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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

We are all in a hurry. We live busy lifestyles, often juggling our careers, our families and our relationships. It is no wonder that many of us resort to ready meals and takeaways. We know that they are not exactly healthy, but they are fast, and fast is good. Spending hours in the kitchen after a long day at work is not a very appealing image.

It’s no secret that cooking with fresh ingredients is a lot healthier for you. There are no added preservatives or other unknown names on the wrapper with lots of numbers attached to it. There’s less salt, less sugar and less fat. And let’s not forget that fresh food tastes better.

You don’t have to be a Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson to be able to cook. Nor do you have to spend many hours in the kitchen. Adding a salad to your meal only takes a few minutes – the time it takes to wash and slice a lettuce, some onion, pepper, tomato or whatever you prefer. Mix it all together and you have something fresh and healthy that night. If you place some meat under the grill, you have a pleasant dinner in virtually no time.

Everyone knows that vegetables and fruit are good for you. But did you know that when you eat a lot of junkfood, you will feel sluggish, lacking in energy and that your mood can be affected? People who use fresh ingredients tend to feel happier and more energetic. This does show that our bodies may function on less healthy food, but that it functions far better on a balanced diet.

Consider growing your own herbs. You can grow them just about anywhere – if you have a garden, that’s great, but they do well enough on a balcony or windowsill. Herbs add a lovely flavour to your meals and they look nice, too.

When in a hurry, a nice and easy meal to cook is a pasta dish. Instead of simply buying a jar of sauce, consider spending a little time to make something yourself. This only takes about half an hour and it is very rewarding. If you have a smaller family, you will probably have leftovers for the next day, which means you can simply heat it up and have another nice dinner.

You could fry some mince. Slice an onion, some garlic, peppers and chili peppers. Fry these in a bit of olive oil and add them to the mince. Add some diced tomatoes and perhaps some tomato puree, add herbs and spices to taste and you have a very basic but rather tasty pasta sauce. Boil some wholemeal pasta and you’re done. Of course, you can add as many ingredients as you like – this will depend on your creativity and preference.

A similarly versatile dish is chili. You can add a load of vegetables to this, which means it is very healthy and full of flavour. A pan of chili can last a couple of days, again making a good, easy meal for the next day.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Have a look at some quick and easy recipes online, then give them your own twist to accommodate your taste buds. Many meals are easy to prepare and take up only a little of your time.

You’ll soon feel healthier, happier because you know you are eating well and because cooking is a rewarding experience, and you may even start enjoying yourself in the kitchen.

Posted by: Send a Mea AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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