I recently came across an awesome blog called stonesoup. It is dubbed a minimalist home cooking blog and is penned (or is that typed?) by Jules Clancy, a food scientist, photographer, writer, runner, and aspiring minimalist.

When Clancy first started blogging in late 2005 her “main motivation was to write a little, take some photographs and keep a record of [my] favourite recipes. Since then stonesoup has evolved into a blog about minimalist home cooking so the recipes revolve around simple ingredients and preparation techniques. [I] mostly focus on recipes that have only 5 ingredients and take 10 minutes to prepare.”

What I was most impressed by though was the ways she felt her recipes could help. They were born of her time spent writing 5 ingredients | 10 minutes.

And using Clancy as my inspiration I have come up with 7 ways to minimize our time in the kitchen.

1. Spend less time in the kitchen
A number of pre-cooked and “frozen” meals take between 12-15 minutes to cook. A good recipe that is succinct and uses only a staple of ingredients should take no more than 10 minutes. 10 minutes spent cooking leaves more time for the activities and people you love.

2. Spend less time shopping
Clancy specializes in recipes that use only 5 ingredients in each of her recipes. By using 5 ingredients (or less) you’ll find your shopping lists are shorter and more manageable. You won’t have to spend quite as much time at the grocery store or in those annoying lines at the butcher.

3. Eat more fresh, healthy food
When possible use homegrown herbs and spices. Use produce from the garden. Buy locally raised meat. Plain and simple.

4. Cook like it’s an art. Make cooking about more pleasure and enjoyment
Granted many of our schedules leave little time (not to mention desire) for cooking. But time in the kitchen (imagine yourself with some Sinatra on the iHome, Merlot in your glass, and some cheese and crackers at your fingertips) can be a great way to relax and unwind.

5. Save money
If dinner only takes less than 20 or 30 minutes to prepare, you’ll be more likely to cook for yourself than calling for take-out.

6. Less stress
There is nothing worse than getting in the kitchen and realizing that while your countertop is filled with a dozen spices or so you are still missing one simple ingredient. Long ingredient lists and complicated methods can lead to more stress and kitchen confusion than necessary. Minimalist home cooking keeps things as simple and stress-free as possible.

7. More kitchen confidence
If you keep your ingredients simple, your recipes simple, and your time frames down, you will gain more confidence in the kitchen as well as prepare some amazing and simple meals!