Cooking in today’s modern world can be quite a challenge. The workday seems to be getting longer each year and leaves little time to spend in the kitchen. Many people just don’t have the time to cook – either for themselves or for their families. So going-out, ordering take-out, or popping a frozen meal in the microwave seem like the only options. But with a little creativity, and becoming familiar with some not-so-ordinary foods, anyone can create quick and easy, delicious meals.
You don’t need to be a master chef to be in your kitchen. Likewise, you don’t need an over the top budget. In fact, home cooking helps you save money and exercise a little creativity, which can help you wind down after a hard day’s work. When I work with my clients, I encourage them all to get back in kitchen and start cooking. For some, this is exciting; for others – intimidating and terrifying. Whatever your relationship may be with your kitchen, here are 5 simple steps to get you cooking and off to a healthy start this Spring.
You don’t have to cook every night. Help yourself out by preparing some general basics just two days a week. Start on Sunday by making a pot of a basic grain like brown rice or quinoa. You can serve the grain with some chicken and a vegetable that night. Use the leftovers the next day in a wrap with some fresh greens, leftover chicken and savory peanut sauce. When you get home, sauté some veggies, add some more grain and toss in an egg and tamari or soy sauce for a quick and easy fried rice. By taking the time one or two days a week to prep and plan, you can set yourself up for healthy success the whole week.
- Set the Mood
The kitchen is a creative place and food is our comfort. To help get you into the kitchen, set the mood. Light some candles, put on some music – turn your kitchen into an inviting and relaxing environment.
3. Try Something New
Everyone gets into a rut and routine, but doing this with our food drains us. Our bodies want variety not the same microwave-able chicken and pasta every night. That’s not exciting, so you won’t be excited about eating either. Aim to try something new at least 4 times a week. Start small with a new green, vegetable or fruit. Your body will thank you and you might even have some fun!
4. Make Grocery Shopping Simple
Many people dread going to the grocery store. There are so many choices, products, etc. that is can be very overwhelming. But to make it less intimidating, stick to the outer aisles and you will find everything you need. Fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, dairy and milk all lie on the perimeter of the store. Load up your cart with these goodies and cut your time spent there in half.
5. Be Well Stocked
Stock up on simple staples like chicken or vegetable stock, canned beans and soups, frozen vegetables and proteins. Having these on hand will help you out in those weeks you just don’t have time to shop and chop.
Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!
i like to make a big pot of brown rice some weeks, and this produces a few of my fave meals:
Breakfast – brown rice “cereal” brown rice, dried cranberries or raisins, cinnamon and a little butter. Heat this up in the microwave and pour soymilk or other milk over for a yummy, filling breakfast.
Lunch – Stir Fry – Brown rice, veggies (broccoli, onions, etc.), and protein (chicken, tofu, etc) sauteed in a little sesame oil and served over brown rice.
I also will make up some rice when my husband gets Chinese takeout so I never have to eat starchy, non-nutritious white rice!