Marni’s Five Cooking IN’s
The Benefits of Making Dinner Yourself
Each of us can relate to the ‘I am just too tired and the last thing I can think about is putting together dinner’ speech. The industrial revolution pushed women out of the kitchen and into the workforce, and helped us by creating perfectly packaged meals for our dine-and-dash pleasure. With modern conveniences it is now easier, quicker and cheaper to pick up a meal on the go, or order in from the warmth of our own home—but is it better?
Ninety percent of the time my meals are made freshly at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dine out, I just find it extremely satisfying to make my own plant- based meals from scratch. Not just because I know how, but it’s a great way to host friends and family around the table, explore interesting recipes, save money, eat well, feel alive and have fun! This home-cooking culture I am speaking of, is full of fun and inspiration.
Ready to muster up your energy and join the IN-home cooking crowd?
Here are some great reasons why you should start to occupy your own kitchen.
Occupying the home-kitchen is not just for the ladies. Guys, want to really impress your date? Invite your next date over for a thoughtful home-cooked feast. You have the chance to build your own platform and repertoire of new recipes. This may mean taking some cooking classes, just sourcing recipes online or in cookbooks. This will help to give you the confidence to be more creative and have more fun in your own kitchen. Date or no date, you don’t have to be a master chef to put together quinoa, chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes and kale. Remember, meals at home can be simple and delicious!
2. Get to know your INgredients.
The more you are hands on with your meals, the more you know about everything that goes into it. It’s nice to know what each ingredient is and how much of it has gone into something. There is no guessing. Plus you have the choice to also manipulate ingredients as you choose. More salt, less salt, nutritional yeast, added fiber---your plate can suit your palate. It’s in your home and you are in control!
3. Control your servINg size.
At home you have the freedom and flexibility to pick your own portion to go on your plate. I am not big on counting calories, in fact I am pretty much against it, but portion sizes are important. Having control when you dine in allows you to feed yourself the right amount, add more or less of what you want, and from my perspective with vegetarian meals, that means you are also likely to get fuller faster with adding more veggies and fiber!
4. Leftovers help by savINg time and money.
One of the best reasons for making meals at home, especially vegetarian ones is that you can plan to have lots of leftovers. Things like soups, curries, stews, veggie burgers and grain dishes tend to yield a lot which means you have lunch or even dinner the next day. This is a much more economical way to enjoy a meal than dining out at a restaurant. You are not only saving money, but also saving your precious time – which is always important.
5. Get your family and your friends INvolved.
Making meals at home can mean more intimate time with the family and your friends. When kids are involved in the process they are more likely to eat the food served; of course your friends and family won’t have this problem. If you are not at that stage yet, invite some friends over and make a night of it! Consider organizing your own private cooking party or class and personalizing each aspect of the meal to your own taste buds.
With just a bit of planning and creativity you too can make dining at home, vegetarian style, during the week a fun and engaging experience whether you are cooking for one, four or more!
Marni Wasserman is Culinary Nutritionist & Health Strategist at Toronto’s First Plant Based Food Studio. Opening in April 2013. www.marniwasserman.com