3 Tips for Simple Cooking
You know someone who always has it together. The woman who brings a healthy packed lunch every day. The guy who manages to cook a homemade meal in less than twenty minutes? It's not impossible. You can do it too. Try these tips.
1. Make a Shopping List
I know, nobody likes to keep a shopping list, but how silly is it to make ten trips to the grocery store to get ten different items? Keeping a list is the most important step in keeping an organized, healthy kitchen. Keep a piece of paper on the refrigerator. Anytime you use up the last of something, write it on the list. Make this mandatory for everybody in the house.
2. Stretch a Meal
Stretching a meal involves taking one central ingredient and making it stretch into two seperate meals. You will make double-quantities of each main ingredient, providing for six nights of food.
|Stretching a meal involves controlling the amount of meat you eat. Meat should not be the main ingredient of the meal, but be used sparingly and served with a variety of vegetables, fruits, and starches. Remember, a serving of meat for an adult should be no bigger than a deck of playing cards.|
Here's how it works:
- Sunday night, roast a chicken and eat with potatoes and green beans. Monday night, the leftover chicken can be used for chicken enchiladas, or tossed with veggies and soy sauce and served over rice.
- Tuesday night, eat meatballs with spaghetti and salad. Leftover meatballs can be served the next night as meatball subs.
- On Thursday, roasted fish and vegetables can be served over rice. Then, on Friday night, leftover fish can be turned into fish tacos. Spruce up the fish with lemon juice and salsa and serve with lettuce on warm tortilla shells.
3. Incorporating Fruits and Vegetables
A fruit bowl looks pretty, but often, whole fruit can be intimidating to young mouths. Especially if you have children who are losing teeth or wearing braces, whole hard fruit can be difficult to eat.
Instead, try making up a fruit salad for dessert. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or sweetened yogurt on top. Applesauce makes a delicious, sweet, cool dessert as well. Cut apples and bananas into chunks and top with peanut butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.
Take some time to buy and chop vegetables. Make a veggie tray every weekend and keep it in the fridge for the week. It makes a healthy snack, and can also be put out with any dinner to supplement a meal.
If your child balks at eating chunks of vegetables, try pureeing them. Puree a chunky soup in the blender to make it smooth. Puree sauteed spinach and onions and incorporate them into spaghetti sauce. The kids won't even know they're eating all those veggies.
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