It’s so easy to go out and pick up takeout or having something delivered or worse…buying pre-made meals or stuff out of cans, when you’re not in the mood to go out to a nice little restaurant. A lot of people don’t cook at home for different reasons:
- Don’t have patience
- Don’t have time
- Don’t know how to cook
- or some other reason not listed…
Whichever your reason is for not cooking at home, it’s always good to do so from time to time. The benefits to doing so are greater than not, some main ones being:
- A majority of the time its cost efficient. The overall cost to make a meal for 2, sometimes even 4 comes out to the price of a single entree if you shop right.
- If you’re cooking for just one, you can modify the measurements of ingredients and create smaller portions or simply save them in containers in the fridge/freezer for tomorrow or another day.
- It’s healthier for you (with exception to naturally unhealthy things such as fried foods). Instead of spending extra time examining menu items and trying to figure out what ingredients are in a dish or worse, looking at or asking your server about the calories in your meal, cooking your own food allows you to know exactly what is going into your dish, how much is going into your dish, and allows you to monitor how much you consume. You can eliminate or substitute ingredients that you may have allergies to, are instructed not to consume by your doctor or dietician or simply find alternatives to fit your current lifestyle and diet.
- Each dish you make is a learning experience!
- It allows you to utilize that large space in your home or apartment that is taken up by counters, stoves and appliances. Don’t let that space go to waste!
- Learning to cook actual meals is better than using the microwave to create your dinners for several reasons:
- Cooking with a microwave will significantly lessen the nutrient value of your food
- It has been linked to cases of high cholesterol levels
- Cooking food in plastic containers or styrofoam is hazardous to your health (BPA and other chemicals from the plastic will seep into your food as its being heated in the microwave without you knowing
- Loss in food quality and flavour
- While it is convenient to use a microwave to reheat food, as much as possible try to avoid doing so and use other forms of reheating methods such as stovetop or oven if you can.
- And simply, you’re cooking your food with a form of radiation that actually changes the molecular composition of your food, and nothing about that is good.
Here’s a easy yet super delicious recipe that even kitchen novices can try. Its warm enough for cold weather and light enough for warmer days. 🙂
Udon is a thick wheat-flour japanese noodle that is typically served as a hot noodle soup dish.
- Dashi Stock (or a beef or chicken stock if you prefer) approx 4-6 cups depending how large of a pot you are making
- Shrimp (thinly sliced beef (sukiyaki steaks), pork, chicken.. any or no meat can be used for this dish, we used shrimp)
- 2 carrots diced
- 1-2 packages of Shitake mushrooms
- 5 pieces of bok choy
- udon noodles
- Kombu (opt’l)
- Soft tofu
- Daikon Radish
- Green Onions
- Fish Sauce (opt’l)
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Cut all of your carrots, radish, green onions, ginger and mushrooms.
- In a large pot, bring the stock or 4-6 cups of water to a boil.
- Place the carrots, radish, half of the chopped green onions, half of the chopped mushrooms, ginger and kombu in the pot. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or till broth is at a desired taste. (Add salt and fish sauce to flavour)
- While the broth is boiling, cut the soft tofu into small pieces, cut the bok choy leaves into halves, and get your meat ready, set aside.
- Once the broth is to desired taste, remove carrots, radish, green onions and kombu. Continue to let the broth simmer.
- In a pan, quickly sear uncooked mushrooms as well as mushrooms from the broth with seasame seed oil till tender and reach a nice colour.
- Heat udon noodles in small pot with boiling water till loosened and hot.
- Place mushrooms back into the broth along with the meat, bok choy and tofu and allow to simmer till the meat is cooked.
- In a bowl place the desired amount of noodles. Using a ladle or large spoon, add broth with meat, vegetables and tofu over top of the noodles. Add a slice of fish cake if desired and sprinkle a few pieces of green onions and its time to eat!