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Cooking Is the Only Thing That Helps Me Meditate

Food52 logo Food52 1/27/2022 Madison Trapkin

We’ve teamed up with Blue Apron to share tips and ideas for a more stress-free dinnertime. Blue Apron’s easy-to-follow recipes are designed for a range of eaters, from vegetarians to conscientious carnivores, and they take care of the meal planning and grocery shopping for you. For a limited time, they're taking the relaxation one step further by partnering with Calm for three free months of Calm Premium when you sign up for Blue Apron.

I’m bad at meditating. Like, really bad. I’ve tried a handful of times over the years without success, always distracted by a noise or a thought or a to-do list that I can’t seem to shake. Some would argue that these distractions are exactly why I should keep at it, but I’ve found my own solution for finding a moment of calm: cooking. The rhythmic rocking of my knife on the cutting board, the steam wafting towards my face as I stir the mirepoix, the gentle ticking of the kitchen timer—these things bring me calm like no amount of sitting-in-place ever could.

Two important caveats to my practice are that the recipe can’t be too complex and under no circumstances should it involve a mandoline. No shade to the mandoline—it’s a really helpful tool when used properly—but if you’re too relaxed when using this device, things can get dicey.

My favorite meditative recipes are those that rely on muscle memory rather than mastering a new skill, like an easy pasta dish or a sheet-pan recipe. And in order to make cooking as meditative as possible, I like to minimize stressful tasks leading up to the main event, namely meal planning and grocery shopping.

That’s where Blue Apron comes into play—they take much of the stress off dinner by delivering meal kits with all the ingredients I need for each recipe directly to my door. I never worry that there won’t be enough options for me since Blue Apron has over 40 weekly recipes suited to a range of dietary needs and preferences. Their recipes marked “easy prep and cleanup” are especially ideal for a relaxed cooking experience because they rely on fewer dishes, like a one-pan spicy white bean shakshuka or a sheet-pan Italian pork roast that comes together in under an hour.

Video: Your Microwave Can Make You an Even Better Cook (Food & Wine)


Simpler preparation means more time to luxuriate in the sights, sounds, and smells of the cooking experience, like when I recently made Blue Apron’s creamy, tomato-y pasta with broccoli and spinach. The hiss of oil meeting allium when I added shallots to a hot pan, the slow and steady bubble of pasta water as it boiled, the gentle steam that rose from just-cooked pasta when I dumped it into a colander; it was like my very own kitchen ASMR show.

But even if the recipe you’re making involves techniques a bit more complex than boiling water for pasta—or if you’re pretty new to the whole cooking thing—Blue Apron can still help create a moment of calm in the kitchen. Their step-by-step instructions guide you through the cooking process so seamlessly, it’s almost like having a sous chef. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that each ingredient is thoughtfully sourced from top suppliers (think: GMO-free chicken and pasture-raised beef).

Adding Blue Apron to my dinner rotation has allowed me to bring even more calm to my cooking. And the best part of a kitchen meditation is having a delicious meal to eat when it’s over, giving a whole new meaning to inner peas.

What makes you feel calm when you’re cooking? Tell us in the comments!

Our friends at Blue Apron are dedicated to making dinner easier and more delicious than ever with their lineup of always-changing meal kit menus. Their chef-designed recipes use top-notch, responsibly sourced ingredients you can feel good about, like GMO-free chicken, pasture-raised beef, and sustainably caught (or farmed) seafood. Whether you want to switch up your cooking routine or take the stress off dinner, let Blue Apron do the hard work—from shopping to meal planning—and be sure to take advantage of the new customer offer ($110 off your first five boxes, plus free shipping on your first box).

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