Home cooking brings back to mind, time spent in my grandmothers kitchen as a little girl. She always had a tasty meal, hot and waiting for us when we came to visit. In fact, she didn’t feel it was a proper visit if she didn’t have the chance to cook for us. My love of home cooking has never stopped and I have worked hard to create the same kind of environment in my own home now that I am grown.
Today’s fast paced world doesn’t always permit the time necessary to create these tasty meals but I still find that sad hearts can be cheered and weary bodies refreshed after sitting down to a nice dinner and a little home cooking. A lot of people ask me how it is I have the time to prepare home made meals on almost a daily basis and I jokingly tell them that it is a science.
The truth is, home cooking is even easier in this day and age than it was years ago, thanks to better freezing methods, instant and already prepared foods and ready made ingredients. These items make it easy to put together a great home cooked meal in no time and is my secret to home cooking. Not everything has to be from scratch.
There are a lot of products and canned goods out there that can be used to make a meal that tastes just like grandmas. Cooking equipment and household items such as plastic containers and zip top baggies have also added to the facility of home cooking.
You can make home cooked meals ahead of time and freeze them for later in the week or easily take a great meal to work with you. Home cooking may require a little more effort than picking up the phone and ordering a pizza but you will soon see the health benefits of cooking at home and preparing foods for your family.
Not all home cooking is considered healthy though and that is one area where you will want to be careful if a healthy lifestyle is your goal. But, the many unhealthy items used in recipes of grandmas day can easily be substituted with healthier choices. Recipes that call for cheese, butter, eggs and even meat can be substituted with replacements easily found in many grocery stores.
Products such as beans are a very healthy choice and make a great substitute for meats. Adding bean products to your meals is not only delicious but also makes a great combination when added to salads, soups, stews and rice dishes. Healthy home cooking is very easy and just takes a little bit of creativity and a desire to learn how to make great meals at home.
Not really sure if you have the necessary cooking skills for home cooking? Why not try getting tips from the internet or cookbooks? These are great sources of information and you will find many easy recipes for those just starting out. You might also want to try taking some cooking classes from a local school or university. You will find courses designed for new cooks and also for those who are a little more advanced or learning a new area of cooking.
You will also learn the basic cooking skills necessary for home cooking and will improve your confidence in the kitchen. The most important thing to remember is learning takes time and if you are like me, you might have a food disaster or two before mastering a certain recipe. Be patient and don’t give up.
Soon you will have friends and family impressed with your cooking. skills and coming back for more of your home cooking.
* Salad 10 minutes
This salad is something you could expect to find at a chic café for at least .95. With this recipe you can feed six people for less than it would cost for only one entrée-sized salad dining out.
1 (15-ounce) can chilled mandarin oranges
1/2 cup of Marzetti low-fat slaw dressing
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese or blue cheese
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, chopped to make 5 cups
1 (12.5-ounce) can chunk chicken, drained
Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice from the can of mandarin oranges and discard the remaining juice. Set the mandarin oranges aside.
Make the salad dressing in a small bowl; stir together the 1/4 cup reserved mandarin orange juice with the slaw dressing until well blended. Set aside.
In a medium-size serving bowl, add the dried cranberries, finely crumbled feta cheese, and chopped lettuce.
Add the drained chicken, oranges, and the prepared salad dressing to the lettuce, and then toss with your hands until well mixed.
Yield: 3 (22/3-cup) entrée’ size servings Calories per serving: 384 (16% fat); Total fat: 7 g; Cholesterol: 81 mg; Carbohydrate: 55 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 26 g; Sodium: 1119 mg Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 11/2 carbohydrate,
31/2 lean meat
Yield: 6 (11/4-cup) side salads Calories per serving: 192 (16% fat); Total fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 41 mg; Carbohydrate: 27 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 13 g; Sodium:
560 mg Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 carbohydrate, 2 lean meat
Instructions to prepare the suggested meal
Set the timer for 15 minutes.
15 minutes before the meal
Begin making the Chicken and Mandarin Orange Chopped Salad. Do not toss with salad dressing until after you have made the Strawberry Smoothies.
5 minutes before the meal
Make the Strawberry Smoothies.
Chicken and Mandarin Orange Chopped Salad By Cooking for Busy People with Dawn Hall
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