I used to buy ready meals as I thought they were fast and quick to prepare and I had thought that anything fresh must take longer to prepare and would be more expensive to buy. Well I am hear to tell you that I was very much mistaken.
I am sure like me you probably don’t have as much time to prepare meals as your parents or your grandparents did. It is only since the mid 50’s that we have had the luxury and convienience of shopping at the supermarket. Before that we might have had to visit more than one shop in a day to get our daily food, never mind even considering getting shopping for the whole week.
So as you wander around the supermarket how do you become a smarter shopper. Well think about like this. Imagine that your kitchen cupboard or freezer is like your where you pick out your daily clothes from. There should be things in that cupboard or in your freezer that are essential and that should always be there – pasta’s / tomato puree / peas & beans / tinned tomato / all meat and poultry, if you are not a vegetarian / dried or fresh herbs / tinned tuna and sardines / eggs / cheese and other dairy products or substitutes if you allergic to any of these. These are like those capsule pieces in one’s wardrobe and should always be kept topped up. All meals that you make from this can be added to with fresher ingredients like fruit / vegetables and fresh fish which is very high in healthy Omega 3’s that don’t tend last quite as long, but will add much needed nutrition into your diet.
I have now found that if you get these basic building blocks right that most meals with some exceptions do not really take as long as I had previously assumed. I have yet to cook a meal between preparation, cooking and sitting down to eat that has taken me longer than approx. 20 mins. Things like omelettes and stir fries being particularly speedy to prepare.
Just a note when it comes to buying fresh fruit and vegetables. Do you really need to buy that 2 for 1 offer ? Only buy what you think you will be able to use and no more. It is kind of sad that after all the effort of the growing of them, that more and more these days that quite a lot of what we buy fresh never even sees a plate but ends up in one of our recycling bins or compost heap.
The one great thing I like about preparing food from scratch is experimenting with both flavours and ingredients. It’s amazing how many different meals can be made from just changing one or two things. I for one am really enjoying the experimentation and it’s so much more rewarding than just making some holes in a pack and hitting the timer on the microwave !!