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Welcome to the New Year

In the new year many like to make pledges to a healthier life, eating better food, and an overall change to old habits. The team here at Chefling knows a thing or two about eating healthy and starting healthy habits at home and we thought it was important to give you an easy to follow guide focusing on 5 healthy eating habits in 2021. Whatever your New Year’s resolutions may be, use our guide to kickstart your health journey.

Advice to avoid

There are thousands of health articles, workout plans, diet fads, and miracle weight loss pills out there. Do you not get swept up in all the excitement and marketing surrounding these health fads. Nutritionists all over the world agree that everybody is different and it is very hard to identify what an individual needs in order to live a healthy lifestyle. So as you look towards living a healthy life avoid falling into the trap of setting extremely high expectations for yourself based on these online diet plans or food exclusion recommendations if you are just starting out.

Secondly, 80% of healthy living is focusing on your diet. Working out and eating burgers daily is not a sustainable way of losing weight or living a healthy lifestyle. So remember when thinking about where to start, always default to what’s on your plate. This is no easy feat though, so the rest of this guide will talk about how to kickstart your healthy eating journey in a way that fits with your lifestyle.

1. Categorize What Healthy Foods You Like

Starting a healthy diet can be a real challenge for people who have a lot of sugars and high caloric sweets in their pantry at home. So to tackle this issue of having foods that are not beneficial to your health journey, we suggest doing a ritualistic purge of all of those unhealthy snacks or sugars at home. Every journey has to start somewhere so might as well make a small event out of it to help legitimize your New Years' resolutions. Mark it on your calendar, take a selfie, do whatever you feel makes the commitment real!

Next, You should find recipes you actually enjoy based on ingredients you like. That simple sentence goes a long way in taking control of your healthy habits. We suggest that you take the time to actually write down on a piece of paper, the types of ingredients that you like and don’t like as a way to influence what kind of recipes you cook. If you would prefer not to use pen paper, we suggest using the Chefling app where you can search for recipes based on individual ingredients and set diet preferences based on ingredients you don’t like. You can do all of this for free of course, as Chefling works with you to succeed in your health goals.

If you’re coming from a place where you don’t know which ingredients you like, feel free to try out micro portions of specific recipes just to try them. This way you can eliminate types of ingredients that would not be appealing for you to use repeatedly. This is an optional step as a way to encourage you to try new things to achieve your goals.

2. Make Your Meal Plans Flexible

One of the most important overlooked habits in any healthy lifestyle change is that people tend to give out of touch advice about completely getting rid of sugar out of your diet or fat. This is something that is unreasonable and usually leads to a failed healthy diet plan, so one of the things we recommend that definitely gives you a leg up compared to most restrictive diet plans and health plans is that you need to plan with flexibility. Instead of creating a 30-day meal plan that you have to follow exactly by the book, we recommend that you plan for five days a week, specifically your lunches and dinners. We completely understand that there are times where you want to go out and have dinner with friends, have a night out to party (hopefully in the near future), and these behaviors are OK. Just make sure if you are engaging in these behaviors that they are anticipated in your meal plans. This lets you set clear expectations for yourself and having a flexible meal plan will help you achieve your health goals. This is where Chefling really shines with our intuitive meal plan tool that lets you plan meals months in advance with over 185,000 recipes based on ingredients you have at home and your diet preferences.

One extra bit of advice, resist temptation, and don’t bring sweets or high caloric density foods into your home. We cannot stress enough that leaving those foods outside of the house makes them less appealing to have at the moment. Little tiny behavioral changes like this as well as pairing up with the Chefling app really do make a difference in your health journey.

3. Shop Strictly Off Your Meal Plan

Healthy eating habits do not just pertain to how you eat but how you shop too. Meal prepping and cooking in an undisciplined manner can lead to expensive grocery bills and lots of wasted food. So to avoid having this issue while acquiring more healthy habits in the new year, we recommend creating a shopping list based on the recipes you want to make in your meal plan and sticking to the shopping list. This can be very hard using pen and paper or memory, so Chefling has done all the hard work for you with an intuitive feature that allows you to meal plan recipes that you like based on your ingredients and diet preferences. All while also importing any missing ingredients that you may not have for those recipes directly into your shopping list. Chefling truly is your one-stop-shop for starting your health journey.

