Healthy eating: Share your healthy recipes
November 9, 2015
Recently, someone asked me what I liked to do for fun, what are my hobbies? After a five-minute recitation of all of the things I like to do, the person added, "And you like to cook, too?"
Yes, I do like to cook, but is cooking a really a hobby? Of course, there are the random food experiments I would consider a hobby, such as the assortment of fermenting vegetables on my counter.
But I've always considered my time in the kitchen making dinner for my family a necessity. For me, cooking is a life skill, not a hobby. Not only do home prepared meals nourish my family and save money in our food budget, but those meals provide the best opportunity for conversation and togetherness.
Over the past two years, I have been submitting recipes to Steamboat Today's Yampa Valley Health section to promote healthy home cooking. As a registered dietitian nutritionist and mom, I have been perfecting simple, yet nutritious recipes for my own family and was ready to share many of them with the broader community.
I have also had the opportunity help create several cookbooks. Most notably I was the editor for two cookbooks published by the Colorado Dietetic Association, "Simply Colorado" and "Simply Colorado, Too!" The tagline for these cookbooks is the focus of the recipes I have shared in the paper: "nutritious recipes for busy people."
Many are concerned that people no longer know how to cook. The popular television cooking competition shows don't really teach the basics of food preparation, and home economics in schools is a thing of the past. Without knowledge about food skills, we are reliant on foods that require minimal preparation or that others have prepared for us. Alternatively, cooking for yourself is liberating and provides an outlet for creative and cultural expression. Food preparation and cooking skills lead to improved food choices, especially in terms of increased fruit and vegetable consumption.
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We all have differing ideas of what constitutes a "healthy" recipe. For some people, healthy means low-fat; for others, it means full-fat or clean foods, gluten-free foods, minimally processed foods, vegetarian, organic, whole grain or Paleolithic.
My philosophy about healthy home cooking is much more simplistic — it needs to be easy to prepare and made from fresh ingredients. For me, nourishment only happens when the recipe is actually prepared and consumed. With taste and convenience the priorities of most current diets, my goal is to make meals that not only taste good, but also can be made from items you would normally find in your pantry.
It's time for us to publish healthy recipes from others in our community. Do you have a recipe that is relatively easy to prepare from commonly found ingredients that you would like to share? Forget the fussy soufflé or the dish requiring fenugreek seeds; we're looking for basic recipes that will inspire more home cooking. Send your favorite healthy recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org and include "Recipe" in the subject line.
Karen Massey is a registered dietitian nutritionist and family and consumer science Extension agent with Colorado State University Extension in Routt County. Call 970-879-0825 or email email@example.com with questions.