In today's lesson, we'll cover some cooking basics. I've included video instructions throughout today's lesson for cooking methods I use most frequently, and have linked to my favorite articles for details on others.
These are some very simple cooking techniques that will give your food flavor, and help you enjoy the food you’re eating. Besides enhancing the flavor of your food, knowing the basics on healthy cooking is also going to save you time and money.
Anything you cook at home is going to be about 100% healthier than something you get at a fast food or chain restaurant. Home cooked food does take a little planning, and a little effort, but it is a very important part of achieving a high level of health and fitness. When you cook most of your own food, you won’t ever need to obsess about calories or crash diet. It’s just an easy way to keep the nutrient density of the food you’re eating high, while eliminating all the junk that restaurants would usually add.
Cooking gives you total control over the quality of ingredients used and the freshness of the food. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what you’re getting. Whereas most restaurants and fast food places always go with the most cost effective ingredients and cooking methods. They typically use corn or vegetable oil, non-organic produce, MSG in seasoning, sauces that come from plastic bags, frost bitten seafood and on and on.
If you want to know how most restaurant and fast food kitchens are run, just watch a few episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, or ask your friends who work in restaurants! There are some quality restaurants who take pride in their food, but most of them simply can’t afford to make food with as much love and thought as you can at home.
Not to mention that restaurant food doesn’t usually taste anywhere near as good as something you can make at home. I can count on one hand the amount of times I was truly blown away by anything I’d eaten at a restaurant or fast food place. Nine times out of ten, it’s an overpriced meal that you can do way better in your own kitchen!
Some Tasty Basics
When you know how to cook, you can make healthy versions of your not-so-healthy cravings.
Want tacos? Cool. Instead of going to the place that cooks tortillas in oil and smothers everything in cheese, you can make your own tacos and use fresh tomatoes and onions instead.
Want pizza? That’s fine too. You can use a brown rice tortilla, organic tomato sauce, and some low fat feta cheese. Topped with anything else you want.
Making fast, delicious dressing at home is simple. Combining different types of the following ingredients can yield hundreds of different flavors
Marinades & Dressings: The Interchangeable Ingredients
Working with Vegetables
Working with Proteins
Seasonings, Herbs, Flavor Enhancers
Seasonings, herbs, and flavor enhancers can be the difference between a boring chicken breast or a flavorful fajita dish. Here are some fabulous season blends and other flavor enhancers to transform your food from bland to delicious. Oh, and they're all packed with powerful micronutrients too!
The more you learn and experiment with food, the better your cooking will get. You’ll likely start to see food differently. Instead of an enemy to be avoided, or a constant indulgence, food can become an enjoyable, easy part of your life. Take some time every once in a while to search through cooking websites to get different ideas and recipes. This will prevent boredom in your diet, and help you to continually improve your cooking skills.
Recommended Resources for great recipes and cooking techniques
Spice Blends You'll Love