Friday, 4 January 2013

No time to cook?

Do you struggle to find the time to cook and end up grabbing something quick or reaching for the takeaway menu when you come home from work?  Ready meals and processed food contain lots of salt, fat and hidden sugars which are not the best for our health.

There are lots of ways to cook healthy, nutritious meals quickly.  It takes a little planning and buying the right ingredients but you need never resort to frozen chips and a chicken kiev or a chinese takeaway again (unless you want to!). 

1.  Batch cook.  Take a little time on an evening or the weekend to cook a few big batches of meals to freeze. You then only need to take a portion out of the freezer in the morning and reheat when you get in.  Good meals for this are: chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognaise (not the spaghetti, obviously!), chicken casseroles and stews.

2.  Buy chops or chicken breast which take about 20 mins to cook in the oven.   Microwave a large potato for about 6 mins then finish it in the oven while the meat is cooking.  Cook some frozen peas and broad beans and you have a complete meal in under 30 minutes.

3. Use a slow cooker.  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare your ingredients for the slow cooker and it cooks all day.  You then have a lovely tasty meal which is ready whenever you come in from work.  You will also have leftovers to freeze for another meal or eat the next day.

This is my dinner - fry off some onions, garlic and mince, add 2 tins of tomatoes and some tomato puree, bring to the boil then place in slow cooker on medium for at least 6 hours.  It took me ten minutes to prepare before the school run and heading off to work.  I will eat this with lots of green veg and the children will have some spaghetti with it.

There you go - just a few ideas to help you eat more healthily.  You will also find it is cheaper to cook from scratch than buy ready meals, processed food and take aways!

Let me know how you get on - or share your favourite slow cooker recipes with me.  I would love to hear from you.

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