How often do you eat exactly what you want? I’m not talking about coming home at the end of an exhausting day and ordering a pizza because it’s easy and your food expectations can be met with a simple delivery service. I’m talking about letting your taste buds do the thinking and actually cooking what your heart desires. Mom’s lasagna with Caesar salad and crusty bread. Chicken soup. Shirmp phad thai.
Healthy eating isn’t about calories and grams of fat. It’s about eating what tastes good to you and cooking at home. I guarantee that any food you prepare in your own kitchen will be much better for you than anything you buy in a restaurant. If you’re cooking, you’ve taken the time to purchase quality ingredients -- and although many restaurants try to do the same, they are thinking of their bottom line and not your health.
The mantra of restaurant food is fat, sugar and salt. You can make literally anything taste good with those three ingredients. Deep-fried cardboard tastes wonderful when adequately salted and dipped in a nice sweet barbeque sauce.
When you cook, are all your foods golden brown? If the answer is no, then you have done what most restaurants cannot or will not. Whether or not a person cooks is often a predictor of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
What meal have you made at home today?
Yesterday, I came home and had a craving for roast chicken, which is not a typical mid-week meal in this house! I just so happened to have a free-range chicken my mother-in-law gave me, so I threw it in a salt water brine and went about planning the rest of the meal.
Unintentionally, I ended up with a nearly white meal. In food service this is a horrible faux pas, but at home it just means I need to use a colorful plate! I cooked and washed dishes (no dishwasher here) for about two hours and served up a delicious meal of roasted chicken rubbed with fresh herbs and butter, risotto and sautéed summer squash.
Eating should be a pleasure, not a chore. Good food does not require you to cook for hours, but if you do happen to immerse yourself in a cooking, project, consider the time well-spent. Your family and your body will thank you!