Long gone are the days we went fast food crazy without any regard for nutrition and health. Today, the government urges us to remember our 5-a-day, and in all supermarkets, food companies are urging us to buy organic food with their advertising slogans ‘contains omega 3.’
Though some might find this a tyrannical approach, there is a big need for all of us to change our eating habits and go back to the old style of good home cooking. Cooking healthy might require a bit of preparation and knowing what to buy during which season. More importantly, say goodbye to ready-made meals, canned or pre-packed food. If you do want to save a bit of money, go for the frozen option, as this should have a lot more nutrients, especially fish and vegetables.
However, the affair of cooking is quick, even sometimes faster than queuing for a fast food meal. It takes maximum 20 minutes to prepare a good and simple pasta dish. You just need to get to grips with basics. To get passionate about food, you might want to try a cooking course to learn all the tricks that can better your cooking skills to make a perfect and balanced dish in less than 20 minutes. Cooking does not have to be a chore. You just need to cook either in batches over the weekend or increase the amount you cook so that you can freeze half for another time.
A healthy and balanced meal is about using fresh ingredients, less saturated fat, and wholemeal carbohydrates like pasta and rice, if possible, and very good fish and meat. Organic is a good option but not a must. There are food websites that list the most polluted fruits and vegetables to help you along. Another tip is to have a cupboard full of spices to make every dish an explosion of great flavors. Basil can change any pasta dish into delight, as if you just stepped out into the Italian countryside. Oyster sauce is perfect for soups, and did you know that parsley cleanses the palette, especially after eating garlic, and it is divine with fresh potatoes.
Good food is not only good for you, but great for your soul and well-being. Many fresh vegetables, spices and fruits lift your mood instantly. Ginger is great for your digestion and improves blood circulation. Just making that effort to do your research and buy the right ingredient is half the job done. All you need to keep in mind is to reduce your carbohydrates, pile on the vegetables and add a portion of meat or fish. Even desserts can be made healthier by reducing the amount of butter, oil and sugar recommended in any recipe. Following this simple rule of thumb will allow you to feel much healthier and energized.
Oriental stir-fry’s, bakes, soups and stews or quick pasta dishes are done in less than an hour. Eating becomes a delight and reward for all your preparation and hard work. With time, you will get so versed in all your favorite dishes that you will automatically start experimenting and creating your own unique dishes. The biggest TV chefs and Michelin-starred chefs made their debut in a humble kitchen!
Just have a go at trying to cook one dish from scratch, and let the taste convince you of the delight of preparing a healthy meal with no fuss. I recommend starting with simple Italian dishes. I have managed a make a perfect Carbonara in 18 minutes.
Happy cooking and do not be scared to make a mistake.