Monday, February 24, 2014

When It Comes To Being Healthy, Cooking & Eating Go Hand in Hand

By: The Food Hunter

Deciding you want to eat healthier on a regular basis basically means you've decided you will cook more. Eating healthier means taking control of your food and the best way to do that is cooking for yourself. Although this may sound easy enough, without a plan it can actually be quite a challenge.

Below are four tips to help make cooking and eating healthy easier. 

1. Plan Ahead. I'm sure you've heard this one before but it really is the key to cooking/eating healthier. Hubby and I plan spend a good part of Saturday morning planning the following weeks' meals. We decide what we're going to eat and what we'll need to buy and write it all down. Our written menu helps make grocery shopping a breeze and also keeps us from making poor last minute decisions on meals.

2. Start Stocking Your Freezer. I will often spend Sunday making large pots of soup or other freezer-friendly dishes that I portion into single serve containers and freeze for week day lunches and/or dinners. These are perfect grab and go options for those days I don't have time to prepare something fresh.

3. Reuse a Recipe. Pick recipes you can serve over several days in various incarnations. For example, a whole chicken can be cut up and mixed into salads for lunches or tossed with pasta for a quick meal.

4. Practice Cooking. The more you do it the better you will get at it. It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you've never done it before but you will get consistently better at it over time.

The only way to eat healthier is to cook your own food. It doesn't have to be anything complicated and it doesn't have to take up a lot of your time. Incorporating these tips into your life will help make cooking and eating healthier a breeze.

Tortellini Salad
(printable recipe)
16 ounces cheese tortellini
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, roasted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper

In a food processor blend together oil, vinegar, garlic and herbs until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare tortellini according to directions. Drain well, place in a large bowl adding roasted tomatoes. Toss with dressing until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes in half and toss with remaining ingredients. Roast on 425 about 15-20 minutes until tomatoes begin to break down. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


  1. Amen to your first sentence. And this is just a great post. When I see the lines of cars at McDonalds, or the restaurant parking lots full every night of the week, I feel like we're in the minority. Besides the health issues, the dollars saved don't seem to make a difference.

  2. So true! Doesn't Michael Pollan have a quote that goes something like this "eat mainly plants, a little meat and cook it yourself"?
    As much as I love to be treated to dinner out, I must admit that I scrutinize the menu making sure that my choice doesn't include ingredients I wouldn't cook with myself!

  3. I agree that cooking your own meals is SO, SO helpful when it comes to healthy eating! Great tips!

  4. Great suggestions here! Planing ahead is something I need to get better at.

  5. I've made a salad just like this and it's one of our FAVORITES!! I love all the ingredients you used...thanks for sharing at SNF!

  6. These are great tips. I definitely agree with planning ahead. Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next time.