The idea of getting into the kitchen to chop, stir, heat, roll, steam: seemed like the adult version of playdoh – except the longer and more irritating process.
Well. Things have changed now.
Ever since I realized how important it is for me to be actively involved into what I eat – the idea of cooking changed from being loathed to something which needed to be done.
Once I made up my mind – the challenges that came my way didn’t seem so bad. Now – I’m 3 days into my journey – and I’d like to share with you the experiences I have had – and things which you can expect to go wrong if you are starting from scratch – just like me.
1. Make a list of healthy foods that you love to eat – my included: salads, sauteed veggies, hummus, sandwiches, ragi malt [I’m vegetarian] and some smoothies.
2. Start small. Do not try over ambitious foods that require the culinary skills of Gordon Ramsay. Pick out one simple recipe [that will take less than 20 minutes to execute] for every day of the week. I think starting with cooking one meal a day is a great start – more than that would be too much for me to sustain.
3. Make a shopping list: Trust me – I have the experience. I went to the store every day of the week to pick up basics.
Chances are – if no one has been cooking these things at your place – then you don’t or won’t have the ingredients you need.
I had forgotten things like lime, chilly flakes, olive oil; and I only realized when I was half way through cooking.
Hence the list!
4. Go grocery shopping: make sure you get everything on your list – but if something healthy and new interests you – go ahead and pick it up!
5. You can now begin cooking!
I’ve been cooking for a few days – just one meal. One simple, healthy meal. And I feel great about it! Not only do I feel healthier [I’m pretty sure its all in my head, but I’m sure it’ll start to show over the next couple months], but its started to excite me.
I can now eat – ANYTHING I WANT, without making any compromises on my health, and I don’t need to spend endless hours at the gym.
THE ROUGH ROAD
The road wasn’t all smooth sailing though – I had my own fair share of hiccups and I’m sure I will have more. But these are two important things I’ve learned that the most experienced cooks never tell you [because its much too basic].
1. When something is on the stove – stand over it and watch like a hawk.
I was making this ragi malt: Prep time: 2 min.
It took me 45 min. The reason: I figured I’d check my email and be back in two min. Well, when things heat up – they act really differently – and tend to overflow and spill everywhere. So if you are trying a new recipe or working with new ingredients – your best bet is to keep an eye on everything.
2. Chop your veggies before you start cooking. [This post is for beginners!] I ended up with some burnt veggies instead of sauteed veggies because I thought I would be able to chop fast enough. Well, until I get better, getting my prep done really helps.
Does anyone else have any tips for me?