Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning to Cook

Learning to cook is hard.  It may come natural to some of you how to cook and be comfortable in the kitchen.  It has taken me awhile to figure out how to have things taste good and be good for you too.  Ten years ago, I didn't really cook.  I heated up and put things in the oven.  A typical day looked like this:
Peanut Butter Captain Crunch
Cheese and crackers for a snack
Mac and cheese plus an orange for lunch
Cookies for an afternoon snack, (oatmeal made me feel like they were healthy)
Processed Chicken nuggets, french fries and frozen corn and maybe a salad out of a bag for dinner
Lots of coffee all day

As you can see, I didn't include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.  At the time, I had many excuses of why I was overweight.  It all came to a halt when the truth and reality was my body was not healthy!  My blood pressure was not being controlled with the medication the Dr. had prescribed, I felt tired, yucky, and sad that couldn't fit into the size I felt good in. 
I started to read as much as I could about what I could do in my everyday diet to change my health.  Plus, I started to faithfully be active.  It has worked!  My health and blood pressure are in a much better balance.
The biggest change was cooking almost everything from scratch, so I could control how much salt, what kind of fat, and sugar was in my food.  Processed food has scary amounts of salt.
A few of my top foods I now make from scratch are
1. Pancakes
2. French Fries
3. Veggies  (No Vegetables from can,  I now roast, saute, or eat raw)
I really thought that homemade pancakes came from the store in a box or bag and you added water.  I didn't know you could make it with real milk or eggs. 
These pancakes are made with whole wheat, real eggs, milk, butter and a little sugar, and baking soda.
I timed myself to see how long it would take me to gather all the ingredients and whip up the batter.  It took me 3 mins. from start to finish.

Ten years ago, I was really good at using the microwave.  Being creative to keep the family happy with healthy food is a challenge.  This past week, I made calazones.  I told my kids they were pizza pockets.  They weren't familiar with the term calazone.  I loved making them and think they would be great to freeze for when you have a busy day and need to have something fast.

I used a whole wheat pizza dough I made from scratch.  I kept the filling ingredients simple
organic hamburger
They baked in the oven for about 18 min. 
My family said they were good, but wished they were the half white, half wheat crust I usually make.  They have slowly gotten use to my healthier cooking.  It has taken time and is not always what my ears want to hear.  I asked them recently on one of the soups I made," a thumbs up or thumb down?"

 I think that the adults have a thumbs up and the rest are down.  I also asked my husband, do you remember when we would get the big pack of pizza pockets, and chicken nuggets from Costco and if he missed those things?  He sheepishly said, "yes."  Even though he may miss some of those things from our freezer I am thankful that he always eats what I serve with out complaint or being critical.  He supports me in my efforts in this life long journey of health.  Thanks honey!
I still make things that lack that wow factor,  I hope I keep learning and getting better.  This is why I blog.  Eat well, live well, and have fun in the kitchen.  

1 comment:

  1. Going from Captain Crunch and chicken nuggets from the bag to making your own whole wheat pizza crust is awesome! You've come a long way baby! :) I really hate to admit it but I'd almost rather have a huge bowl of mac and cheese than a lobster dinner :) I've come a long way too! Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration!