Healthy Eating/Recipes

“No country in the developed world…”

…cooks less than Americans,”  says Donna S. Martin, registered dietitian nutritionist and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read that again. Remarkable – a task which most probably can improve our health and life and yet we do it with less frequency than ever before.

As we mentioned in the last Minute, despite all the conveniences and encouragement we get to cook at home, we just don’t do it. The chicken is already plucked, skinned and de-boned. No need to grind and mill your wheat to produce flour so you can make bread; loaves are not only available at the grocery, they are already sliced! Pre-washed vegetables? Oh, you need them chopped, skewered or come already seasoned? OK.

So, obviously convenience is not the problem. “Time” is part of “convenience”, so I think that’s more EXCUSE than explanation as to why we don’t cook at home. Are we lacking basic cooking skills?

We’ve set aside our Betty Crocker basic cookbook and brought out Bobby Flay recipes and we’re stumped. Expensive, hard to find, exotic ingredients utilizing cooking techniques that we’d first have to study?

Televised cooking competitions? Even the kid version intimidates me. It’s discouraging, unrealistic and truly not necessary. Once schools dismissed “home economics” class, though, we were probably doomed. Who taught us to cook? So, it’s not just you. It’s everyone – or at least one generation of Americans seeping into a second generation.

My challenge for non-cooks is to pick one entrée dish you love. Pull a well reviewed version of it or ask your mom, aunt or a cookin’ dad for one basic recipe and give it a go. Read through and see if you could master that. Sure it might take a second or third try, but you’ll be learning with each attempt.

Put aside those celebrity cookbooks, find one easy dish to prepare to be well,


PS Cooking is a creative outlet, good way to wind down, distraction from the day’s  work, a way to bond with your kids and downright FUN!


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YOU are serving jambalaya?

We were having guests over to dinner and “everyone” asked, What are you serving?

While that might not sound like trick question to my new readers, my long-timers would sincerely want to know how I could make jambalaya using only four ingredients which is pretty much my limit (due to patience and skill – insert “lack of” before both words).

As we slog through these gray winter months, soups, stews, casseroles and chilis always sound good and warming, but a bit too much trouble considering my four ingredient doctrine. However, if you get two meals out of one recipe, I feel justified in moving to an 8 ingredient dish. Admittedly, I had to drop a few ingredients from the recipe, but our jambalaya tasted great.

And again, I’ve long claimed to not liking leftovers but these are dishes that often improve the second day.

Eating away from home is morphing a bit into full meal take aways from the grocery, ingredient delivered boxes to your doorstep and more fast casual restaurants, you’ll never have more control over your food, your ingredients and your portions than if you prepare your food at home.

Statistics tells us that fruit and vegetable consumption is greater when you eat at home; calorie consumption is about 200 calories less/meal. Sodium, total fat, saturated fat and sugar content of home prepared meals are less too.

Why not ask your family or a few friends what they’re hungry for and consider making a home cooked meal that you control from start to finish. Getting a few meals out of your one-dish-wonder could even save you time and money!

Eat at home to be well,



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