander
  7. Blender
  8. Crock Pot
  9. Sprouting Jar
  10. Large bamboo spoon set

The blender is my one  luxury. My husband is hooked on his nightly smoothies and I can make a green drink, sorbet, cold soup, or tomato sauce in it quickly and easily with little to clean up.  The crock pot I use to cook beans and rice in as well as veggie soup.  My husband and I have done our best to find a set of dishes that we like to no avail. It dawned on me that we use our large shallow pasta bowls for dinner salads and soups. Why not just use them for every day? A couple of years ago we bought a George Foreman grill. It works nicely and has multiple plates that go with it to make waffles or even bake cookies. We don’t do either anymore and so the use for it seems to be fading away. We will hold onto it a while longer but we don’t really need it now.  The large bamboo spoon set does everything from serving salad with a pair of them to stirring and serving beans and rice in winter.

Our family is moving back to simple food and is losing interest in processed, cooked, devitalized food. The need that we used to have for kitchen gadgets has faded. In moving to more raw food I toyed with the idea of using a dehydrator and a juicer. This caused two concerns. The first was that some dehydrated “raw” recipes literally took two days to make. I am just never going to do that since I cook rather spontaneously. The second concern was that this equipment took a hefty investment.  Our goal was to keep things simple. So we keep the basics in our kitchen that suit us and enjoy the reduction of stress and time spent in the kitchen.

 

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Keep Dry Beans in Your Pantry

 If you aren’t the sort of person that can eat raw foods all of the time we highly recommend the versatility of beans. Dry beans are one of the most frugal foods you can buy. When you combine them with rice they make up a complete protein. Add a few vegetables to your beans and you have a complete meal. At our house we love black beans, pinto beans, lentils, adsuki beans, and many more. We put them in the crock pot and let them cook all day then divide them into recycled glass containers to store in the refrigerator and freezer for quick and easy use.  We put them on salads, stuff winter squash with them, mix them with rice or pasta, and make casseroles with them. The possibilities are endless.  Using just one pot makes for easy clean up. Experiment with different spices or vegetables to vary the flavor and explore the beans in your pantry. 

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Clearing the Clutter to Simplify Your Life

Most people want less stress and chaos in their lives. Few really know where to start. Making lists and taking a few minutes to evaluate what you have and what you truly need makes it easy to clear the clutter and simplify quickly.

Go Paperless

This means discontinuing magazine and newspaper subscriptions and making a point to read online instead.

How this helps you:

*Saves cleaning time

* Clears clutter instantly

* Impacts the environment in a positive way with less waste

* Allows you to easily organize your reading list

* Convenient way to take reading and notes with you

Go paperless by using a computer, digital tablet, and/or smart phone to write notes, blog, journal, shop, read, take pictures, and work. You can find applications and freeware as well as simple ways to organize your content easily. For some that still want to stay on paper and don’t care to go digital we recommend having a one touch mail filing system and subscribing to one or two periodicals to minimize clutter. Using one notebook for household management is a good idea too.

 

Don’t Keep Everything

Being prepared for life is much different than keeping everything “just in case”.

*Determine what you need for an emergency situation and make up a kit or bag that has all the supplies you need so that you can grab and go if you need to.

*Learn to live with just what you need on a daily basis. Let go of the Cinderella complex and buy only the clothes you need for every day work and play. No one needs six pairs of $200 jeans for instance. Few people live that kind of life.

*Give the things away that you don’t really need. Its a good feeling.

 

Live Now

*Work hard and let go of laziness

* Procrastination never made anyone happy

* Do what you love now.

 

Gadgets Are Overrated

Understandable if you need one handy gadget that does everything but thinking that you need every time-saving appliance and gadget out there will never simplify your life or clear the clutter. You will end up with a house full of things that you don’t have the energy to use and you still won’t be happy. Choose what you love and use on a daily basis. Then avoid being tempted to buy anything but the simple basics. For example, you can create an amazing array of food with a simple knife and cutting board.