4. Use and Repurpose Leftovers

Make sure that the food that you cook doesn’t go to waste by repurposing leftovers into new types of dishes. This is a fun and explorative way to experience new recipes while using ingredients you already like.

Fun fact: Chefling has dedicated categories in our recipe section like "healthy" and "good for leftovers" so that you can have many options for bringing those old leftovers back to life. The best part is that if you want, Chefling can remind you to plan out your meals and even help you decide your new recipes based on your leftovers at the same time.

5. Monitor Your Pantry Inventory

A study, published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, found that the average U.S. household wasted 31.9% of its food. The total annual cost of the wasted food was estimated to be $240 billion or $1,866 per household.

Making sure that you utilize your entire pantry inventory regularly will allow you to really understand your eating patterns and help you hone in on developing healthy habits throughout the year. Pantry management can be really challenging though, without the proper tools at your side. Wasted food is no joke and the ability to re-purpose leftovers, plan meals months in advance, and create specific shopping lists based on recipes monitoring your pantry inventory is imperative to your success. Chefling offers expiration notices in-app so that way any of the food that you shop for at home doesn’t go to waste. Chefling is your ultimate tool for taking control of your kitchen and your healthy lifestyle changes and at this point, we know that you’re interested in downloading Chefling, so here is the link.

We hope you get the most out of these tips and that your new starts off with a bang! This is one of many new posts brought to you by Chefling, so don't forget to like and share! And most importantly, check out the Chefling app for all your kitchen needs!

I love cooking and experimenting with a wide variety of food. That’s a big part of why I started My Kitchen Culture and started writing about food and the best kitchen appliances to make it.

Even so, I’ll admit that I was occasionally overwhelmed by keeping track of the ingredients in my kitchen, especially when I have a lot of leftovers or when I’m experimenting with a bunch of complicated recipes.

It really made it hard to keep track of what I had on hand. That meant that I was spending a lot more than I needed to on food. At the same time, it made it so that I had ingredients expiring in my pantry just because I’d forgotten I have them.

I wanted something more than a simple organization tool. I wanted something that would help me keep track of what I had, and would help me make the best use of every ingredient in my pantry.

That’s when I found Chefling, a smart kitchen assistant app that does a lot more than just helping you stay organized or find new recipes (and it does those things too!).

How Chefling Works

The first thing that stood out about Chefling was the signup process.

Instead of just making an account with my name and email address, Chefling walked me through a customization process that included a lot of information about my eating preferences as well as what I already had in my pantry.

It wasn’t complete, I had to go in and add other ingredients later, but it was a good sign and a good starting place.

The app also allowed me to customize things like whether I prefer a vegan or vegetarian diet, or whether I wanted to avoid sugar or only use recipes that are low-carb or keto-friendly.

From there Chefling was ready to act as my kitchen assistant, suggesting meals based on the ingredients I already had on hand in combination with the food preferences I outlined when I signed up.

Recipe Options

There were a lot of options even just on the home screen when I started using the app. Things like easy meals and 5 ingredient dinners immediately stood out as a way the Chefling could help make things easier in the kitchen. It was clear that this was more than a simple grocery or refrigerator organization app. It was a full kitchen assistant that helped with every step of keeping my ingredients and choosing recipes.

The recipe search function made it easy to find recipes according to the diet limitations I’d already set up, and I also had the option of toggling additional dietary preferences that I could use to plan individual meals.

For instance, if I’m looking for a vegetarian meal for a couple of days in a week I can easily toggle the vegetarian food preference and all my search results will be vegetarian.

Chefling also takes the ingredients that are already in my kitchen into account. The first recipes in any search will feature some of the ingredients I have on hand.

Sometimes, I’ll even be able to find a new recipe using only the ingredients I already have!

That’s not a requirement though, because it’s simple to add any of the ingredients I’m missing to a grocery list. No more worrying about forgetting ingredients for a recipe.

Shopping List

When I go to add ingredients from a recipe into my shopping list, another useful feature pops up. I can customize which ingredients get added to the list. Anything that’s already in my kitchen is automatically omitted, but I can add them back on if I’m running low.

