Cook at Home

Despite several avenues used to promote cooking such farmers’ markets, cookbooks, and cooking shows, many people don’t. What’s worse is now more than ever, people report not knowing how to cook.

To top it all off, many people who cook meals at home aren’t really cooking, per se; they’re simply heating up convenience foods and calling it cooking. When people aren’t eating convenience foods, many are eating out.

What’s so bad about eating out all the time? Several studies have found that eating out more often is linked to higher body fat, body weight, and obesity. In particular, dining on fast-food meals is associated with consuming more calories, fat, saturated fat, and sugary soft drinks, and fewer fruits, vegetables, and milk servings.

So how can we get folks back in the kitchen?

  1. Focus on simple meals first.
    1. Aim for recipes with a short list of ingredients. Even better if the recipe requires a limited amount of utensils and cookware. Choosing “one-pan” recipes save time in clean up. Once you master simple recipes, then slowly try additional recipes or create variations of them.
  2. Meal Prep.
    1. Cook double or triple the quantity of the recipe so you can enjoy one-half during the week and freeze the rest for later. Although doing this may eat up (no pun intended) a few hours in the kitchen on prep day, this technique will ultimately free up about 45 minutes each night. Batch cooking isn’t limited to only dinner; you can prep breakfast, snacks, and lunch too.
  3. Repurpose Meals.
    1. Eating the same dish every day of the week can get boring, but a little creativity can make a big difference. For example, the left over chicken you have from Monday night’s dinner can be shredded over a salad or added to a soup.
  4. Cook easy recipes with ingredients on hand.
    1. Cooking doesn’t have to be an extraordinary skill that takes many years to acquire. You don’t have to go out and buy exclusive ingredients that you know you will never use again. Remember to focus on simple meals first. Use ingredients that you already have in your pantry to save time and money. Check out https://www.allrecipes.com/ to search for recipes based on ingredients.

Click here to learn more about National Nutrition Month