National Nutrition Month: Home Cooking
By Hannah Chow, Be Well Blogger
I live right above a Chipotle and a Chik-Fil-A.
I try not to eat there every day, but it’s so tempting when I walk out my door and the air smells like fried chicken. The easiest, and quickest, option is often going down five flights of stairs to get lunch or dinner. While cooking for myself is something I enjoy, I do not always have the time for it between balancing classes, homework, work, etc. The days I can cook, though, are some of my most relaxing. I get to make some food I want to eat, I’ll usually listen to some music or talk to my roommates, and it gives me a well-deserved break. Other than mental health benefits, home cooking saves money and time during the week. Here are some tips that have helped me organize my cooking experience:
- Aim to go to the grocery store once every week or two weeks
- Frozen meats (especially chicken breast) are meal-savers: they are often cheaper, they last longer, and they can easily be a meal on their own with a simple side
- Try to get some vegetables in: Ralphs has a huge selection
- Keep in mind peak hours at your grocery store if you’re short on time: Ralph’s is most crowded at around 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you’re more likely to buy things that you don’t need or are more unhealthy
- Defrost frozen items the day before you want to cook
- Dedicate 2+ hours on a weekend or day that you’re not busy to meal prep for the week. It will ultimately save you time, and you’ll have meals ready to heat up whenever you want to eat!
- One pan/pot dinners are easy and save you on dishes you have to wash
- Look up one-pot pasta recipes
- One pan roasted dinner: Protein (chicken, salmon, steak) + vegetables (carrots, broccoli, anything that’s good for roasting) + drizzle of olive oil + salt, pepper, and spice + 425 degree oven for 20-30 min = dinner