I can also skip ingredients if someone in my family doesn’t like something.

Plus, since I can customize family allergies in my food preferences, I don’t have to worry about recipes that include anything my family is allergic to.

Once I’ve added all my recipes for a shopping trip I can also manually add and edit my shopping list. Things like paper towels and trash bags might not be included in recipes, but I can easily add them to my shopping list so I know everything I need to pick up at once.

Chefling lets you add ingredients as you buy them or by scanning the barcode on items you already have. When you mark anything on your grocery list as ‘purchased’ the app will automatically add that ingredient to your pantry.

You can use the same feature to add ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator as well!

It does take a little while to get used to–updating the app when you’ve used the last of something, but once you’re in the habit–keeping everything updated is simple. If you also add the expiration date of items as you add them, the app will help you keep track of what ingredients are about to expire, helping prompt you to use food that would otherwise go to waste.

Adding Recipes

This was a feature that wasn’t on my initial list for a kitchen organization tool, but I decided to give it a try anyway.

The most helpful feature at first was the ability to add my own recipes. Like a lot of home cooks, I have a collection of recipes that I’ve created for myself and others that have been passed down from friends and family.

Having an app where I could collect those recipes made remembering them a lot easier. It also made it easier to make grocery lists because I could add anything I was missing from the recipe directly on to my grocery list.

Using the app for recipe inspiration when I have a leftover ingredient and no idea what to do with it has saved a lot of time and effort in the kitchen.

I also love the app features recommendations by themes such as ‘Cook with Instant Pot’ or ‘5-ingredient Meals’. I absolutely love easy recipes that only require 3 to 5 ingredients, especially on nights where I don’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store and can use what I have already.

Ingredient-Themed Recipes

This was probably the most useful feature for me other than being able to create grocery lists and monitor what was in my pantry without digging through the whole thing.

When I have a little bit of a vegetable leftover or some extra protein I wanted to use instead of freezing for later, I just open My Chef and ask for recipes using that ingredient.

A lot of the time I use this tool as inspiration, something that helps me remember my favorite recipes and come up with new ways to use a leftover ingredient. The effective difficulty rating also makes it easier to choose a recipe that matches my energy levels.

I might want to get rid of that extra chicken in my fridge, but I don’t always have the energy to make a gourmet meal after a long day at work. By looking at easy recipe options I’m usually able to come up with something tasty that doesn’t take too much time or energy.

Meal Planning

If Chefling weren’t already doing enough to be worth using it as my kitchen assistant, the app also allows you to make a meal plan and set meal planning and cooking reminders.

Once I’ve picked a recipe I want to make, I can press ‘plan’ and it’ll be added to my meal plan, with an automatic prompt to add the ingredients to my shopping list as well. When I go into my meal planning page I can also select which day of the week I want to cook the meal.

Then, from the profile settings page, I can also create cooking reminders for myself. The reminder pops up on my phone to remind me what I’m supposed to make.

I also loved the meal plan reminder. I could set it for a weekly reminder to take some time to plan the meals for the week and make my shopping list. I loved using this feature to make my list the night before I went grocery shopping, and it saved a ton of time.


In addition to setting up reminders for myself, the profile page also gave me a handy way to navigate to my favorite recipes, change my diet preferences, and more.

From the profile page, I could also invite other people to see what I was doing on Chefling. Adding family members meant no more asking “what’s for dinner tonight?”. More than that, though, it made it easy for me to ask other people to pick up one or two things from the grocery store, or even to send someone else shopping if I got sick or something else came up.

The app even let me add a list of the appliances I have on hand. That way I never have to worry about not having the equipment I need for a recipe. The profile page really does think about almost every aspect of what you need in the kitchen.

The Drawbacks

There are a few problems with the app, but that’s to be expected. After all, no program is perfect.

With all the uses I’ve found for Chefling in my home kitchen I can forgive a few small faults, but they are still worth mentioning.

The main drawback I found was that it’s difficult to list the weight of home-packaged items. I often break down my own chickens and prepare other cuts of meat before freezing, which means that I label the freshly cut meat myself.

It would be helpful if I could list the weight of each package somewhere other than the name of the item.

