The easiest way to eat healthy, real food, is to cook it at home. You’ll save money, too! By cooking at home, you decide what goes into the meal and what unhealthy stuff stays out.
It’s easy to cook healthy, real food at home but it does take a little planning. (Never meal planned before? Here are 11 reasons to start!) But, don’t worry – I’ve got a plan for you. Here are 5 simple ways to make, and eat, more healthy, real food at home.
How to Eat Real Food at Home
- Plan :: Meal plan dinners for the week ahead – and incorporate leftovers! Meal planning is what makes it possible to cook at home and still have a night off in the kitchen. (Don’t know how to meal plan? Check here.) Schedule out dinners for the week and shop once – this saves time. Use this ‘saved time’ to cook each night.
- Commit :: Use and buy only “whole foods” – unprocessed, real foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, and fish. Don’t get caught up in reading ingredients – look for whole foods where there is no ingredient in list. Those are real foods.
- Select :: Look for in-season vegetables – they’re plentiful and when in season are less expensive, too. Don’t overlook vegetables like cabbage, beans, and broccoli. They’re versatile and tasty! Cabbage is an underrated vegetable and is very inexpensive. Oven roasted, sauteed with onions in olive oil, or in a spicy cole slaw (try this one – cole slaw with a kick!) it tastes great.
- Start :: Begin every dish with onions sauteing in olive oil and toss in some garlic. That combination plus spices give whatever you’re cooking interesting flavor – especially vegetables! Our house always smells good no matter what we’re cooking – when onions are sauteing!
- Embrace :: Embrace make a-head meals when cooking. Try cooking beans the week before (How to cook beans and freeze – find out how to do it here) or brown rice the day before. While vegetables are roasting, warm the already cooked foods. Throwing the actual meal together is quick – even on a weeknight.
Here’s one of our weekly meal plans – notice the dinners my kids are assigned to cook? Friday and Saturday are nights off in the kitchen for the parents! If you have kids, get them cooking and cleaning up so you get a night off, too. (Here’s how to get your kids cooking.)
If you cook real food that tastes
good great at home, you’ll eat at home. If your food tastes great the first night, you’re also much more likely to eat your leftovers. Leftovers are an incredible time saver. (I love leftovers – find out why here!)
All this healthy, real food that tastes great, gives me a night or two off in the kitchen, and saves money – sign me up!
What do you think is an underrated vegetable? Do you meal plan?
Go Gingham related links:
Grocery shopping from the bulk bins and food storage containers
Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons!
How our freezer gets used – what I keep in our freezer and how I utilize the space
More related links:
Need more information on fake foods? Check out the Environmental Working Group. Their site is packed with resources. Here’s their food guide for additives. Find where to eat well in your part of the country with their “Eat Well Guide.”