Let’s face it, sometimes cooking can feel like a chore rather than a creative outlet, but it’s almost always a gratifying act to plan and cook a delicious meal that nourishes our body. It’s important to remember that the benefits of cooking at home far outweigh those of dining out — although it’s nice to take a break once in a while too!
Preparing Meals At Home Is Beneficial Because:
It’s less expensive to eat at home.
We have control over what goes into our meals; no artificial chemicals added.
We can keep closer tabs on how much salt and sugar we eat; restaurant food is loaded with salt, sugar and unhealthy fat; their goal is to make the food taste so good that we’ll keep coming back. Most restaurant owners focus far more on taste than their customers’ health.
When we buy locally grown and raised food we’re supporting the local economy.
By far, the most challenging aspect of preparing meals is figuring out what to make. We spend countless hours looking through cookbooks and perusing the internet in search of recipes that are simple, healthful and delicious. This is no easy task…many recipes are loaded with cheese, are bland and boring, or call for ingredients so obscure that we cannot find them! The goal is to find deliciously healthful recipes we can make over and over again.
You’ve probably figured out that it takes a lot more planning to eat at home. The general rule of thumb for preparing healthful meals is to combine mostly vegetables with lean proteins and sometimes a portion of whole grains. Planning ahead can help ease the mealtime panic of what to make, especially when you or your family members are hungry!
The TWC includes detailed meal plans and more than 40 recipes, with more to come. We hope you’re taking advantage of this great TWC resource!
Favorite Kitchen Tools
Having the right tools on hand helps make the task of food preparation much more enjoyable. Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order. Not all are necessary of course — one person’s essential tool is another’s waste of space!
A Stainless steel, wide-mouth vegetable peeler is indispensable for preparing root vegetables like squash, beets or rutabaga. The julienne tool can often be used instead of the spiralizer; I use it to make sweet potato “noodles” for soups and zucchini pasta. It’s great for carrots too.
Turn your vegetables into fun and delicious noodles with a Vegetable Sprializer. This relatively inexpensive tool–$29-$39–will add a whole new healthy dimension to your meals!
A good quality sharp kitchen knife will change your life. If you’ve been using dull knives to prep your food it’s time to add a good chef knife to your collection. A dull knife slows you down, while a sharp knife makes prep easier and more enjoyable.
The Nespresso Milk Frother can turn an ordinary cup of coffee into a creamy cup of cappuccino–even if you’re using a milk alternative like almond. Shop around for the right milk though. Whole Foods unsweetened vanilla almond milk works great!
Vitamix is the king of blenders. It will chop and blend just about anything and makes the most amazing smoothies. At $400-$500 it’s a very expensive investment though. There may be other blenders out there that work well too so shop around and read reviews. Drinking a smoothie is a great way to eat your greens, especially if you don’t have time to cook!
I use my Food Processor often to make raw desserts, hummus and veggie burgers. If you don’t plan to make these types of snacks it may not be worth it for you.
We hope you’re enjoying the TWC and learning how great it feels to prepare and eat healthful whole foods!