Healthy eating depends on knowing the ingredients of your meals and how they have been prepared. This is much simpler if you do your own cooking rather than relying on prepared food, but many of us need to go back to basics to regain the cooking habit.
It isn’t that hard to get back that cooking ‘mood’ if you follow these 8 tips 😉
Cooking is a pleasure and is actually far easier than many ‘non-cooks’ realise. For the sake of your health, your pleasure and your wallet, aim to learn or relearn the joys of cooking. Spend time with your friends and family whiie they cook so that you can absorb thc methods and routines.
Do consider taking a class, or buy an introductory cookbook. Most of all, lose your fear. It is harder to be a bad cook than a good cook, particularly if you use good ingredients.
Families tend to congregate in the kitchen, bringing with them newspapers, schoolwork, mail, toys and other things. Don’t allow it.
Set a new policy: The kitchen is for cooking and eating only!
Why? It’s hard to get motivated about cooking if you have to clean up a mess first, not to mention what it does to your mood.
Is there music playing? Is the evening sun shining through thc window? Are the knives sharp, the vegetables fresh, the pots good quality, the worktops clutter-free? All of these factors will contribute to your desire to make good food.
If you have children aged 10-plus or another adult who gets home before you do, get them started on dinner. For example, you might ask your teenager to start chopping vegetables for the salad and fill the pasta pan with water and your younger child to gather ingredients for a given recipe and put them on the worktop (or use note sharing application like OneNote or Evernote )for you.
Involving your children from a young age will make them more interested in nutritious food and encourage them to try new things.
Planning ahead takes just a few minutes. Every Friday night or Saturday morning, sit down with your ipad, phone (or an actual pad of paper and pen) and your favourite cookbooks or cookery magazines. Think about what’s in your freezer and fridge, what your family likes to eat and what the coming week entails. Then plan out a week’s worth of menus (you can always leave one night for takeaway pizzas).
At the same time, write out your shopping list.
Here are 2 easy ways to increase your and your family’s intake of fruit and vegetables:
When you are making beef stroganoff or creamy pasta sauce, use Greek yogurt or skim or low-fat evaporated milk instead of cream. It will provide the same rich taste for far fewer calories and much less fat.
Stews and soup freeze wonderfully, so it’s worth cooking them in bulk for the freezer so that you always have a few meals in reserve.
Cooking is always more fun when it involves a bit of creativity and it is especially rewarding when your know that the meal you have cooked is healthy as well as delicious.
Here are 3 slightly unusual vegetable dishes to inspire you :
1. SERVE CELERIAC (otherwise known as celery root, knob celery, and turnip-rooted celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible stem or hypocotyl, and shoots) instead of mashed potatoes or white rice as a side dish. Peel it and slice it into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, then roast in a hot oven until soft. Or boil it and mh with seasoning and a little olive oil.
2. SUBSTITUTE ORANGE SWEET POTATOES for potatoes. Peel them, slice into bite-size chunks, then boil until soft and mash with seasoning and olive oil. Alternatively, roast them (as with the celeriac above), or make sweet potato wedges as a healthy change from chips. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into wedges, parboil them, then drain and coat with a little olive oil and fajita or spicy seasoning before baking in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. CUT AN EGGPLANT in two down the middle and stuff each half with tomatoes. Top with slices of Parmesan, drizzle wih olive oil, wrap in foil, then bake or grill until softened.