How Busy People Can Find The Time And Energy For Home Cooking
If you can’t remember the last time you actually bought fresh ingredients to prepare a home-cooked meal for yourself and/or your loved ones – you probably have a good excuse as to why. Perhaps you’re overworked, or you’ve just had a new child or perhaps you’re a young adult who relies on the convenience of fast food and microwavable meals.
Needless to say, failing to cook for yourself at home means you’ll probably end up feeding yourself less-than-stellar options (at least when it comes to nutrition). We all know that the overconsumption of fast food and highly processed microwavable ‘instant’ meals are leading causes of obesity and related health issues like diabetes.
However, finding the time, energy and food ideas to cook from scratch every single evening is much easier said than done for most of us. If you don’t have the natural cooking talent or passion for food that some have, you’ll be even less inclined to start peeling potatoes straight after you get through the front door after an exhausting day.
Luckily, the following will examine a few simple hacks busy people can use to give themselves the motivation and breathing room they need to get into home cooking and reap its rewards.
Research, trial and optimise recipes that are easy for you to whip up quickly
One of the biggest factors that stop us from cooking is that it all feels incredibly overwhelming in our minds, especially when we have very little or no idea about what we want to make. All of the nutritional percentages, different cuts of meat and types of seasoning out there can make grocery shopping a source of stress for many, especially if the pressure is on you to feed the whole family.
It’s prudent to look for recipes online that you can easily throw together without having to think too hard about it. Try making an easy crusted tofu or a really basic chicken and rice dish with a seasoning that you enjoy.
It’s a good idea to plan these dinners for each day of the week so that you can switch into robotic cooking mode as soon as you get through the door. This kind of forethought is also going to make grocery shopping quicker, cheaper and less of a hassle for you since you’ll know exactly what aisle to go to and how much of each ingredient you will need.
Try and involve others so you’re not doing it alone
Another way to avoid the temptation of takeaway is to involve other people in your cooking or at least in the prep stages so that you aren’t doing it alone. Sometimes all you need is someone in the room talking with you to make the activity entertaining rather than a necessary chore.
If you have children, they are perfect candidates for kitchen helpers and can be given different responsibilities depending on their age and maturity. Obviously, you won’t get your 3-year-old to dice vegetables with a sharp knife, but they could easily mix the batter in a bowl or even just pour water in a pan for you.
The bonus of this method is that you’ll get some bonding time with whomever you cook alongside, so it can be a great way to reconnect with someone or simply just spend quality time with the family. Even if you’d rather handle all the cooking yourself, you can still let others help set up the dining room so that you can focus on the meal itself.
Make cooking fun with related games, challenges and activities
While this may sound juvenile to some, it’s proven that when you ‘gamify’ something by adding challenges and rewards, you make it much more interesting to participate in. Perhaps reward yourself with something indulgent when you complete a new recipe or when you get great feedback from the family on a new sauce you’re using.