Kitchen Minimalism: Spring Cooking Capsule

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I was first drawn to the concept of minimalism and capsule wardrobes when they became an internet “thing” a few years ago. I loved the idea of paring back, finding good-quality reliable staples, and using the simplicity to get a clearer idea of my style. I’m a huge admirer of Caroline Rector’s vision and thoughtful evolution on her blog Unfancy and her continued insights into style and responsible fashion.

I hear you, what does all this have to do with food? Feeling uninspired with what I was buying and cooking each week (which probably had a lot to do with finishing up the last of my cookbook edits), I realized I needed a plan to reverse this rut. I felt like I needed some specific parameters to spark creativity, so coming up with a kitchen capsule of foods (both fresh and pantry items) to work from in April and May became my mission. I hoped that a seasonal foods capsule (which is basically just a grocery list) would generate more ideas and inspiration for meals.

Finally feeling ready to get back in the kitchen, I’m using the capsule (and the change of season) to shake things up in little ways. Plus, I now have a go-to shopping list so I can spend less time thinking of what to buy, and use that energy to come up with new and delicious meals.

Here’s what we’re dealing with this month: 25 foods to mix and match. Starting tomorrow I’ll be sharing the first combination of foods from this list. There will be many big, colorful, and satisfying spring salads, vegetable-centric dinners, and simple snacks.

We have a few kitchen “accessories” that aren’t included on the list — things like salt and pepper, olive oil, vinegars, garlic, etc. I may also throw in some animal protein like eggs or a little chicken, but all meals will be delish without those.

Tell me, what are your favorite spring foods? Do you have any go-to dishes for the season?

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KITCHEN CAPSULE GROCERY LIST

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Radish
  • Greens (take your pick: arugula, romaine, kale — we can change these up weekly) 
  • New potatoes
  • Green peas (can be frozen)
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini or cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower 
  • Avocado
  • Leeks
  • Scallions or ramps

Herbs

  • Basil 
  • Dill
  • Mint

Fruits

  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb

Pantry/Misc.

  • Farro
  • Millet
  • White Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Olives
  • Goat cheese

 

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