Your Kitchen, Your Castle

July 6th, 2009

cook at homeCooking in your kitchen versus eating out offers so many powerful benefits. It’s healthier, costs less, is more fun, brings the family together, and makes home feel, well, more like a home. Here at Meatless Monday we’re all about helping you start your week with the recipes and nutrition information you need to cook at home. This issue we highlight our users’ recipes (and video!) and provide tips on how you can make your kitchen a fortress of nutrition.

So why cook at home when there are so many food options just down the road? For starters, it’s generally much healthier. You control the amount of fat, sodium and carbs you eat. You also decide how much food to put on your plate – there’s no one asking if you want fries with that. Plus, you can focus on fresh produce, picking the fruits and vegetables in season at the height of their flavor.

It’s also cheaper’way cheaper, on the whole. Compared to ordering take-out or eating at a restaurant or fast-food chain, particularly if you have basic ingredients in your cupboard or fridge, cooking in is the way to go. During these challenging economic times, that’s a pretty compelling benefit. When you’re planning your next meal, check out these 7 tips for beating the high cost of food.

When it comes to preparing meals, here’s a few secrets to make your food healthier and cheaper per serving. Start out by assuming a recipe actually serves double the stated servings, which will bring your portion size way down. Then double the beans or vegetables in your dish, and you may have enough delicious leftovers for another meal. For desserts, if there’s a tablespoon or more of sugar or fat per serving, cut back amounts by a quarter at least.

Last week, we asked you to send us some favorite meatless recipes you cook at home. We want to thank Dana over at To Cheese or Not to Cheese?, Kate at pie in the sky, Sophy at Emotionally Hungry and Erin at the Eat Well Guide for their submissions. Here are readers who love cooking in their kitchen and sharing the results with family and friends – we salute you!

But hold on, cooking at home isn’t just healthy and cheap, it’s also plain fun! Experimenting with new ingredients or recipes, chopping and mixing with your partner or children, laughing and making a mess if you feel like it, you’ll find cooking in your kitchen can be a blast. To give you a sense of that fun, and to show just how easy it is to make a delicious meatless treat, this week in a new feature our friend Dana demonstrates how to make her original Warm Apple Pie Oats.

Whatever your individual reasons, we welcome you to visit our site every Monday to discover tasty meatless recipes that can make your home a castle of nutrition!