5 Tips To Healthy Cooking

In this day and age, we can’t help but be concerned about our health – especially when it comes to what we eat! We all want to be healthy and live longer with no lingering illness, so it is indeed a good idea to be concerned with how and what we are stuffing ourselves with, and simple things we can do each day to keep healthy!

Here’s some useful tips on how to cook more healthy meals and make simple changes to your favourite family recipes:

1. Lessen the oil
Even if extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative to other edible oils, it is still fat. Our body needs a healthy dose of fat to function properly, and so we do need them, but if you are used to using a cup of oil every time you cook, try using just half of that.
2. Lessen the salt
Salt is also another ingredient that we need, not only for our body to function well, but also for us to enjoy more the flavour of the food we’re eating. Some favourite foods are quite salty to start with – like bacon – but we just have to eat less of them these days.
3. Try boiling your meat (stews) instead of frying them
Meat, instead of being fried, can be boiled or cooked in stews. This will definitely lessen your fat intake since you won’t be adding oil while cooking. If you can get away with stews when deciding to cook a certain meal, then go ahead.
4. Try steam cooking
Steamed dishes are healthier compared to frying or grilling and a feature in a lot of Asian recipes. Aside from that, they also cut down time hovering over your stove!
5. Incorporate more vegetables to your dishes
I guess we just can’t stress enough the importance of adding vegetables to our meal; not only do they provide us with the necessary nutrients; they are also good for our digestive system.

Recipe – Tossed Basil Roasted Potatoes

This is a quick, delicious vegetable recipe that is a snap to prepare and tastes awesome. It is sure to be a favourite in any household!

4-5 medium potatoes
¼ cup canola or olive oil
Basil to taste
Salt to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Coat bottom of a 9 x 11 glass or metal baking pan with oil.
Slice potatoes about a ¼ inch thick and dip in oil on both sides in the pan. Sprinkle salt to taste over the potatoes followed by basil and then Parmesan cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven on the top shelf for 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Note: if you want more potatoes just add another layer.

A sneaky tip for parents: add some sliced carrots to the mix as a way to get stubborn kids to eat more vegetables! Try out this yummy vegetable recipe tonight and let us know what you think!

Ways To Get Kids To Eat Their Greens
Getting kids to eat their vegetables is one of the most challenging tasks to some parents. If your vegetable hating children are making you pull your hair out in frustration – here’s some ideas on how to get kids to eat the fruit and vegetables they need to stay healthy!

Train them from the beginning
There are some studies also say that children who are breastfed will normally eat more green than those who are not. Many believed that what mothers ate during their pregnancies will dictate what their kids will eat too. Therefore, pregnant mums are advised to take in more serves of fruits and vegetable daily.

When babies start eating solid foods, parents should try to introduce as many varieties of fruits and vegetables to them. This will help them to slowly get accustomed to the different taste and texture. If they rejected the first few times, do not feel despair as a few more tries will surely help in the end.

Make vegetables fun to eat
When kids enter the toddler years, they will start to pick their food and quite often shove away the greens. Try making the vegetables fun by using cookie cutters to cut out shapes and serving with healthy dips the kids will love to dip vegetable in.

Another fun way is to create a Bento Box set or Japanese Lunch Boxes where a mix of different vegetables and fruits are placed in a different section within the box with cute decorations. Trust me, this is one of the ways kids will eat their green!

Image taken from BentoYum.com

Rotate the styles of preparations
Kids get bored very fast and parents have to know how to rotate their cooking styles to accommodate their kids. Don’t serve kids with just boiled vegetables every day. They will get sick of it! Try to cook your green in different styles everyday so your kids would not notice that they are still eating the same vegetables as the different styles gave different taste too!

Lastly, never force your kids to eat things they do not want!
Instant Noodles Can Be Nutritional Too

Although I love to cook, there are times when I get a little lazy and would love to skip all the fuss in the kitchen preparing a complete meal. For such times, digging out my favourite packet of instant noodles and turning it into a complete and nutritional noodle meal makes a quick and easy dinner!

It is always handy to keep some instant noodles at home as they’re a good meal replacement when you’re just too busy to cook a meal from scratch. Having just a bowl of noodle with the soup base is not very nutritional. However, with some creativity, we can always make our bowl of noodles into a healthy meal!

Try adding these side ingredients:

 Vegetables
Scavenge your fridge for some greens such as lettuce, shitake mushrooms or carrots. If you don’t keep fresh food around, try to keep a few packets of wakame (Japanese seaweed) so you can toss some into the noodles.

 Dried food
You can soak a few dried mushrooms, fu-chok or dried soy bean skin in with your noodles for instant added nutrition.

 Meat
When you visit the butcher, make sure you some extra slice of your choice of meat to be deep freeze. These often come in very handy as you can thaw some if you have nothing to cook but need the protein.

 Eggs
Eggs are a great addition to so many recipes. Simply hard boil one or just drop one into your soup and let it boil for a while before serving.

With the above, your bowl of instant noodles will taste just like what you would normally pay quite a bit for at a Chinese restaurant! So, why pay more for something you could do in a jiffy?


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