This Article is About
hectic lifestyles
food budget
simple recipes
wholesome meals
food choices
healthier foods
cost of food
short answer
Calling Cooks Back To The Kitchen
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Calling Cooks Back to the Kitchen

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the rising cost of food at the grocery store. During that same conversation, we also spoke about restaurant food and how, in her opinion, food quality has decreased yet, prices have increased at the better restaurants. She asked my thoughts and for ways to better manage a food budget. My short answer was that we should start preparing our own meals in our own kitchens as much as possible. It just might be time for cooks to return to the kitchen.

As we look around today we see that the microwave-type, fast food alternatives have contributed to numerous diseases and obesity in our country. The food industry is rolling out more and more packaged foods, it seems daily, catering to our demands to have it fast and without much effort. Restaurants are revising their menus to cater to the growing call for healthier food choices. According to the National Restaurant Association, consumers are expected to spend $632 billion dollars at restaurants in 2012. That is mind boggling.

Over the years I have gone through various stages of cooking. I have gone from the 5 course Sunday style meal to light and lean cooking to a mix of both. From no desserts to adding desserts 2-3 times a week. From no sodas in the house to occasionally adding sodas as my kids have gotten older. When I have been busy and stressed or didn’t have the budget to buy healthier foods, I have reached for not-so-healthy alternatives. I, like many others, have on my refrigerator a magnet with the phone number of a local pizza delivery establishment.

Because of our hectic lifestyles, we all struggle to get wholesome meals on the table everyday. That does not have to be the rule. We need to re-acquaint ourselves with our kitchens, return whole heartily. There are numerous websites, cookbooks, how to videos, food channels, etc. to assist us. There are sites that will plan a week of recipes for you from items you list in your pantry.

Meal Tips:

  1. Find 10 simple recipes and rotate them weekly
  2. Keep a well-stocked pantry
  3. Organize your kitchen
  4. Pre-cook 5 days meals and store in refrigerator or freezer
  5. If you have older kids, delegate some of the responsibilities to them (dishes, setting table, researching and gathering recipes for the family)
  6. Purchase healthy snacks and fresh vegetables to avoid grabbing junk food before dinner
  7. Keep the restaurant numbers handy for days when it is just impossible


Street Talk

AJ  

This is sound advice. In this economy, it really is important to prepare your own meals. Eating out is just not economical anymore.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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