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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Simple Steps to Cooking Intuitively: There is so much more than just the cooking process, says Melanie Albert.

Feb 26, 2017 08:06PM ● By Melanie A. Albert

Intuitive cooking is more than just the cooking process. It begins with our shopping experience, extends to cooking intuitively without recipes with real whole foods and includes mindfully eating the beautiful dishes we prepare.

Shop intuitively at farmers’ markets: We start the intuitive cooking process when we are shopping at our local farmers’ markets. We look at the beauty of the fresh, local, just-harvested foods, paying attention to colors, textures and aromas, as well as to what our bodies are craving. In Arizona, we are fortunate to have so many different local farmers that grow beautiful food and so many markets in the Valley where we can shop intuitively every day of the week.

When shopping at a local farmers’ market, it’s fun to intuitively purchase a variety of produce, including some that we may not have previously cooked. For instance, if we’ve only eaten white cauliflower, buy a purple or even orange cauliflower for fun and variety in our cooking.

Learn new culinary skills with recipes: In intuitive cooking, it is first important to learn a few simple, basic culinary skills such as roasting, steaming and sautéing veggies. Practice these cooking techniques with simple recipes. After we’ve learned how to cook with these methods and recipes, we’ll trust ourselves to shop and cook intuitively.

Cook intuitively with local veggies: When we feel confident cooking with the simple culinary techniques, we can begin to intuitively create our own dishes. Go to the farmers’ market and choose a few beautiful veggies, decide which cooking method we’d like to use, and have fun intuitively cooking a delicious dish.

Enjoy our culinary creation mindfully: Take the time to enjoy the beauty of our meal with family and friends.


Simple Veggie Sauté with Roots and In-Season Produce

Practice the simple cooking technique of sautéing veggies with this recipe. Once we’re confident with the cooking process, we can have fun creating our own veggie sauté with a few local in-season veggies, roots and greens.


Organic extra virgin olive oil




Sweet potato




Gather our mise en place (all ingredients in place).

Chop veggies into bite-size pieces.

Preheat sauté pan on medium-high.

Pour organic extra virgin olive oil into the pan.

Add the onion and cook a few minutes.

Add the garlic and cook about 60 seconds.

Add dense vegetables that need to cook a bit longer (carrots, sweet potato).

Add vegetables that do not need to cook very long (broccoli and then kale).



Melanie A. AlbertMelanie A. Albert is the author of A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods and offers cooking classes, workshops and retreats. For recipes, culinary tips and events, visit