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Posts tagged ‘healthy cooking’

Sloooow food.

We’ve been warned of the dangers of fast food till we’re bored with it. Judging by how full the parking lots are, it  hasn’t made a dent in people’s eating habits. I’ve recently become even more enamored with slow food. Really slow food. I’ve been making bread using only sourdough starter, and still making my yogurt.

This isn’t going to be a “how-to” post, rather a yes, you can. I realize we are all busy and tired, but these are foods that don’t take a lot of time. Or rather, they do, but not from you. For example, it takes less than a few minutes to feed your starter:

potato sour dough starter

potato starter

Starter

This starter is made from a few table spoons of instant potatoes, sugar and water. It can survive in your fridge or freezer almost indefinitely. You just feed it and it does its own thing.

Sourdough

You use it to make sour dough bread. I’ve been using the recipe it came with (from a friend), and one from the internet, and you don’t have to use yeast. It does take a looong time, but you just put it in a bowl and ignore it. You can start it the night before and it’ll be ready for the second rise when you get up in the morning. I started my last one on a weekday and didn’t have time for it for days, so I put it in the fridge till I was ready for it. sour dough

It did fine.

yogurt being cultured in little glass jars

Yogurt

The yogurt is the same thing. I saved some of the last batch I had made in the freezer. I take a little over a liter of milk, microwave it for 11 minutes till it bubbles, then let it cool to 115/120 degrees. Add some of the frozen yogurt, stir and pour into jars. Put them in my yogurt maker and walk away. This time it took longer. It was yogurt in the morning, but I wanted it thicker, so I went to work and popped them in the fridge when I got home. I drained them after dinner and I was done.

Beans

I also recently read that you don’t have to soak beans before cooking. I tried that, and it’s true. I put them inbeans simmering in the crockpot after dinner, and they were well cooked the next morning. Since beans are such a good food, cooking up a big batch and having them on hand to add to a variety of other foods is a great thing.

Fast Food

Now, in telling you all this, don’t think I hate fast food. I can use my microwave and frying pan to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes. I cook fish straight from the freezer and nuke broccoli and potatoes. Any way you can get tasty healthy food instead of garbage is ok in my book. But if you want fast food all week, take a few minutes here and there to add slow food. Cook a batch of rice while you are eating dinner for the next day. Always through roasted vegetables in with your chicken, make your stove work harder. I don’t think anything’s easier than roasting a whole butternut while my chickens cooking, then I de-bone the chicken and scoop the squash at the same time. Could be then, could be two days later. Make your fridge, freezer, microwave and oven really work for you.

I’m Not a Food Blogger

So, I’m never going to be a food blogger, but I have been thinking a lot about how to get people to understand that eating well doesn’t have to be expensive or terribly time consuming. I think it is clear that cooking your own food is the best way to avoid the bad things in our diets. However, it requires more time and thought to do so, and we all get busy, tired or lazy at times.  I’ve come up with ways to make it easier.  I will just give you this entry as a series of ideas, and if more come to me, I’ll make it a regular feature.

First, make friends with your microwave:

  1.  Not only is it fast, it lets vegetable keep much of their nutritional value. I take a regular cereal bowl, dump some fresh or frozen veggies in, put a plate on top and pop it in. 2-3 minutes for fresh, 4-5 for frozen. If your husband talked you into pizza, cut a slice in half, microwave some broccoli, onion and green pepper, drop it on the pizza. Half the calories, twice the nutrition and yummy.
  2. Bake a sweet potato in the microwave. More fiber and vitamins than a white potato, one can usually feed 2-3 people, takes only 5 minutes and retains more moisture.
  3. Eggs take only 25-30 seconds in the microwave. You have to watch them. Coat a bowl with spray oil, crack an egg in and cook on high.
  4. You can cook corn meal, which is what Polenta is, easily in the microwave. I cook a cup of water on high for a minute, add 1/4 c. of corn meal, a dash of salt, microwave on high one minute, stir, cook and stir like that until it is the consistency you like.  Put the aforementioned egg on top, salsa and/ or cheese and you have a 5 minute lunch.
  5. You want a really sweet treat, that’s healthier? Peel a banana, cut in half length wise. Put in a bowl or plate, cut side up. Arrange chocolate chips and mini marshmallows down each side. Microwave just till the chips melt and the ‘mallows puff up. It makes the banana sooo much sweeter, it’s almost too much.
  6. Make your own yogurt. I got a yogurt maker for Christmas, and it says to bring the milk to a boil for thicker yogurt. It is so much easier to do so in the microwave. No scorching, and as long as you keep an eye on it, no boiling over. About 10 minutes for a quart of milk.

These are just my microwave thoughts. Next I’ll do an article on some super quick dinner ideas. After that, some ways to make the healthiest choices easier.

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