If you aren’t (yet) keen on cooking – the first step is always the hardest. Do you eat out a lot? Order in a ton? Buy readymade/packaged meals? Figure out what your why not is first… what’s holding you back? Busy doesn’t count.
None of the above mentioned are “bad” or “wrong”- in fact, all of them can be both nutritious and delicious, but what we’re talking about is fostering a new hobby. So the first step has to come from you. (There’s my tough love for today.) Pick a meal time and try a new ingredient this week. Head to the store and find a vegetable that you may have never tried before. Below are some favorites that are in season now and easy ways to prepare them – so no more excuses.
Test them out on yourself and your family. Maybe you need to assess the flavor profile to make it work for everyone. Never underestimate the simple yet delicious tastes of citrus, fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano) or greek yogurt (tip: mix these three together for a delicious dip/spread/dressing.)
Found in most markets these days (also called yams.) They are larger than a normal potato, oblong in shape, and have orange flesh (Hello, Vitamin A!!! and countless other vitamins and minerals ) have a sweet taste and can be prepared like a baked potato.
- Wash, poke with a fork all around the skin and wrap in foil. Place in 200C oven for 45-60 minutes (until a sweet honey like liquid drips out)
- Wash, poke with a fork and place on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes at 200C in the oven.
Then cut in two and serve with a greek yogurt dill sauce, or a tahini drizzle with sesame seeds, or simply salt/pepper & some grass-fed butter A great side to a summer BBQ.
Another alternative is to cut the sweet potato into discs (see picture above) and roast on a sheet pan. Top with avocado smash and serve as an appetizer.
Zucchini, Courgette, Summer Squash. These beauties are all the rage at the moment and are mild in taste so can accompany just about anything. There are over 15 different varieties of squash on the market.
They are so versatile and can be sauteéd, spiralized into noodles, shaved into ribbons, used as lasagna noodles for a grain free lasagna (see above), grated and added to your favorite baked good (your kids will never know).
Beets, Beet Root, Rote Beete:
Usually, when you think of beets your mind might take you to the fall season but these gems are in season now and early season beets are tender and tasty and can be enjoyed raw. Beet greens (the tops to beets) are also a powerhouse of nutrition and can be added to salads, sautéed to add to your next veggie dish. Early season beets can be eaten raw or roasted and also come in different colors/varieties. Be on the lookout for golden beets and/or striped beets (candy cane beets) all with their own flavor profile.
When roasted, they develop a candy-like sweetness, pair well with balsamic and olive oil or citrus flavors.
You can easily make a beet carpaccio by roasting beets in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 180C/350F either on a sheet pan or wrapped in a foil packet (this can also be done on a grill in a foil packet until fork tender.) Once cooled you can peel the skin off, and slice thinly. Serve with goat cheese & rucola/rocket; sprinkled with walnuts and drizzle with olive oil.
If you need more help to get started, get into touch – that’s where working with someone like me, a nutritionist can be beneficial. I can help guide, teach and show you the ropes until you are comfortable with trying out new foods and incorporating them into your daily life.