Monday is here again. How was your weekend? I’m feeling a little virtuous for a Monday morning because I’ve already got dinner planned & prepped for tonight – barbecued chicken & bacon salad with this damn, delicious hot & creamy citrus avocado dressing. All you do is throw some ripe avocado, orange & lime juice, garlic, mayo, honey, cumin, green onions & hot sauce into a blender & whizz it up until it’s creamy. Easy, even for lazy cooks. This dressing served with grilled chicken or turkey is to die for. So good in fact, that you can use any leftovers for a dip as part of a crudité plate. Apart from harping on about the health benefits of avocado there’s not much to talk about with this recipe really. Instead, I want to chat about a kitchen clean-out & how it can works wonders at getting you enthused about starting a diet…
My hubby & I had a bit of a kitchen clean-out yesterday in readiness for a smaller butcher’s block we ordered to make videoing easier in our small kitchen. The one we already have is fantastic but behemoth so we’ve retired it for now. Reorganizing a room always gets me into de-clutter & cleaning mode. And this got me thinking how much different we approach a diet with a well organized, decent looking kitchen.
We’re renting & that can be restrictive when you want to make changes to a space. Whether you own or rent, getting rid of all the unnecessary shit off your counter tops is a must & a good place to start. We’re lucky our landlord let us paint the ugly brown cupboards & we added some simple, inexpensive knobs & draw-pulls. The tiles were ugly too so we painted them white. And my hubby replaced the counters with stainless steel (the man is a flipping whizz at everything I tell ya). We added a butcher’s block for extra counter space. All in it cost us around $500 & the butcher’s block, which accounted for almost half of that money, will move with us.
Even if you can’t go to those lengths in your kitchen, simply cleaning out the cupboards, chucking stuff out that is out of date or things you never use & organizing the space better makes a big difference. No one gets excited about preparing food in a cluttered, tired kitchen. Especially one that has packets shoved in cupboards. Start by buying some simple Ball or Mason jars from a store. Most stores, like Walmart & Target, stock a variety of sizes. You can also buy them online. Buy large, small & everything in between, you’ll need them. They even come with sticky labels so you can write on them what’s in each jar. I can’t stand half opened packets of things shoved into cupboards. It’s not the least bit inspirational.
Because we don’t have much storage space so I use what we have wisely. And I keep only what we need (which is probably more than the average person needs simply because of what I do for a living). Get rid of any chipped plates, mugs, glasses. The to-go mugs can over run a cupboard – you only need a couple, chuck the rest. Empty your spices out of those packets into little jars. Organize fridge & pantry into sections. I cook a lot of Asian food so I have an section for all my Asian ingredients. Baking ingredients are stored together. Everything is in jars & labeled. Tupperware & plastic containers have a tendency to look old over time & can be spendy. Glass jars are inexpensive & look good displayed on a shelf or the counter for things you often. The trick is to be organized.
I cook with lots of nuts & seeds so I put those into jars and store them in the freezer so they don’t go rancid. I keep two to three different nuts & a couple of different seeds on hand. They take up minimal space in the freezer & I can see what I have at a glance. I also bought some cheap plastic baskets to keep things organized in the freezer. I have Asian ingredients – chilies, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric & such in one. Fruit in another. One for ice packs. Nuts & seeds. Then another couple for individually wrapped chicken thighs & breasts; pork chops & such. We have a chest freezer we keep in the laundry & that’s where I store the bulk items I make such as dog food, stock, baked treats for hubby’s work lunch & Costco size packets such as coffee.
If you set aside a day at the weekend or a few evenings after work to sort through your kitchen cupboards, counters, freezer & fridge, you’ll have it done in no time. The trick is to give everything a good clean-out – a mini-reno. This really does go a long way in spiking enthusiasm for starting a renovation of your diet. Stop procrastinating, it’s much easier than you think. So get organized. And get started on that diet you’ve also been putting off. I’m now the lightest I’ve been in ages. Let me know how you do. Cheers!
- 2 ripe avocado, halved, seeds removed, peeled
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons habanero sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Place all ingredients in the immersion blender container. Blend until smooth & creamy. Or use a food processor or countertop blender. Serve chilled. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
- This dressing will keep for 3 days, covered in the fridge.