 

Enjoy Space and Time

Clearing the clutter to simplify your life is a journey not a one day event. As you gradually create the peaceful life you want, take a moment to enjoy and recognize the time and space afforded by the effort. Space without clutter or chaos feeling so good. Making the choice not to over-commit and have the time to embrace life is something that is precious.

 

 

 

 

 

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Moving Back to Simple Food

Our family has made the decision to move back to simple food.

Breakfast is simply fruit by the hand. Apples, grapes, and bananas are our version of fast food on our way out the door. It keeps things simple when they are no kitchen tools or cooking necessary, no bowls or spoons to wash and no electricity used in making breakfast. We love fruit for fast energy and tasty treats.

Lunch is a luscious salad from our container garden or the local Farmer’s market. We tear up some greens like spinach and romaine to top with ripe tomatoes, crunchy carrots and celery, roasted almonds, spicy sprout combinations, and colorful peppers. Apple cider vinegar and olive oil meld it all together.

Our afternoon snack is a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit to keep us going. We buy nuts in bulk and bring our own cloth bags to the store when we can to reduce packaging and costs.

Our evening meals usually consists of beans, rice, and vegetables with a berry smoothie for dessert. We especially like cilantro and onion inspired black beans, red beans and Cajun rice, and stir fried vegetables with Bragg’s Amino for flavor.

I haven’t convinced my husband to go completely vegan yet but he may get there without really realizing that I was that sneaky. In the meantime we do enjoy simple food that only Mother Nature has processed.

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A Fresh Start

I always love new beginnings.
January 1st is my favorite day of the year.
Of course it’s silly in a way because every
day has potential for a fresh start.
Every moment we have the chance to decide to do better.
On my list for 2012 are great adventures.
Healthy living, and love top the list as well.
My adventures entail endless possibilities.
Things that speak to my spirit are on the list
Healthy living is here to stay for me.
I’ve changed to a vegan diet and walk 5 miles a day in 2012.
Letting go of covering up has been freeing for me and I embrace it.
We have just a few more things to minimize in our home,
but for the most part we are free of the stress of clutter.
I look forward to making quality time with my family.
I wouldn’t say that I have resolutions. Goals set us up for a
narrow path and I want to experience new things and my passions.

It’s going to be a great year.

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The Extra Baggage Rule

Everyone is allowed one carry-on of baggage.
One bag of sorrows, disappointments, betrayals, and regrets.
No more than one.
Not a big bag.
Just bring what you can carry.
Stow it away above you
when you aren’t strong enough.
It’s reasonable and natural to
not be able to leave it all behind.
To keep everything you have
stored up-
would be unbearable.
To expect anyone else to carry it for you-
would be cruel.
The past is gone.
It will never return.
The future isn’t here yet.
Let them go and stay here in the present.
Hold on to as little as you can.
When you arrive at your destination
there is nothing you will need.
What you carry with you
will blow away as leaves in the wind.
That is freedom.

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How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Click on this little book to get it for free.

Reviews:

“A short and sweet guide to making the most of one’s life. Although it sounds at first like time management is the main theme, the book is really about balancing the demands of urban life with the need for introspection and contemplation so that neither time nor life ends up wasted. Good, inspirational message.”– D Jones

“Arnold Bennett’s book “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day” is an excellent piece of classic work. Arnold Bennett (for those of you who don’t know) was a popular English novelist in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
This book contains timeless advice about squeezing the most out of everyday life. Everything from training your brain to concentrate to living happily is discussed in full.
The book is short enough to be read in an hour or two (around 80 pages in length), and contains sufficient humor and conversational tone to make the read extremely enjoyable.
If you’re looking for practical life advice to help improve your daily quality of life, you will find no better book than this.
Also: I read this book on the Kindle, and it was rendered perfectly. It is the full version of the book, and contains no weird issues (like some of the other free kindle books do).” –Randall Degges

This little book can be read on your Kindle or on any computer. You may also purchase a paperback here.

Keep in mind that this is an old book. It is short but some of it you may want to skim and some read more thoroughly.
I found it entertaining as well as insightful and grounding. Enjoy!

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