Restaurant and fast foods are frequently filled with unhealthy fats, preservatives, additives, and excess sugars and salt. By cooking fresh whole foods at home, we’re better able to control the quality of what we eat and quickly improve our overall health.
We often dine out or pick up fast food when we’re pushed for time. Living a full and engaged life doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your well-being by short-changing your diet.
A way to streamline your cooking life is to grocery shop only once during the week. Make a list, take it with you and get everything you need. This will save you time and unnecessary trips running back to the store which let’s face it….is unlikely to happen if you’re tired at the end of a long day.
A good kitchen philosophy to adopt is “cook once, eat two or three times”. When preparing food, always plan to cook more than needed. You’ll have extras for a night later in the week when you don’t feel like cooking or for lunches.
Another way to simplify cooking is to spend an hour or so prepping foods over the weekend that you can easily incorporate into weeknight meals, lunches, or for grab n’ go when the schedule gets busy.
Here are 5 food prep suggestions that can be accomplished in under an hour:
- Cook a big batch of grains such as quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, or buckwheat. Use in breakfast porridges, salads, soups, and stews during the week.
- Either buy pre-packaged greens such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and romaine or wash, dry and chop greens so they’re ready to be used in salads, smoothies, stir-fry, or as an addition to soups and stews. Greens store best packed in a mason jar with a lid or in a Zip-loc bag. Make sure you squeeze all excess air out as you zip the bag up.
- Buy pre-cut vegetables or take a few minutes to wash, peel and/or chop carrots, celery, cucumber or jicama. Cut veggies can be used in salads or other meals. They also make a complete snack when served with a nut butter, hummus, salsa or guacamole.
- Roast a batch of vegetables to eat on their own or add to salads. They can also be used to make a quick soup during the week. Try sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squashes, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, and parsnips.
- Cook beans in a slow-cooker or on the stovetop to use in salads, soups, tacos, or burritos. If that feels too daunting, keep a variety of canned beans on hand for fast and easy use.
By taking a bit of time each week to plan, shop and prep…you’ll find that cooking at home becomes far easier and you’ll feel better too!