Can You Cook Healthy Meals When You’re Cooking for Others?

Can You Cook Healthy Meals When You're Cooking for Others? Lifesum

2 minReading time

Yes, and it’s easier than you think.

I love hosting people. I’m not the best host, and when people arrive typically I have popcorn ready because my food isn’t going to be ready on time, but I love cooking for people. I’m so happy that making changes to the way I eat and trying to be healthy didn’t mean sacrificing my social life. Here are my tips for how to do it.

Start in the produce aisle

Think fresh first. Pick veggies you really enjoy and build up that way. It’s easy for the vegetables to be an after-thought when we’re planning a meal – which is what often results in poorly seasoned veg or boring greens. By starting with the vegetables, you can build up the meal around them, and you make sure to fill most of the plate with healthy, complex carbs.

Look for lean, ethically sourced and raised protein

If meat is a must-have, go lean. Personally, one of my favorites to cook is salmon. You buy a nice large piece of fish, season it minimally, and just bake it in the oven. Perfect. If you’re not a fish person, I’d suggest chicken, which you can roast in it’s entirety, or just buy separate pieces and fry or roast those.

Think holistically

I think a lot of us (or maybe it’s just me) tend to think of meals as three categories of food compiled in a plate – meat, carbs and greens. Meals can look that way, but they don’t have to be that way. A meal could be a stew, where everything is all mixed together, or a soup. Don’t limit yourself, and try to think beyond meat, carbs and greens.

You don’t HAVE to have potatoes, or pasta, or rice – as long as it all works together and tastes (and looks) good, go for it.

Try other cuisines

We tend to think within the limitations of our own cuisines – but there’s so much out there! Don’t be afraid to think outside of your country and look at how other cultures cook, you’re sure to find healthy inspiration there.

If all else fails, just stick to whole foods

Just make what you can from scratch without making things too complicated. As long as you know where what you’re eating comes from, you’re all good.

/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out

RELATED: Here’s How to Eat One Vegetable, 5 Different Ways

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