Monthly Archives: March 2016

Health Food That Tastes Good

imageThere has been a general wave towards healthy and organic meals. With more and more people seeking out wholesome meals and incorporating life changes to enhance quality of life, one cannot ignore the importance of eating healthy. However, natural foods, particularly vegetables, have had a bad reputation over the years. Ever since childhood, memories of bland vegetables being forced on hapless children haunts many a diner. However, with a bit of creativity and culinary effort, one can transform simple food into gourmet specialties.

One great method to prepare vegetables is sautéing. This is an age – old cooking style from France, meaning ‘jump.’ It is a way in which food is thrown into a hot, oiled pan and then tossed around, making them seemingly hop about. Not only is this a quick and simple way to get a meal ready, but it is also quite healthy as a very minimal amount of oil is needed. Sautéing is largely recommended for tender vegetables like sweet corn, artichokes, mushrooms and sweet peppers.

Yet another way to transform vegetables into delectable treats is stir – frying. Though quite similar to sautéing, there are some few notable differences. For one, high heat is required when one is stir – frying. In addition to that, to achieve a crisp and tasty stir – fry, one needs to continually swirled in order to prevent it from burning given the heat of the pan. While the classical stir – fry is done on a wok, a wide pan is more than sufficient to get the job done. Using an oil that withstands high levels of heat, stir – frying is an excellent option for beans carrots, onions, leeks and peas.

Albeit traditional, simmering or boiling vegetables is a trusted method for getting veggies ready in a simple manner that is hard to get wrong. Simply bringing water to a boil then tossing the vegetables in can make for a hearty meal. Potatoes, beans and other root vegetables fare very well when it comes to boiling. Preparation is often left to taste as one can decide how tender or crunchy they want their vegetables to be.

However you like your greens, there is definitely something for everyone. The important thing is to find a cooking method that is convenient and gives the best taste.

Energy Friendly Cooking Part 1

imageThe merits of moving away from take away and convenience food to wholesome, home – cooked meals are incontestable. From providing essential nutrients to avoiding toxic chemicals in one’s diet, the health benefits are numerous. However, these nutritional gains needn’t come at a high cost. While preparation of meals requires the use of different implements such as microwaves, refrigerators and stoves, there are a few energy – saving tips that can be taken advantage of, to reduce your energy bill.

To start with, when cooking, make sure to keep the lids of pots and pans firmly on, unless the recipe dictates otherwise. By keeping them covered, you ensure minimal heat loss when boiling, frying or steaming. When you leave a pot or pan open, heat passes from the stove into the pot and readily leaves the containment. This results in longer cooking periods which are both energy – inefficient and costly.

Another great hint is to turn off the stove or oven, a few minutes before the food is cooked completely. When preparing a 15 minute dish for instance, you may switch off the heat after 10 minutes. Because of the conduction process by which a burner’s plate heats up, it will take a while before it cools down. This means that you avoid wasting energy on unnecessary heating, way after the food is ready. The trick is to make sure that there is enough residual heat left over to allow the food to get well done.

In addition to the nifty tricks mentioned above, it is also a good idea to use a pressure cooker for your meals. By making use of a pressure cooker one can save hundreds in dollars annually. This effective appliance cooks food with either water or cooking oil, in a vacuum container, thus cooking the food faster than other regular ways, thereby saving energy. The best part is pretty much anything that can be prepared by boiling or steaming can be had in a pressure cooker.

There are a number of changes that one can make in the kitchen to decrease the cost associated and as an added bonus, decrease one’s carbon footprint. Because of the numerous options that are available towards energy reduction, cooking at home makes the most sense.

Cooking Healthy Meals For The Whole Family

imageIt goes without saying that most peoples’ eating habits are not the best. Due to convenience foods, eating healthy is becoming more and more difficult, as food companies continue to masquerade their products as health foods. Simply put, eating more vegetables and fruits will definitely be a step in the right direction, if you are interested in improving your diet. There are however, other measures that one can take, to ensure that the whole family has their daily fill of nutritious cooking. Minor changes can be made to your day to day diet to yield a healthier lifestyle.

A major challenge that most parents face is dishing up the right portions. Children will often eat as much as is offered and unless one regulates what they ingest, conditions such as obesity may result. One way to avert this challenge is serving more appetizers than desserts. By making hearty and healthier pre – entree meals, there is less room to eat sugary and less healthy desserts such as ice cream and cake.
As you make a transition from the usual unwholesome, processed food to healthier options, the key is to do it in moderation. By so doing, the changes you make will not be so obvious to your family, guaranteeing lesser chances of a backlash or downright rejection of the new eating plan.

Another leading cause of disease that needs to be consumed in limited quantities is salt. Rather than always seasoning your food with salt, it is a good idea to use spices wherever possible. Spices and herbs can serve as great flavouring agents which do well to replace conventional salt. The added bonus is that there are a variety of natural seasonings that give different tastes and aromas, depending on the food they are used on.

Finally, rather than forcing vegetables down your children or husband’s throat, you can add them discreetly in stews, soups and roasts. They won’t stand out as much but rather blend in and soak up the flavour of the food they are combined with.

In all, there are various ways one can introduce healthy cooking tips without suffering a total mutiny from the family. The trick is in stealth and moderation.