23 February 2018

How & Why You Should Get Cooking

It's far too easy to order a takeaway or take a quick trip to the McDonald's drive-thru and I mean... who can resist fast food?! This week's post is by Roxana Oliver and it's all about how and why you should get cooking. All the reasons why you should get in the kitchen alongside tips and tricks to make cooking easier, all in one post to help you resist the fast food temptations!

Do you think that cooking is hard? You see those TV shows where people such as Gordon Ramsay literally play around in the kitchen and cook some magnificent dished that you didn't even know existed with such ease that it seems really unfair to the rest of us mortals. It's okay - the idea is for you to feel like they're doing something extraordinary. But guess what, cooking isn't really that hard. And when you start cooking your own food, you actually save a lot of money and start eating healthy. That's why we want to tell you how and why you should get cooking.

All the Right Reasons

Firstly, we'd like to start with the actual reasons why you should start cooking your own food. Nowadays, we have so many shortcuts to be able to fit cooking into our schedules. There are recipe apps, online delivery systems for fruit and vegetables, and you can even find an online butcher. It has become easy! On top of that, cooking your own food has the potential to be a healthy habit. When you're the chef, you can choose what you want to use. You can go for those fresh products and also substitute ingredients as you see fit. That way, you could slash hundreds of calories.

Another awesome thing about cooking on your own is that you save money. We know that takeout is convenient and easy but consider this - the $20 you spend on one night of takeout can buy you a couple inner's worth of groceries. Moreover, you'll probably have some leftovers for lunch. Learning to cook opens up your budget for better things. That Chinese you eat on Friday evenings is maybe stopping you from buying new shoes.

When you cook your own food, you start appreciating yourself and your food more, This is probably due to the fact that you're well aware of how much work went into it and it sure doesn't feel the same as when you just cough up a few bucks and get what you ordered. You're also in charge of everything in your kitchen, from what you make to how to make it. And when you get the hang of it, cooking becomes relaxing. You will enjoy cooking, we guarantee it.

Cooking Basics

Now that you've realised how awesome cooking is, it's time to cover some basics. First off, let's boil some eggs. Boiling eggs isn't hard if you have a timer. You need to place an egg n a pot and fill it with water until the egg is covered. Add a good pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar. Bring the water to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for no more than 12 minutes. That's the case if you want hard-boiled eggs. If you like soft-boiled eggs, reduce that time to no less than three minutes. Submerge the cooked egg in ice water for at least five minutes so that you have no difficulties peeling it.

Another really easy and tasty thing you can make on your own is a smoothie. You probably know that the usual way to make a smoothie consists of blending fruit and yoghurt, but there is a better way that will challenge the way you see smoothies. Try to blend in 1 cup of fruit with 3/4 of a cup of liquid and a spoonful of nut or seed butter (or a quarter of an avocado!) topped with ice. Alos, add a handful of spinach. For a thicker smoothie, add half of a frozen banana or if you want a sweeter smoothie, add a spoonful of honey. This is way better than spending eight bucks on a 'super healthy' drink from your local juice shop.

It's time to move on to a proper dish. And this one comes from stunning Italy! Of course, we're talking about pasta. Boil water with a few pinches of kosher salt (adding salt while boiling seasons the pasta internally as it swells in the water). Pour in the pasta, stir a bit, and cook according to the package instructions. Then drain the pasta in a colander and douse it with a little olive oil to prevent sticky noodles. If you want to cut back on your water consumption, fill your pot halfway; you only need enough water for the past to absorb, you don't need gallons of water to sufficiently revive dry noodles. Less water in the pot means that your stove is on for less time and that less water is thrown down the drain.

There are so many wonderful and tasty dishes out there waiting for you. You only have to make that crucial decision to start cooking. We believe that we've proven to you that it's not as difficult as it may seem. Now it's your turn to get cooking!

Thanks so much to Roxana for another guest post!
What are your favourite, easy dishes to cook?