With the weight statistics (still) on the rise, research is showing that generations to come will suffer the most regarding their health. Some part of this is due to the fact that many of us Generation Y and Z'ers aren't sure how to navigate the kitchen past the heat 'n' go meals from the freezer. Sure enough we work harder and longer hours, need to look after active children, walk the dog, go to the gym, hang out the washing but is it good enough to put food, our fuel to survive, at the bottom of the list and opt for something out of a packet?
The other issue too is that many people feel they don't have the confidence or knowledge to cook a meal from scratch and unfortunately, I think that's due to the loss of trans-generational learnings (parents teaching and encouraging their children to learn in the kitchen) and non-compulsory home economics subjects at school, not to mention the mammoth of TV shows and gourmet reviews that make us feel we need to be Australia's next top chef!
Don't despair, you can sharpen your knife in the kitchen with these 5 tips.
1. Just have a go
The only way to learn is to just jump in the deep end and try. Most likely it won't be perfect, but at least you get the idea of what works and doesn't work.
2. Think tasty, not gourmet
Save the fine dining for the restaurants, and aim to put a tasty meal together using different spices and herbs. It's a amazing how a meal can transform just by adding 1-2 seasonings. Every shop, aim to buy one new spice or herb off the rack and slowly you'll build your own spice market.
3. Gather some inspiration
Cook books are not just for coffee tables! Invest in some cook books that you feel comfortable in reading and that don't contain ingredients required from the other side of the globe. I love the Australian's Women's Weekly books, Stephanie Alexander's kitchen garden companion, Healthy Food Guide (www.healthyfoodguide.com.au) magazine and Donna Hay's 'simple essential' collection.
4. Aim for 1 new recipe a week
Pick a night or day when you have some time and set aside a recipe you wish to try. Make sure you read it thoroughly, gather all your ingredients and gage how much time you'll need- then add an extra half hour (I never can chop as quick as I think I can).
5. Keep your favourites safe
Start a recipe folder (or clearly tag the recipe) so you can pull out a favourite or 'fail proof' at anytime. The worst is knowing you have a great dish up your sleeve but you can't find the master plan...
Be bold and be adventurous... It beats eating frozen lasagna that tastes like rubber.
Carla is a contributing lifestyle editor for She is, Sarah Jane | Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
As posted on www.sheissarahjane.com.au
The way to Carla's heart is all things food. Follow her thoughts and opinions on the latest food news and myths.