Beginner’s Choice: Val’s Minimal Cooking tips

Val usually whips up amazing packed meals from scratch. But with a very demanding job, it’s often not possible to cook the perfect meal when she gets home. But it’s still amazing that she manages to make simple healthy meals when she is tired.

Val sent a photo of her Vietnamese spring rolls with a note:

Made these Vietnamese spring rolls today. The bright and fresh herbs cheer me up!

Got a little too ambitious with the fillings so the wrappers kept tearing. Might be helpful if I can find wrappers with a larger diameter the next time round.

Haven’t really been able to bring myself to cook elaborate meals when I’m quite exhausted from work, but these require minimal cooking – just boil some shrimp and pork slices (one pot gets everything done so the washing up is quite minimal too) and cut up some carrots. Lettuce and cilantro, mint and basil can all be torn by hand.

I haven’t had much opportunity to cook with hoisin sauce, so making the traditional sauce (fish sauce, fresh lime juice, garlic and sugar) for these spring rolls was a good starting point

A simple breakfast

I have also had to resort to minimal cooking recently. One morning I found some slices of cheese, slices of French loaf and bananas in the kitchen. I melted the cheese over the bread in the microwave and topped it off with banana slices. It made a tasty quick breakfast which had the nutrients I needed.  A glass of milk with Milo completed the meal.

Meal and menu planning

A bit of menu planning goes a long way. It saves time when you have in mind what you want to cook when you go grocery shopping or shop online. Most importantly, it helps you to care for your wellbeing by eating food which the body needs.

Our bodies need nutrients, and I am learning that we need nutrients from a variety of foods. For people who have to eat out regularly, it is possible to have a balanced diet if they think about their choices of dishes.

I had popiah for lunch the other day (a vegetable wrap) and I had fish porridge for dinner. I didn’t have to think too much, but I knew I was getting a healthy balance of vitamins from the vegetables, proteins from the fish, and energy from the rice. I had ice cream with some nuts for lunch and a pear for dinner.

There are times when we have to take care of family members who need food in order to help them through illness or to help them prevent an illness, that is when more thought is needed to plan meals. Apart from knowing what the sick person can and cannot eat, it helps to think about what the person likes to eat and then work around creating healthy meals with that in mind.

Healthy eating doesn’t mean taking enjoyment out of eating. Food is a source of wellbeing, and wellbeing is a source of peace and joy.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 19 March 2023   

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