Barriers to Home Cooking

Tower of empty pizza boxes

If you ask people why they resort to convenience foods and restaurants, they’ll tell you they don’t have time to cook from scratch. Cooking does take time, especially if you want to include vegetables and whole grains or legumes. We all have the same 24 hours, but we have many commitments. Often, finding more time […]

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Rosh Hashanah Tips and Recipes

apple with rainbow stripes

If you’re celebrating the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah, you’ve probably started to plan. Traditional foods for Rosh Hashanah include anything sweet and round. Specific foods include round challahs, apples dipped in honey, fish, the head of a fish or lamb, fish in general, cabbage, carrots, black-eyed peas (apparently common in secular new year’s celebrations), pomegranates, dates, and beets. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.

I’ve collected some links for Rosh Hashanah. Some are from my other website. I’ll be posting a low-oil honeycake recipe on Wednesday.

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12 Tips for Getting Kids Used to Healthy Food

cooking healthy food kids

em>Hannah, how do you start to cook healthy for kids who are used to home-cooked fast food (pasta, burgers, shnitzel/potatoes)?

It’s discouraging because sometimes the “meals* are the least eaten.
By best meals I mean the ones I plan. The well-rounded, healthiest, most diverse ingredients. These are the meals that are most likely to be mostly thrown out. It’s very discouraging as my available time for cooking is very short.

Tanya, I can sympathize. My kids used to eat a lot of those things. They still eat some of them. Here are some ideas for making gradual changes.

  1. Pick the least healthy food that you serve. If it’s processed and expensive, even better. Then stop buying it. You can’t control what your kids eat, but you can control what food is available.
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Use Your Freezer to Make Easy Meals

Rotate the contents of your freezer

Ms. Krieger left the following comment: Do you have a system for using frozen food? I dream of having a rotating system for freezing food so I always have a quick meal ready to defrost…but I find if I freeze food I tend to forget about it if it is not used within a week […]

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On Cookbooks and the Internet

In her interview, Penny explains why she prefers the internet to cookbooks:

I don’t believe in cookbooks because I want recipes for the foods I have, as opposed to buying ingredients for recipes. Unlike cookbooks, the internet allows me the flexibility to find recipes based on a list of ingredients.

Penny makes a good point. When you start with a recipe, you’re stuck with a list of ingredients. But you can search for new recipes by plugging your ingredients into a search engine.

I personally wouldn’t give up my cookbooks.

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Oatmeal for Breakfast

Oatmeal with Blueberries

My son went on a camping trip as part of a counselor-training course. He was amused that some children refused to eat cornflakes because no sugar was available. My son showed them that sugar was the second ingredient, but his friends said you can’t taste it.

Corn is a simple sugar and affects you in the same way that cane sugar does. Israeli researchers recently measured the immediate effect of different foods on heart function, and found only a slight difference between pure sugar and corn flakes.

You can get good quality dried cereals, but they are relatively expensive. Most contain added sugar and other additives. Know what you are paying for, and compare brands.

I rarely buy dried cereal anymore. It’s just not economical for a large family, when a box of cereal can disappear overnight because it’s too tempting as a snack. And let’s not talk about the milk, much of which ends up down the drain.

Instead, I buy instant and “whole” oatmeal a kilogram at a time.

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A Week of Weekday (Vegetarian) Meals

Beans and Spanish Rice

Monday: In the morning, I cooked the beans in the pressure cooker for twenty minutes. I turned off the gas and left the house, releasing the pressure slowly. Later in the day, I spread half the beans in zippered bags on cookie trays in the freezer and refrigerated the rest.

I had asked my husband to buy chili peppers at the shuk. As I live in the Middle East, I always felt I should be using them more but had never worked with them. So I asked for ideas on CookingManager.Com Facebook page, and Tikva recommended Spanish rice and salsa.

Spanish rice: I peeled, chopped and sauteed an onion and garlic in a pan, then added two cups of dried rice. At this point my teen daughter asked what smelled so good.

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School Lunch Ideas

Eating Lunch at School

Since starting school last week, my 5 and 8-year-olds have taken sandwiches every day. One likes peanut butter with a little sugar (ugh!) and the other takes soft white cheese and sliced tomato. But in past years we have been more creative than that.

For this post we’ll stick to dairy or vegetarian options.
Sandwich spreads. Experiment with pita, tortillas, and whole-grain breads.

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Foods for Putting Quick Meals Together

In Pre-Leftovers and Rotating Food I described how I often cook something new and combine it with something on hand, putting a series of meals together like a train.

Below are cooked foods I like to have on hand for putting together quick meals:

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Pre-Leftovers and Rotating Food

I prefer to plan a main meal by cooking one or two new elements each day and adding them to what I already have. This spreads my cooking time out over the week, and it works equally well for singles or young couples.

Here’s how I planned my main-meal menus in a typical week:

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