Elevate Your Plate with Fresh Meal Ideas
By Donna Janda
When you reach your 60’s, if in your past, you had children at home, it may be a challenge to adjust and cook just for you or just for two. I know, I have been there, just trying to make some oatmeal for myself for breakfast and having to change to a larger pot as the oats continue to swell up and overflow my one-person pot. The same happens to me when I am trying to make a stew for two. I just cannot seem to rein myself in. After decades of not measuring and just knowing what to do, old habits die slowly, as the stream of ingredients continue to flow into my pot.
If you are struggling like me, I would suggest that you start by finding a recipe you like and following it. This will help you to get your portion sizes right.
Now is not the time to get stuck in your ways. Variety is not only the spice of life, but it is also necessary to keep you interested in your meals, and to give yourself a balanced diet along with a variety of nutrients and minerals.
Another thing that can help with experimenting is to travel using your kitchen. Try and allocate a type of cuisine to each week and be adventurous! One week, experiment with Mexican foods. Fill yourself up with tacos, fajitas, or empanadas. The following week, take a trip to Zimbabwe. Experiment by sautéing onions with pumpkin leaves or another green leafy vegetable and eat it with sadza. You will be surprised by how enjoyable this will be.
This is also a great opportunity to make foods we love but are a bit pricy when we eat out. Foods such as sushi are delicious and expensive, and yet relatively cheap and easy to make at home, once you have the correct sushi rice and a trusty bamboo rolling mat. You will be surprised with how many you can make in such a short time, and for a fraction of the cost of restaurant sushi. If you are vegetarian, a couple of avocados, a cucumber and two carrots, will go a long, long way. Add some thinly sliced pickled ginger on the top and have some nostril hair burning wasabi on the side, and you are good to go.
After all of this experimenting, you can discover what spices and ingredients you love, and then start to incorporate them into your everyday cooking.
One of the benefits of cooking at home is that you get to tailor your meals and ingredients to suit your health needs. When you eat out, you rarely get to control the sugar, salt, or fat content of your meals. Yet, this is precisely what you get to do when cooking for you or cooking for two. If you are on a low salt diet, but need more flavour, then try adding some celery seeds. If you need to eat less sugar, try substituting it with agave, honey or stevia, a natural sweetener that you can grow in your own garden.
There are so many benefits to cooking your own meals, and now we have some fresh ideas to keep our plates interesting, and our palates salivating and wanting more. So, go ahead, try something new, and dig into something special.