If you’ve read my blogs on cooking then you know how simplistic I am. Simple is ideal for cooking. Especially when cooking to achieve body and nutritional goals. That’s why this blog is title “The Practicality of Cooking”. Cooking has to be practical. If not, then you’ll drive yourself mad with stress in more than one way.
The simpler you keep you food, the better it will be for you and the more enjoyable it’ll be for you. It will also save you a lot of stress seeing how advanced cooking methods can take years to perfect. The practicality cooking method requires little effort, with less ingredients, less money wasted, less clean up afterwards, and less damage to our wallets. Not to mention the huge health benefits from this way of cooking.
What does the practicality of cooking really meant then? Let’s start from the beginning. The start of cooking a practical meal requires whole ingredients and less of them. The less processed the better. That is what we are trying to avoid. The more food gets processed, the more complicated it becomes when trying to cook it and the less nutritional value we’ll get from it. For this reason, we want to stick to two main food groups. Yes, I said two. We want to stick to meat/fish and vegetables. That’s it, but with exceptions of course. Meat and vegetables are your best bet for healthy, efficient, practical, and cost effective meals. Now of course fruits, nuts, eggs should be added into the diet and perhaps even a bit of dairy, but our focus should be on the meat and vegetables. After we fulfill that, then we can think about the other stuff that we like.
The next part of cooking practically is to cook with the least amount of ingredients possible. That means use sauces and other add-ons sparingly. Yes these add flavor but you don’t really need them. There’s lots of examples when we douse our healthy meals in sauces and they become unhealthy. So for this reason, use sauces very sparingly. Cooking practically means you have to keep things simple. That’s why less ingredients, less moves, and less pans is the way to go. A lot of my meals will consist of equal parts meat and veggies. The meat or fish will be seasoned with only salt and pepper usually. And the veggies will be roasted whole, most of the time being unseasoned. But feel free to add olive oil and salt and pepper. That’s it. That’s how my dinner plates usually look. A fresh lean cut of meat or fish and veggies. Simple and super healthy.
The simplest way to cook vegetables is to roast them in the oven or on the grill. I love cooking with fire so the grill is usually my go to. But if there isn’t a grill available then I’ll use a baking sheet and an oven on high temp. The same goes for meat too. The grill is the preferred method here. However, if the grill isn’t available I recommend a cast iron skillet or a frying pan than can also be used inside an oven. The reason for this is because the searing method is one of my favorites and most common. For meats and fish, try this method to bring out the best flavors. Get the pan or cast iron very hot and add in the meat or fish. It will only be on for a few minutes, just long enough so the outside starts the char. Make sure to turn it so it’s even on all sides. After that, throw the whole pan in the oven and let the rest cook in there. That will bring the internal temperature up and help cook the inside evenly. You can use this method on all meats and fish if you want.
Finally, we get to one of the most underrated parts about cooking for practicality. Minimum clean up. Since we used less pans than most cooking methods, we have less cleanup which, let’s face it, is a huge plus. Less ingredients equal less pans and less pans equal less cleaning. That’s another reason why I love this simple method.
Besides all the pros I have harped on in this blog, the best part is the nutritional value you get from cooking and eating this way. Eating whole foods and staying away or minimizing junk like dairy, grains, and sugars is the best way to increase your overall health and wellbeing. Your body will thank you and you’ll actually feel better and more energized throughout the day.
What is your number one cooking advice to others who want to get into cooking?