The kitchen is where the magic takes place. Whether one is sautéing onions, button mushrooms and traffic-light-colored peppers for that tofu scramble or enjoying a pear, rhubarb and cranberry cooler straight from the blender, nothing can be more exciting than preparing healthy and satisfying lean meals.
It is difficult, however, to cook these scrumptious feasts all the time. A fully prepared dinner of Sichuan spiced eggplants, Kan Shao green beans, brown rice and a garden salad is a delicious combination of flavors. Would anyone like a scoop of homemade coconut sorbet? Most of us would love to eat this meal, but who has the time and energy to make it? Who wants to slave in a hot kitchen all day long?
The following suggestions will give you some ideas on how to “beat the heat” concerning time management and temperature in the kitchen.
Restaurants and Take-Out
There is an old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen and go to a restaurant!” Having someone else fix the meal can be heavenly. Before considering becoming a potential customer of a certain establishment, thoroughly investigate the eatery to be sure the preparation methods and the food are high quality. The best bet would be to frequent those restaurants that cater to vegan tastes.
Raw Food Diet
Many experts are suggesting that people should consume about 75-85% of their fruit, veggies and herbs in their natural, raw state, while the other 15-25% of food should be cooked. Some leaders in the vegan community believe that foodstuffs should be consumed 100% raw. As Dr. Aris Latham has stated, “All (plant-based) foods have been cooked by the sun.”
The key to accomplishing the goal of eating a raw, live diet is to have the proper equipment. Besides just putting the fruit or vegetable in your mouth and eating it, blending and juicing are wonderful ways to consume food. Raw food is fresh, has plenty of fiber and retains most or all of its vitamins and minerals. Dehydrators are very popular also. They can heat food to as low as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the nutrients stay intact, thereby qualifying the food as “raw” within the diet’s limits.
The good news is, whether a person is using blending, juicing or dehydrating techniques, the kitchen is kept cool!
Spending time in a hot kitchen seven days a week can be painful. How about limiting that time to a few hours on one or two days? The plan is simple: pick a meal or meals that take an enormous amount of time to prepare. Choose a day to shop for the ingredients. Choose another day to make the food. Label the finished meals with the days of the week, then place them in the freezer. When it is time to eat, pop a dish into the microwave to thaw, cook and eat.
Another way to keep the kitchen cool is to host or attend a potluck. Potlucks usually require each person to make one dish instead of a full range of appetizers, entrées, salads, drinks and desserts. Keep the cooking area really heat free, and volunteer to provide the salad, gazpacho, fruit or drinks!
Serving one-dish or all-in-one meals may be one of the oldest forms of time management in cooking. Cut up all of the materials to be used, put them in a pot or casserole dish and fire up the stove, oven or barbie! To further cut down on the heat and time, use a microwaveable stack cooker system to fix everything from the main entrée to the dessert. Electric crock pots, although they take a lot of time to cook the food, are an excellent way to control the temperature of the environment.
Healthy eating can be a challenge to maintain. Ultimately, it is a challenge that is worth taking on. Preparing meals in the home is the optimum way to achieve these goals, but the experience doesn’t have to be drudgery! Have fun producing vibrant and mouth-watering meals.
Featured photo credit: https://www.shutterstock.com/ via shutterstock.com