Cooking at home doesn’t have to be difficult, boring, and time-consuming. In fact, it’s the best way to make sure you’re eating the food you want, without having to worry about how much extra salt, sugar, or fat could be hiding in that takeaway or restaurant meal. Here are some tips for easy, healthy home cooking – without needing to go to the supermarket every day.
First, before heading to the supermarket, write a shopping list of all the groceries you’ll need. This will make it easier when you’re at the store and guarantee nothing is forgotten. Buy large packages of food that can be stored for a while, like quinoa, barley, old fashioned rolled oats, seeds, whole grain pasta, and brown rice. Other foods that can be kept for a long time and are great to have at home are canned beans, crushed tomatoes, dry spices, frozen vegetables, and frozen berries.
Buy vegetables that stay fresh for a long time like cabbage, carrots, onions, potato, sweet potato, and other root vegetables. Aim to buy whole vegetables rather than pre-cut ones, since the whole ones will stay fresh for longer. If you’ve already bought pre-cut vegetables, be sure to eat them first – they’ll only last a couple of days.
Frozen food like vegetables, fish, berries, and herbs can be used in multiple dishes like stews, soups, salads, and smoothies. Read the nutrition label on the package to make sure you’re buying items without added sugar or salt.
Not all vegetables need to be stored in the fridge, and many can be stored just as well (if not better) at room temperature. Save some room in your fridge for foods that actually need a colder environment, and you’ll be more prepared with healthy options.
These vegetables can all be stored at room temperature: avocado, eggplant, bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, ginger, zucchini, potato, sweet potato, and tomato (1)(2). Depending on the type of vegetable, they will stay fresh for different amounts of time. Root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes can be stored up to a couple of weeks, while other vegetables, such as tomatoes and avocados, only stay fresh for a couple of days. Make sure the vegetables are not exposed to direct sunlight, preferably stored somewhere dry and dark, and they’ll stay fresher for longer (1).
Short on time or just don’t feel like cooking every day? Well, here’s the perfect tip for you. Cook large batches of foods you love that can also be used in other dishes, like quinoa, potato, or barley. They’re a perfect base for a delicious salad, to be served together with stew, or added to an omelet for an extra-filling dish.
Feeling too tired to make that healthy breakfast and instead find yourself reaching for a quick piece of toast? Prepare a large bowl of chia pudding or overnight oats to store in the fridge, and you’ll have breakfast set for a couple of days. You just have to add your favorite toppings!
A perfect way to add a healthy salad to your meal every day without much effort is to prepare large batches. Make a big salad out of shredded carrots, finely sliced cabbage and leeks, and toss with a dressing of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Cover the salad with a lid or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge, and you’ll always have something delicious to top up your meals.
Large batches of soups and stews are an easy way to save time and make sure you always have a healthy option when hunger strikes. These meals are ideal to keep in the fridge if you’re planning to eat them right away, or put them in the freezer – just take it out in the morning and it’ll be defrosted and ready for heating when it’s time for dinner.
Want a quick and simple dish that’s easy to switch up? Just take whatever vegetables you have on hand and place them onto a sheet pan, drizzle on some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven until everything is cooked through. Have some fish fillets in the fridge? Perfect! Add them to the pan when the vegetables are nearly done and bake until the fish is cooked too. Healthy and easy- what’s not to love?
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