I want you to find your own personal style for everyday cooking, one that becomes a natural skill once you get in the habit of preparing meals at home more often. Recipe-free cooking means you're able to look at what you have on hand and compose a snack or meal without having to plan ahead or even follow directions because you understand what your body needs and the way different foods, flavors, and textures work together.
But before you hop right into freestyling your own meals, I have found that my clients find recipe-free templates to be extremely beneficial for building a nutritious meal and determining what portions of foods fit for their goals while also having the freedom to mix and match different flavors. One easy way to start the transition into recipe-free cooking is by creating your own nutritious smoothie.
Not every meal has to be a food based meal. In fact, you can even replace one meal each day with easy-to-make, nutritionally dense smoothies—it may even be your secret weapon to avoid from grabbing a less than ideal breakfast or lunch when you're in a time crunch.
Unfortunately, most pre-made smoothies from the store or smoothie chains are just barely better than a fast-food milk-shake. They're typically sweetened heavily with sugar, include low quality protein sources, rely heavily on processed and artificial ingredients, and are missing many of the nutrients (like fiber, protein, and omega-3 fats) found in whole foods that will keep you full and energized without the crash or gut-rot.
This recipe-free template will ensure that your smoothie has minimal sugar and artificial ingredients, uses high-quality protein sources, includes whole fruits and veggies, and provides fiber and healthy fat. Plug and play with this template (serves 1 person) and ditch the overpriced store bought smoothies for good:
Pick a liquid
Less liquid will make a thicker shake
More liquid will make a thinner shake
4-8 oz is a good starting point.
Unsweetened coconut water
Unsweetened nut or seed milk like cashew, almond, or various blends
Unsweetened iced green tea
Pick a fruit
Use fresh or frozen
1-2 cupped handfuls (1/2 to 1 cup)
Higher-level of daily activity = bigger serving of fruit
Lower-level daily activity = smaller serving of fruit
Berries of various colors; raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries
Pick a protein
1-2 scoops of a powder or 20-40g per serving
If you are going to use a protein supplement, find a protein powder that is high quality, tastes good, and digests well.
Non-flavored, Greek yogurt (1 cup)
Pick a veggie
Use raw, frozen, or roasted
1-2 fist full (at least 1/2 cup)
Beets or beet greens
Celery or cucumber
Powdered greens supplement
Pick a healthy fat
1-2 thumb sized portions (1 to 2 tablespoons)
Flax, hemp, and or chia seeds
Nut butters (without added sugar, oil, or salt)
For a printable infographic of this recipe-free template click here.
I hope that this gets you one step closer in becoming a recipe-free cooking pro and being more comfortable in your kitchen! Stay tuned for more recipe-free templates like stir-fry, omelettes, salads, snacks, and more.