YDF Kitchen Philosophy: No Rules!

I love to cook. However…I understand that may put me in the minority of the population.

Through these blogs, I hope to bring you a ton of useful stuff. But before I dive into recipes, techniques, and pro-tips…you should know some things about the YDF philosophy on all things cooking and kitchen rules.

My Recipe Philosophy

I have never followed the rules and I, for the life of me, cannot follow a recipe. Usually, I like to read a handful of recipes before I make something new but never use 1 full recipe from start to finish. But, I just can’t help myself from adding in other ingredients or from skipping some steps. And listen…some dishes I make are better than others.

So, although it may be frustrating, stick with me when I post what I like to call “sort of recipes” for you! I’m not here to tell you how much cumin you should use on your tacos…1 tsp, 3Tbsp…it’s up to you, my friend! But definitely use the cumin because it’s delicious.

Flavor Experiments

The best way to get comfortable with flavor combos? Learn from chefs. Pay attention to cool flavor combos when you eat out and try them yourself at home. No need to do all the hard work when chefs get paid to make great flavors come together for you!

On the flip side – EXPERIMENT! If you mess up, it’s just one bad meal and pizza delivery is just around the corner if you really mess it up.

The Spice Rack

Most of my travels are to places with a great food culture and I always make sure to bring back spices/seasonings. I am somewhat of a collector. But you don’t have to be!

Absolute Bare-Minimum Staples:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Rosemary
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Additional Adventurous Stuff

  • Curry spice
  • Umami seasoning
  • Steak rubs
  • Saffron
  • Sesame seeds

My list could go on and on. But, more flavorful dishes come from a more flavorful spice drawer! So stock up, friends. (My favorite: The Spice House spices)

Note: In my humble opinion, it is more important to invest in spices and seasonings than it is to invest in fancy cooking tools.

Simple is Best

Please do not feel overwhelmed by the list above! I love fancy meal as much as the next gal. But if you’re buying delicious whole foods it can be great to keep it simple and enjoy the flavors as they are and cook with the basics: salt, pepper, oil. Some of the best steaks and veggies I have had have been cooked with only those 3 ingredients.

Prep While You Cook

I always make my lunch for the next day while I am cooking dinner. If I am already chopping peppers and tomatoes for dinner – I’ll just get out some greens and throw some into a salad with turkey for the next day.

Another great way to tackle lunch prep is to simply make additional dinner. Leftovers? I think you mean Lifesavers.

In summary, the YDF kitchen philosophy is: NO RULES!

Cooking can be tough and can take time, but it can also be super quick and easy! Be patient and practice.

You will chop faster, you will get smarter about prep, you will learn killer flavor combos and soon…you will be famous among friends for your amazing appetizers.

In Good Health,

Lindsey Hudsmith, RDN 

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