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Keep the kitchen zen

Rosemary Maple Cornish Game Hens; recipe provided by Chef Jernard Wells of New Soul Kitchen. (299412)
Rosemary Maple Cornish Game Hens; recipe provided by Chef Jernard Wells of New Soul Kitchen. Credit: CLEO TV

There’s enough stress in our lives, kitchens for many are a place to zen out, cook, have some wine and mentally detox from the day. When the kitchen is cluttered, a mess, and unorganized it could cause some extra, unneeded internal stress.

Spring or not, this should be a quarterly project to dive into. Decluttering the kitchen — the fridge and cabinets, etc. — can be very overwhelming, especially when you do not want to waste anything.

Many have overstocked on goods recently, even forgot what was actually stored, and finding necessities seems to be near impossible. Just like a closet, refrigerators and cabinets are usually very overwhelming.

Mareya Ibrahim, ( lifestyle and nutrition expert, celebrity chef and author of ‘Eat Like You Give A Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive’ dives deep into refrigerator and cabinet essentials and how to keep them organized, your family healthier, and you sane.

Labeling, reconfiguring spices, starting a redress bin — this can be fun.

Foodie blueprint tips: Sneak peek into decluttering the fridge

  • The top shelf: Stock it with ingredients that help you create simple sauces and marinades, like low-sodium broths, stocks, veggie purees and nut milks.
  • Fridge bins hold smart backing veggies: The hearty ones that hold up nicely and don’t require much prep, like grape tomatoes, miniature bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, and radishes. Keep them in open containers at eye level so they’re visible and ready to munch. These great raw veggie snacks will satisfy your need to crunch.
  • The bottom shelf holds grab ’n’ go meals, prepped and ready for you and your family. You can also have veggies and fruit that can be easily converted into meals, like Strawberry Coconut Nice Cream or noodles made from squash or zucchini.
  • Fill the crisper drawer and baskets with pre-washed greens, ready to throw into a smoothie, salad, soup, or entrée.
  • Fill the meat/cheese drawer with precooked proteins and grains, including chicken, ground turkey, quinoa, farro, and such.
  • Stock the fridge door with sauces and toppings, pickles, etc. that will accessorize your meals with flavor.