Tips to Improving Your Cooking Skills
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Hello & Happy Wednesday!!
After slaving away in my studies to focus on nutrition, I thought my future was set in stone. I envisioned working in a hospital and or establishing a private practive, but the more I volunteered at the hospital feeding patients and the more I studied treating disease, the less I felt connected with the field. Finally once I realized that perhaps an 8-12 month internship wasn’t in the cards for me to get my rd credential, I took it as an opportunity to really do some soul searching. Instead of throwing my hands up and feeling completely lost, I grabbed the “bull by the horns” if you will and paved my own path.
I found that instead of working in a hospital or private practice, I love to create, it’s where I thrive.
Since coming to that realization I wake up every day excited about the next project. The landscape for nutrition is constantly changing, however I truly believe the most preventative care that we can provide is through education with cooking. Half of us don’t even cook once a week due to the boom of ready made meals, more accessible food options, and the simple fact that you can have anything delivered.
Having said that, showing people how to cook is the most rewarding experience! Whether it’s a recipe for everyone or considered a dessert, the point is that it gets people thinking about food, it gets people cooking!
Below is my approach to cooking and the diet in general
- First and foremost, have fun with your food! Whether it’s using unique produce, products, textures, flavor profiles etc, make an objective to keep the mindset that you’re exploring and you’re bound to stumble across a recipe that’s a game changer!
- Don’t be so stringent with your diet! Even as a nutritionist and chef I get comments about things being not “healthy enough”. This is a poor mindset to have as balance is everything. Learn to let go of the hold you have on the foods you eat, and find a happy medium.
- When creating breakfast concepts there are those times when I get a craving for cereals that we’ve grown to know and love. I simply pair them with nutrient dense options such as chia pudding to give them a boost. If you ever get a craving, you can throw them in french toast, marshmallow squares, parfaits, pancakes and more!
One of the few cereals we were permitted to eat growing up was Post Frosted Mini Wheats®! (not vegan) Enjoying this cereal is like taking a walk down memory lane. Today it’s the same classic recipe, but has evolved to feature fruit, cinnamon and more. What I love about this particular cereal in a sea of options, is that it’s filling! If you’re craving cereal it has a little bit of sweet and a lot of fiber! Just like cooking fuels my soul Shredded Wheat Mixed Berry fuels my energy to cook.
Save on your next purchase of Post Shredded Wheat Cereal at Walmart
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- Failure is inevitable. It happens to the best of us when recipes sometimes don’t work, but keep trying! Cooking is a learning experience.
- Make a commitment to always try something new
- Make a strategy to incorporate as many colors you can into a recipe (fruits & veggies)
- Incorporate citrus into recipe as it adds another flavor dimension to recipes and makes iron more absorbable
- Salt isn’t something to remove from recipes, it enhances flavor. I love sea salt!
- Use heat! I love adding spice to recipes now as it enables me to eat slower, enjoy flavors, and even raise my metabolism
- Always use fresh herbs! I’ve never had a green thumb and have over 10 varieties in my home.
- Try preparing veggies in a different way through baking, steaming, sautéing, and spiralizing!
- Not crazy about vegetables?! It can take your tastebuds up to two weeks to turn over (die), which means that you may still crave sweeter foods that you enjoyed prior until then. Make a plan to enjoy blander foods for at least a few weeks and “poof”, you’ll be craving them!
- Pickling veggies! It adds color, texture, and a tanginess to salads, sammies, and more!
- When creating desserts try and derive the majority of the sugar from fresh fruit! You typically use less and it adds nutrients.
- Use seeds! Seeds add texture and are packed with healthy fats which actually increase your absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, and K.
- If you’re not into veggies sautéed, steamed or baked, try grilling! (it’s my fave)
- Eat in season! Produce is better quality and packs more nutrients when it’s thriving
- Shop local, it decreases the transit time from the farm to your table and typically contains more nutrients versus those that have to travel halfway around the world and they depreciate in nutritional value.