• Home
  • Food For Thought – Five Ways to Cook More Often

Food For Thought – Five Ways to Cook More Often

Do you ever struggle with getting healthy, homemade meals on the table after a long day? Do you order takeout a couple times a week? Pick up pre-made meals from your local grocer? Drive thru? You’re not alone! According to Statistics Canada, 54 per cent of Canadians eat out once a week or more, and 40 per cent say they eat out for convenience, have no time to cook, or do not like or know how to cook. If you can relate to one or all four of these, I have five ways to help you cook more often!

 

But why is cooking more often important? When we consume processed and prepared foods on a regular basis, we contribute excess sodium, sugars or saturated fat to our diets, putting us at greater risk for obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Canada’s food guide reminds us that healthy eating is not just the foods we eat – it’s also about where, why, when and how we eat too! Cooking more often can help us develop those healthy eating habits while preventing the excess sodium, sugars or saturated fat.

 

Five ways to help you cook more often:

 

  1. Cook once/eat twice

This doesn’t mean you have to eat the same meal twice though! With some thought and a little planning, you can get creative. For example, you can double the rice for your stir-fry one night and with the extra rice, prepare a pilaf the next day. Just add a can of beans and whatever veg you have in the fridge or freezer and “voila!”, dinner number two is served.

 

  1. Batch cook

Make meals in bigger batches and freeze meal size leftovers for easy weeknight meals or lunches. I like to batch cook chili, soups, stir-fries, and spaghetti sauce.

 

  1. Use time-saving kitchen tools

Make cooking at home easier (and quicker) for you by using these tools:

  • Mini chopper for dicing foods like garlic and onion
  • Hand blender for soups and sauces
  • Slow cooker to do the cooking while you get stuff done
  • Pressure cooker to make meals in a hurry

 

  1. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy options

Stock your pantry with canned beans to add to soups, salads or main dishes. I like to add chickpeas to salads and lentils to rice. Another staple in my cupboard is canned tuna for quick tuna salad sandwiches or to add to a salad. In my fridge you will always find bell peppers and broccoli to snack on, Romaine for salad, eggs, milk and avocado (I have a recent obsession with avocado on toast). My freezer is stocked with bread (because I don’t eat it fast enough), frozen fruit and veggies, and frozen homemade meals galore… and frozen jujubes, but we won’t go there.

 

  1. Gather recipes

Place a folder in your kitchen in an accessible spot. As you come across recipes you’d like to try, add them to your folder. Canada’s food guide has some great quick and easy recipes to help you make healthy and convenient weeknight meals.

 

Happy cooking!

Jenn Giurgevich is a Registered Dietitian and former contract Professor at Brescia University College with a wealth of nutrition knowledge. Over the last 10+ years, Jenn has paired her love for nutrition and health with her undeniable love for fitness, working as both a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

 

Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Free Online Magazine!

News Letter