Siu Food Nerd And Dietician Advise Resolving To Cook At Home More In The New Year

Two Southern Illinois University Carbondale professors have advice on how to keep the popular New Year’s resolutions of eating healthier, losing weight, starting a new hobby and spending more time with family: cook at home.

Cook At Home More In The New Year

Simple meals put together with fresh, local or seasonal ingredients provide a richer and more satisfying meal. Selecting the freshest ingredients at the market ensures a better-quality meal.

It Tastes Better

Research consistently shows that people who frequently cook meals at home have healthier diets.

It’s Healthier

The cost of a typical fast-food meal is in the $4-7 range, or perhaps more. That cost goes up to about $13 or more for the average restaurant meal.

It’s Budget Friendly

Cooking is a dying although important art, as we learned quickly in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may need to learn how from square one, or you may just need to brush up or enhance your expertise by mastering something new.

It Builds Life Skills

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, you will be surprised just how creativity shines through in the kitchen after you master a few basics. You can experiment with new ingredients or prepare a dish from another culture.

It Unleashes Creativity

Sitting around the dining table at home is one of the best ways to stay connected with everyone in your household. Ramp up the experience by extending the togetherness into the actual cooking, too.

Keeps Us Together

There’s one more stumbling block many people encounter on their road to better eating: snack time.

Snacking – The Bane Of Health Eating

Ingredients – 3 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats – 1 ½ cups reduced-fat milk – 1 cup unseasoned pumpkin puree – ½ cup light brown sugar – 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon baking powder

Pumpkin-oatmeal Muffins (from Eatingwell)

– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice – ¾ teaspoon salt – 2 large eggs, lightly beaten – ½ cup chopped pecans

Pumpkin-oatmeal Muffins (from Eatingwell)

Salad ingredients – 1 tablespoon olive oil – 1 large zucchini, diced (about 4 cups) – 1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup) – 1 cup cooked brown rice – 1 cup cooked wild rice – 1 cup whole cashews

Zucchini Wild Rice Salad (from Rooted In Foods)

Dressing ingredients – ¼ cup olive oil – 2 tablespoons carrot fronds (optional) – 1 tablespoon lemon juice – 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar – 1 tablespoon honey – 1 teaspoon minced garlic – ½ teaspoon each salt and white pepper

Zucchini Wild Rice Salad (from Rooted In Foods)

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