Eat Better - Tips and Tricks

First published 30th Sep, 2022

We know that too many takeaways are bad for us and that meals using fresh ingredients, cooked in our own kitchens, should be the way to go. But we also know that when you are tired and rushed it is just so tempting to rather pick up something ready-made…

Tips and tricks to make home cooking easier. 

Tip number 1: Think ahead

Think about which days you will be pressed for time and will need quick-to-prepare meals - there are many that can be made in under 30 minutes. Perhaps some tuna in our marinara sauce (see below) tossed with some pasta? And omelettes aren’t only for breakfast!

Tip number 2: Plan ahead

Of course, down time on a weekend is important. But if you can spare an hour or two to do some planning and shopping, your week will be that much smoother.
Decide on the meals you will make in the coming week and make your shopping list.

Tip number 3: Shop ahead

For those nights when there is no time for veggie preparation, have some packs of frozen veg in the freezer – a mixed stir fry, some green beans and spinach are great options.
Also buy and freeze some packs of fish fillets (preferably without crumbs) as fish is quick to cook and supplies a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

Stock up on pantry staples so that you aren’t running short when cooking. Good ideas include:

Tinned chopped tomatoes
Sachets of tomato paste
Tuna in brine or olive oil
Brown and white rice
Dried herbs and spices- why not order a set?
Crushed garlic in the fridge

Tip number 4: Prep ahead

Stocking up your freezer is an absolute win for those busy days. Make a double batch of savoury mince, your favourite stew, chicken a la king and a favourite soup and freeze them in meal size portions. Don’t panic - not all at once! Slowly start building your freezer stock but make sure to date the packs so you can eat them in the right order.
Store bought sauces often contain preservatives and hydrogenated seed oils and its best to avoid them if you can. How about making a homemade sauce that you can use in a variety of ways during the week?. Here is our favourite marinara sauce which can be stirred into savoury mince, used as a pasta sauce, is nice over fish fillets and can be used as a cook-in sauce.

Marinara Sauce This recipe makes approximately 450 ml.

1 onion, chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more.
Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, the sugar, the basil, and the oregano.
Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the consistency and taste is good.
Add salt and pepper if need be.

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A Final Word....

Our final tip is to make your kitchen a place where you want to be. Have your herbs and spices on a nice rack near the stove. Have utensils in pretty jars or jugs within easy reach. Toss out granny’s old egg lifter and spoon and buy some new utensils. Add colour with some new dishcloths and oven gloves. Have a nice wine rack if wine is your thing. Use a bluetooth speaker to listen to your favourite music or a podcast. And if there is space a comfy chair for someone to sit and chat to you while you cook!

You’ll thank yourself during the week and your body will thank you for the good food for a long time to come!
And don’t forget the easiest way to cook at home - meal kits!



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