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Tasty Tuesday by Anna Grindeland, RD, CD: Resolution—Cook more
Anna Grindeland, RD, CD
This Tuesday, we wrap up our January resolutions with cooking. In today's fast-paced world, many of us can't, don't, or won't find the time to cook as much as we would like. Sadly, 2 out of every 3 meals eaten in this country are not at home, but in the car, at work, or on the move. Additionally, surveys found that 43% of the average family food budget is spent on eating out. This pattern can not only be hard on our pocketbooks, but on our nutritional health, stress levels, and take away from valuable time spent with our families.
We all know there are more, and less healthy things we can cook in our own homes but if you are skipping the fast food, take-out- and convenience lines, you are—in general—doing your health a favor.
With the rise of recipe databases like All Recipes (allrecipes.com) and pervasiveness of cooking shows, the cookbook has become something of the past. When you are looking for a simple recipe like baked Chicken Divan or chocolate chip cookies to make with your kids, these databases can be easily accessible and sometimes have a video accompanying that walk you through the entire process. All Recipes is a user-friendly website, with options to make an account, comment on recipes, upload your own, and more—for FREE. They also feature sections like "Gluten free," "Diabetic," and others based on occasions and meals to encourage browsing.
Again, thanks to the internet, we can have one-on-one lessons from the pros in our own kitchens. Like this video by infamously rude chef Gordon Ramsay (I promise he is very nice in the video), where he shows you 5 essential kitchen skills in under 8 minutes. After a few videos, you will feel like a pro in the kitchen.
And then there is the wide world of the food blog, where millions of home cooks around the world share their personal cooking "expertise." No guarantees… but Genius Kitchen and The Kitchn are two of my personal favorites.
Of the millions upon millions of recipes out there (Google retrieves 1,620,000 responses to "buttermilk biscuits recipe"), how can you know which one to trust? I don't have time to figure out which one is the BEST (Google retrieves 977,000 responses for "best buttermilk biscuits recipe")…
Thankfully, the folks at America's Test Kitchen have done the scientific studies or us. What started as a public television show, ATK has grown into an entire series of cookbooks, magazines, a podcast, and online cooking school dedicated to teaching us how to make the "best" –fill in the blank-. Warning: There is a paywall at a certain point, and I am not endorsing that you buy all of their resources, unless you want to. If you want to know the best way—tested and approved—to make buttermilk biscuits, this may be the resource for you.
Whatever resource you choose to use to help you on your journey to cook more at home, start with a reasonable goal: Decide on the nights/days you will have time to cook, plan ahead, and gather your ingredients. There are no rules, only your imagination. If you have kids, employ their creative spirits to help with the meal planning. (Kids are also more likely to eat and enjoy the foods that they had a part in preparing).
The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.