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Most of us want to eat a bit healthier, and it would do us all the world of good to do so, but for a lot of us, cooking healthy homemade meals every day is not at all appealing, We don’t know what to do, we don’t have the time, it’s easier to order takeout – there are so many things that put us off from doing what we know we really should and it’s totally understandable.
Here’s the thing though, it is very possible to cook healthy homemade meals with relative ease, – it’s just a matter of doing the right things at the right times and having the best tools for the job.
If you want to start cooking and eating a little more healthily, here are some things that will make it much easier for you to do so:
Prep Your Meals
If you love cooking but you often find yourself too tired to do so, especially in the evenings after a hard day or work, meal prepping is your best friend. If you spend some time, say at the weekend, chopping veggies, making enough healthy soups, stews, and chillis for the rest of the week, and cooking a few healthy grains, you can freeze them all in individual portions and you’ll always have a healthy meal ready to go when you need it most.
Make sure you sign up above for your FREE Meal Prep Guide.
Use the Microwave
We tend to associate microwaves with convenience foods that aren’t exactly the most healthy and which certainly don’t taste as good as our favorite homemade recipes.
However, you can use your microwave for lots fo healthy things from poaching eggs and steaming vegetables to making quick “baked” potatoes.
If you don’t currently have a microwave, I’d suggest going with a convection microwave oven because they perform more functions and cook food faster. You’ll probably need to invest in a few microwave safe bowls and plates to make life easier too.
If you throw your vegetables in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and the herbs and spices of your choice.
Not only will they taste way more delicious, but you won’t have to worry about under or over cooking them – just chop them and set the oven to 425 and cook for between 15-30 minutes depending on the veggies you’re using – and you can sit down and do something else while they cook.
What could be easier than that?
Don’t Discount Convenience Foods Completely
Although I bashed convenience foods a little earlier on, they definitely can have their place in a healthy diet.
For example, microwave and boil in the bag rice products enable you to cook up a healthy grain a lot faster than you could on the stove and they can be just as healthy if you choose versions that contain only rice and maybe a few herbs and spices.
So, don’t be afraid to cheat a little providing you aren’t trading nutritional value for greater convenience.
Love Your Leftovers
Using your leftovers is a great way to eat healthy home-cooked meals without all of the time and often stress that goes into cooking every meal from scratch.
If you cook enough food to ensure that you have some leftover the next day, then you’ll only really have to cook every other day, which if you’re short on time can be a godsend.
Just make sure that you store leftovers in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer.
Invest in a Food Processor
Investing in a food processor is a no-brainer for anyone who likes to cook or who cooks regularly, and especially for those of you who are short on the amount of time you can spend int he kitchen.
Why? Because they do pretty much everything for you from shredding and chopping your veggies to kneading bread, making smoothies and blending healthy home-cooked soups.
They do these things (and more) at a fraction of the time it would take you to do them and that is why food processors really are invaluable.
Focus on Your Favorite Foods
A lot of people when they decide to cook healthy will throw out all of their favorite foods like mac and cheese and fried chicken and that makes them less excited to actually get in the kitchen and cook.
What you should do instead is to find ways of cooking healthier versions of your favorites so that cooking is fun, your food is enjoyable and you have the motivation to keep doing it.
Time to put on your apron and get cooking! Make sure to sign up for my free meal prepping e-book!
This article is so helpful – lots of great tips and I’m sadly prone to some of the bad habits you mentioned. Will try my best to stick to your advice.
I appreciate this article. I am guilty of wasting food too. I spend half the week at my mother in law’s and usually shop before I get here. I never make everything I bring, then wind up taking food home in an ice chest. Sometimes it doesn’t get eaten and I take it back to her house, LOL. Any suggestions?
I am cutting carbs to lose weight. I usually have a green smoothie or protein shake for breakfast, snack on boiled eggs, low fat cottage cheese, veggies and hummus or soft cheese. I have a big salad every day. Interesting dinners are the challenge. I did split up a pound of ground turkey, making chili with half and taco meat with the other.
Do you have any tips for keeping salads and veggies fresh for a week? Proper food prep and freezing entrees is probably the solution.