Its not the size of your kitchen… but what you do with it!

If you have ever watched HGTV shows relating to fixing up homes or selling and buying homes, then you know the biggest part of any decision always includes the kitchen. Everyone seems to want, need or require a gourmet/large kitchen. I find this ironic because so few people I talk to admit to actually cooking regularly or liking to cook in general. In fact, more people admittedly prefer quick foods (i.e., prepared foods), eating out or ordering delivery. You don’t need a designer kitchen to heat up water for Mac n Cheese or pizza delivery. Not sure why are kitchens so important when so few people cook?gour kitch

I think kitchens are incredibly important because we all need to be cooking more. We all need more time in the kitchen, both men and women. We need to prep our meals for those who work and need food to take for lunches. We need to cook from raw ingredients as often as possible and utilize our kitchens more. In fact, we need to be in them daily, cooking from scratch. Doesn’t matter if they are large, gourmet or tiny little galley kitchens. It’s what you do in them that’s truly important.

We aren’t cooking enough and boxed/fast food choices are bad for our health and our waistlines. We are all busy but cutting out the cooking portion of our day is like ‘robbing peter to pay paul’. You short cut the one thing that truly helps you stay, be and live healthy. What are you making time for by not cooking from raw ingredients? More time in front of the television? More time to work extra hours from home? If you have a big fancy kitchen, its even better for family time or together time. Even those little galley kitchens make for some cozy cooking and conversations.

Cooking isn’t easy for everyone, especially if you are used to always wanting short cuts. But eating food you prepared from raw ingredients is always the healthy way to go. So many prepared foods are loaded with chemicals and added sugars so that you are never better off taking those short cuts. Take the time to learn how to make a few meals you enjoy eating. Plus, learning to cook is so much easier now days with easy access to YouTube, cooking shows, cooking channels, online recipes or local cooking classes through private chefs, cooking schools or culinary retail shops.

The healthiest people I know cook all their food from home and often from tiny kitchens. They may enjoy a pizza on the weekend but they made it at home and from ingredients that are fresh and clean. And yes, they taste great.

You don’t need a big kitchen to be a cook, but if you have one…utilize it!

 

Healthy Breakfast on the Quick

Breakfast is an important meal and often the one that most people want quick. I am not a fan of any breakfast foods on the market that you can buy that are quick. So I recommend you create your own. Today I am sharing my favorite hot ‘cereal’ that you can prep ahead of time and have ready to go each morning. It provides a healthy breakfast option for mornings you need to microwave and go.

You will need the following ingredients:

4 cups of hot water (use kettle or boil in microwave)

½ cup quinoa

1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil

1 cup steel cut oat grouts

Heat up water in kettle, put quinoa in strainer and rinse for several seconds. This helps take the bitterness out. In pot or larger sauce pan add oil of choice and oat grouts. Stir over medium heat until toasty. You can smell it when it’s nice and toasty, so wonderful!20170101_060331

Add rinsed quinoa to pot and then the 4 cups of water from kettle. Since its already hot, you should immediately have a boiling pot. Let it roll for a minute and then lower to a simmer. Leave it simmer for 20-30 minutes. You will know it’s done because there is no longer visible water. I prefer it to be a little on the soggy side so when I microwave it later in the week, I do not have to add water to keep it from being dry. Store in large container or individually for easy grab and go.

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Each morning scoop yourself out this healthy, high fiber, low glycemic, protein packed breakfast and add on your toppings of choice. I suggest any of the following: handful of blueberries, a spoonful of almond butter, chopped nuts or even an egg (fried on the spot or hardboiled in advance).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cold Weather Fun

Now that the weather has turned cold, staying inside sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately sitting on the couch and binge watching Netflix is not the healthiest choice. My husband and I started using Sunday to explore healthy new recipes for our food prep day. We found a couple great cookbooks that we are loving. We both eat plant based diets and like most people we eat the same meals over and over. The idea is to pull out the cookbooks, pick a couple recipes each and open our options. We make our grocery list, hit the store and prep our meals. There have been some hits and sadly some misses, but we are enjoying learning what other great food items we now love.

If you are into plant based living the cookbooks we love are Thug Kitchen, Eating the Alkaline Way and Meatless. I also have a couple Paleo cookbooks that we pull meatless recipes from as well. The internet is also a great place for recipes and we have tried and loved many from www.mindbodygreen.com.

It’s a great way to hang out and chat, taste new food options and our week is always set up for success.

 Thug Kitchen Eating the alkaline way mealtess