Cooking can save you money and help you and your family eat healthier, which will lower your risk of getting cancer. (It’s also really helpful when you’re trying to lose weight, which is why it’s a part of the New American Plate Challenge.)
However, if you don’t cook a lot, getting started in the kitchen can be daunting. I know when I started cooking, even basic meals seemed overwhelming. It might be that you don’t have a lot of time, the right tools in the kitchen, or you’ve just never really tried.
But cooking can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Get your kitchen essentials:
3 quart (or larger) sauce pan or stockpot
10-12 inch frying pan
Large chopping knife
Glass or ceramic baking dish
Spatula and wooden spoon
Set of mixing bowls
Spice it up with herbs
Make sure to also stock up on a few basic herbs and spices – these can help flavor food without adding a lot of salt. I recommend a basic Italian herb mix or any other salt-free blends, like those by Mrs. Dash. Continue reading →
Except for skewering a couple of onions and tomatoes with cubes of meat for kabobs, the delicious possibilities of grilling a wide variety of vegetables often go unexplored. But our Health-e-Recipe for Grilled Vegetables helps you turn out plenty of terrific tasting vegetables for your summer barbecues.
Start by buying the freshest possible white and red onions, peppers, summer squash like zucchini or yellow crookneck, portobello mushrooms and asparagus you can find. (You can try eggplant and cherry tomatoes, too.) Have a mix of herbs, juice or balsamic vinegar and canola or olive oil on hand plus a basting brush ready. Get your grill heated to medium. Skewer bite-size pieces or just place halved veggies on the grate and baste, grilling for about 2 minutes on each side.
Vegetables don’t contain the saturated fats that meats do. When saturated fat drips onto a heat source during grilling, it can cause flareups of smoke and flames that contain carcinogens. So grilling vegetables using a vegetable-based oil like olive or canola is totally safe. (Ditto for firm-fleshed fruits.)
Could you meet the New American Plate (NAP) challenge?
So far over 1,500 people from around the US (and the world) are ready to start. Beginning next week, these Challengers are stepping up to the New American Plate Challenge to lose weight healthfully and lower their cancer risk through healthier eating and increased physical activity.
Every Friday, you will receive a teaser email to prepare for the upcoming weekly challenge, describing what you need to buy at the grocery store or ways to prepare for moving more.
The Monday morning email will reveal that week’s challenge and you’ll find more specifics, including tips, tools and recipes on the NAP Challenge website to help you meet the week’s goals. Continue reading →