One of the challenges most people have in home cooking is the TIME factor.
Generally speaking, working people can be busy after work, famished, then have the stress to think about what to cook for supper. (Not to mention if you have a family to look after different tastes to suit individual members of the family which can be a whole chore in itself!)
I’m one of those people, so along that vein, I love quick cooking and minimal ingredient recipes. ( Although my main reason is that I’m impatient to taste the food!!)
Growing up in a household in a family of 9, meal times were a well planned out affair. ( my dad was a chef, so food had to taste good!)
All prep work was prepared on the weekend and having a chest freezer certainly helped.
Being well prepared is a key part to eating well.
Meal planning actually is ‘a thing’ I usually trigger over the word ‘planning’ as it sounds like more work <eyes roll>. In fact I’m better at planning and do it more often than I give myself credit for.
Let’s pause there for a moment, If I said to myself cook something awesome and use up all the fridge full of veg that needs eating; then I’d find that fun and jump onto it with some creative recipes. ( but meal planning to me sounds incredibly boring!)
So the point is here find out what motivates you, I hate waste and use that to my advantage, yours could be you hate eating bad food or you hate the stress in sorting after work suppers.
Sure beats getting take outs - out of convenience. ( Take outs have a place of course but be sure to give yourself some healthy options!) I always think the ‘way’ we eat is as important as how we eat- I can feel another blog post come on this topic!
So avoiding food waste as much as possible is one of my key motivators. In fact I usually cook meals, bake cakes or make cordials according to whichever vegetables or fruit needs eating first. There is a reason why eating seasonally is good for us that I never understood why, but the main reason is this cuts out using food with lots of air miles and according to Dr Axe, seasonal fruits & vegetables supply us with the optimum levels of nutrition and minerals in those seasons.
So yes, minimal ingredients in recipes and quick cooking work well for me.
There is something special about cooking and baking your own food, it sure tastes better and the bonus is you can be creative if anyone is allergic to ingredients for example. Being creative with Gluten free or low sugar options help work around different needs of families and tastes.
Another important point in cooking at home is the lack of ingredients, how often do we think….
I haven't got x or y so I cannot make this dish? I believe being creative with our ingredients can help us cut down on unnecessary food waste.
An example of this recently was I made some cheese, paprika and tomato biscuits with my 6 year old. The key was to have a bit of fun and go through the kids cook book and see what ingredients we had and what we could bake. ( a good tip to get little brains thinking and planning) We looked through the whole book and picked out about 2 - 3 recipes, then narrowed it down. Finally it was agreed we make these biscuits. We needed tomato juice, ( which we didn’t have) but we had tomatoes, so I blitzed this up in a blender and showed my little one that we can be creative. The biscuits turned out brilliantly ( the skin from tomato added flecks of red that complimented the paprika.) She felt proud, I felt proud ( that we didn't need to buy a carton of tomato juice and let the rest of the carton waste away.) And the best part is that we made our own biscuits! That was the prize.
So here’s to making our own food whilst saving time and money.
Easy non cook recipes that encourage us all to ‘give it a go!’ in making our own food. ( I’m sure our kids will love us for it when they hit teenager hood and will know how to cook!) even if basic!
Here below is a light pizza recipe that takes literally 15-20 mins to make and is popular with kids as the dough is light and not at all heavy. The plus side is it uses 2 ingredients for the base and you can use up any bits of food in the fridge that needs eating up. Win win!
I have made these pizzas’ countless times and the kids in my local street have now started making their own, it feels so good to inspire a younger generation to get excited about their own made food!
Easy 2 ingredient pizza base recipe
I tub Greek yoghurt
Equivalent tub of plain flour. ( can use any flour and experiment to suit taste)
Mix the Greek Yoghurt with flour and knead till it becomes a dough ( may need more flour to dust work surface)
Once this resembles a dough ball roll out ( or pat it flat) to the size of a few small pizzas.
Spread tomato puree, sprinkle some grated cheese and herbs and cover with sliced tomatoes shake some salt and pepper on top.
Put in a preheated oven to 180 degrees for 12 minutes.
Viola - a beautifully crusted non heavy pizza - a great one for kids!
Some other toppings suggestions include:
*Defrosted frozen spinach, and crack an egg in the middle
* Tear some ham or salami with tomato
* Tuna and sweet corn or tuna and cheese
* Leftover cooked mince beef with onions
* cut bits of sausage and pickle ………..the list goes on!
(If you try this tag me a picture on @cultivatethelife on instagram would love to see!)