Even with that drawback though, this app has been a huge lifesaver, it really does work as a kitchen assistant.

Speaking of keeping your kitchen manageable, I wrote an article covering some of the best kitchen hacks to help keep your refrigerator organized and odor-free. I really noticed that Chefling combined with these habits made a huge difference in my refrigerator and even helped save money on my grocery bills!

The end of the year is here and boy it couldn't have come fast enough! We have endured through a lot during this pandemic and really learned how to handle being at home most of the time while doing our best to stay safe.

As we go through the final days of the year we'd like to take the time to reflect on some of the best things Chefling has brought to you, our wonderful readers. Throughout the year Chefling has been there for you creating recipe collections to make at home to help pass the time, teaching you how to better utilize your kitchen appliances, and helping you explore some of the best recipes out on the world wide web.

Well, we wanted to make sure we do our best to help you end the year on a festive note so we decided to find the best holiday recipes to help you get in the festive mood as one of the most challenging years in a long time comes to a close. The team here at Chefling wishes you the happiest of holidays and look forward to being with you all in the new year. So without further adieu, we present to you our recommended collection of holiday recipes to make your holiday season merry and bright!

1) Eggnog Doughnut

This festive-inspired dessert takes some of the best sweet treats and combines them in a no brainer recipe that will get anyone's mouth to water. Creamy and loaded with sugar this easy to make pastry is a huge crowd pleaser and will leave you wanting more than just one. Plus, depending on the egg nog, these doughnuts can be a little extra fun if you catch our drift. Cough..... bourbon..... cough. 🍩🥃

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

2) Gingerbread Pancake

Spice up your morning with pancakes flavored with rich apple butter, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg making one of the most signature tastes for any holiday season. Gingerbread pancakes are a dream come true, satisfying any sweet cravings you may have while being a great breakfast alternative to your typical routine. 🤤🥞

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

3) Christmas Deviled Eggs

This holiday spin on an appetizer classic stars flavor-packed egg salad that’s given a tinge of green color and an extra-creamy consistency thanks to the addition of a not-so-secret ingredient…Avocado! While you can stick to this all-natural color enhancer, for a true pop of green color, opt for a drop or two of food coloring to bolster the Christmas wreath effect. And don’t forget the diced red pepper “holly berries” on top! 🎄

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

4) Christmas Pasta

Dessert and sweets are great but what about Christmas themed main dishes for the whole family? This Christmas Pasta is the perfect dish because of the red sauce and the green parsley garnish to emulate the holiday colors. On top of that, it’s a nice recipe because there are usually quite a few people around, and this dish makes enough to serve twelve people. 🍝

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

5) Christmas Vegan Salad

Would any of our blogs be an official Chefling blog without a vegan option? We know you already know the answer but even so, we still want to include a healthy and festive dish to have this holiday season that looks as good as it is for you to eat. This recipe gets its pleasant crunch from a host of root vegetables: celeriac, carrots, and beetroots punctuated by some slices of sour apple. So what are you waiting for, indulge, and enjoy this recipe for yourself. 🥗🎄

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

6) Christmas Cranberry Mojito

Every Cocktail deserves its spotlight for this year's holiday celebration and this Mojito really hits the right note of balancing a fresh and vibrant cocktail with the Christmas theme. Easily entertain your family with this beautiful holiday cranberry mojito as it’s pretty, festive, tart, sweet, refreshing, and all-around flavorful. 🍹

If you’ve never made mojito before then you’ll be surprised how easy it is. Muddle fresh mint and lime juice then add white rum, cranberry simple syrup, and stir. Top it off with ice cubes, sparkling water, and garnish with a few mint leaves, fresh cranberries, and a slice of lime. 🍋

Get this Recipe

(Click on the link on your phone to open the recipe in Chefling)

Chefling is the best smart kitchen assistant with awesome features like recipe suggestions based on ingredients you have at home, pantry management, shared shopping lists, and meal planning capabilities all in one! So, if you want to save time and money by cooking at home, make sure to download Chefling today so that you take control of your kitchen!

We hope you get the most out of these recipes. This is one of many new posts brought to you by Chefling, so don't forget to like and share! And most importantly, check out the Chefling app for all your kitchen needs!




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