I recently posed a question to my friends and to my surprise, I found that many of them (especially those who live out on their own) dine out for most if not all of their meals. There wouldn’t be any problem with that if we have eateries that offer “home cooking” or just serving real food in general instead of highly refined and processed food. However, we do not have such luxury in our country just yet. We do see more “real food” eateries popping up lately (yay to that!), but they usually come with heftier price tags as well, which isn’t sustainable for most middle-income earners.
So what’s the solution?
I’ve got one answer for you: cooking!
And the usual responses I’d normally receive from that are;
“I don’t know how to cook and the food would turn out horrible!”
“I don’t have the time to slave away in the kitchen”
Guess what guys? It is really not that difficult or time-consuming. I once thought it was as well. If I can do it, anyone definitely can. I’m one of those who cringe at complicated recipes with a long ingredient list and countless steps. When I say easy, it really is. If you are eating real food, the wholefood itself already does the work for you. All that’s left to do is pop them in your oven, steamer, etc, assemble them with amazing fresh natural flavourings or seasonings and you’re done.
So I thought I’ll break it down for you today and share with you my 3 basic steps when it comes to cooking and putting up easy, nourishing, delicious meals.
Quick & Healthy Cooking Basics #1:
Four Elements – Protein, Unrefined Carb, Healthy Fat and Vegetables
To create a balanced meal, make sure you’ve got all your macros 👆and greens. The key is to have clean sources of those macros as your sides (a fist size of each) and load up on vegetables (filling ½ of your plate).
Here are a few examples of each macro;
Protein: Chicken, fish, tempeh, lentils and beans, quinoa, tofu, eggs.
Unrefined Carbs: Whole grains (rolled oats, quinoa, barley, couscous, brown rice), starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, squash), lentils and beans
Healthy Fat: Natural dressings/sauces, nuts and seeds, natural nut butter, unrefined oil (olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil), avocado
Easy Cooking Basics #2: Cooking Method
After determining the ingredients (each macro element and greens) of your choice, it’s time to decide on a cooking method. You can steam, boil, bake, pan fry or even go raw! My usual go-tos are baking and steaming.
And the bit that makes a dish go from bland to wow? 👇
Easy Cooking Basics #3: Flavouring and Seasoning.
I’m talking sauces, dressings, herbs and spices. These are the elements that tie your dish together and make it flavourful and delicious. Any dish (and I mean, ANY dish) can be made scrumptious with the right sauces, dressings, and seasonings.
P.s. If you’re getting store-bought ones, remember to check the ingredient lists to make sure they are not loaded with sugar and preservatives. Choose the ones with only whole/fresh ingredients.
There you go, just simple 3 basic steps to get cooking and creative in the kitchen! It is really as simple as that, and your ingredients need not be elaborate. To give you an example, a simple warm dish of baked sweet potatoes (carbs) and brussels sprouts (greens), with 2 boiled eggs (protein), and a nice dressing (healthy fat) over it can be delectable!
For quick and simple recipes; you can check out my 5 Detox Breakfast Recipes, Easy Veggie Dishes and 5-minute Smoothie Recipes. More to come guys. I’m putting up weekly recipes now on The Pantry by Erina’s very own blog; #thepantryshares, so do head over to check out how simple healthy cooking really is.
Hope these 3 simple steps and recipes will get you cooking in no time and inspire you to create your very own meals. Have a good week ahead and remember to show some love this week, encourage someone, share good vibes, be slow to speak & quick to listen.
Lots of love,