Cooking For Meal Success
The recent popularity of cooking shows on TV would have us believe that anyone can be a master of their own kitchen domain. Boned spatchcock wrapped in prosciutto? No worries! Birthday party for 150 nine year olds? Piece of cake!
However as we flock to our kitchens to impress our friends with gourmet delights for dinner parties and 'relaxed' get togethers we should spare a thought for the other six days of hum-drum food we all have to prepare.
Everyone wants to eat well presented food that tastes great and the good news is that you don't have to be a master chef to enjoy food in your own home. The fondest memories of food often don't include restaurant meals and fast food outlets but are more along the lines of mum's spaghetti bolognaise or dad's famous apricot chicken.
Like many things in life, keeping it simple is often the best plan of attack when it comes to cooking for all occasions. If you want something exotic and complicated, leave it to the professionals... they get paid for all that stress!
Following are a few tips on making interesting and easy food everyone will love:
Build up a good pantry
The best place to start any meal is in your own pantry. Build up a stock of versatile meal starters that can be used as a base for a variety of meals. This includes pasta, brown or low GI white rice tins of chopped/crushed tomatoes with added herbs, tinned lentils and beans, tins of tuna, salt- reduced stock (liquid or cube form), sauces including soy, sweet chilli etc, herbs, spices and stir fry or pasta sauces that can quickly jazz up meat or veggies.
Use seasonal ingredients
Once upon a time we had to wait for the right season to eat certain fruits and vegetables and it was often a delight when the first peaches came into the shop or the sweet smell of strawberries filled the green grocers. Now we can get everything all year round - but it comes at a cost. Fruit and veg bought out of season cost more and some has even been in cold storage, getting older by the day. By choosing to go with what is in season you will not only save money but bring a bit of fresh variety to every meal.
Borrow some cook books from your local library
Cookbooks can be expensive! Your local library is a wealth of knowledge and will have a great range of different cookbooks covering topics such as quick everyday meals, low fat, low GI, wheat free, cooking with seasonal produce and many more.
Use online recipe resources
Only have carrots, a can of tomatoes and a bit of bacon? No worries! There are so many websites dedicated to finding the perfect recipe for your next meal. Many of them have fast and tasty recipes with simple ingredients. Some suggestions include: www.taste.com.au, www.cuisine.com.au, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, http://www.readysteadycook.ten.com.au
Variety is said to be the spice of life and it could just be the thing to bring a new lease of life to both the cook and the food.
Yea Community Health - Yea & District Memorial Hospital - phone 5736 0410
Alexandra Community Health - Alexandra District Hospital - 5772 0800