Yes, it's a challenge to cook a healthful, delicious meal. I get it. You're finished with work, you're tired, and there's no way you want to cook when you get home. So you grab a pizza or a burger en route because it's convenient, even though you know you'll eat better if you do the cooking. Plus, eating at home versus eating out is also one of the best ways to save food dollars.
So if you've decided that this is the year you're going to get in the habit of cooking more, eating better, and saving money, then you're going to want to start by reading these tips:
- Get inspired. Keep your favorite cooking websites or cookbooks on hand, so you always have tools for inspiration. You can even download a few choice recipe apps onto your smart phone, so you can have access to a ton of simple dinner ideas with a few taps of your fingers.
- Take a cooking class. If your biggest barrier is simply that you don't know how to cook, there's no shame in learning how. Many colleges, community education and extension programs offer inexpensive cooking classes all the time. Bring a friend so you can make the experience more fun.
- Keep recipes simple and fun. If you try complicated recipes at first, you may get frustrated and give up. Pasta dishes, chicken dishes, and casseroles only require the most basic cooking skills. You can work up to the more difficult ones later, when you have more confidence. Start searching eatbetteramerica…we have hundreds of healthier, and even healthified favorite recipes!
- Double the recipe. Pick a day (Sundays are good) when you have a little more time to make larger quantities of foods, such as soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, etc. Then you can separate it into containers, freeze some, and have enough to eat for several meals when you're more time-crunched.
- Nuke it. Frozen vegetables take almost no time to make in a microwave, and when combined with some cumin, garlic, and/or herbs, you've got a quick, delicious side dish quicker than the time it takes you to set the table.
- Isn't that convenient? You can buy ingredients that cut your cooking time by giving you a head start. Look for pre-packaged, fully-cooked chicken; pre-washed, bagged salads; pre-formed hamburger or turkey burgers; chopped and peeled vegetables and fruit. Yes, you'll pay more for the convenience factor, but on some days, you may decide it's worth it.
- Invest a little time. Compare the time you spend cooking a delicious healthful meal to the time it takes you to drive, order and return home with a bag of fast food. Chances are, the difference isn't significant, especially when you consider that those few extra minutes are an investment in your health and well being. So keep your eye on the prize of a happier, healthier 2012 for you and your family. Good luck!
like what you read? get more articles like it