Recipes

It used to be challenging to find healthy meal choices for your family to eat that didn’t require a lot of time and effort to prepare. Fortunately today there is a wealth of easy and affordable recipes to create delicious, healthy meals to serve your entire family.

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There are also many tips and tricks to help you grocery shop the smart way allowing you to save money while purchasing healthy foods your family will love.

Finding Recipes

Recipes used to be something that were either passed down from friends and family members, or kept in expensive cookbooks. Luckily now recipes are more available than ever. One of the easiest ways to find new recipes for free is to check online. There are many websites that you can visit or subscribe to, giving you access to tasty recipes for special occasions, snacks or weekday meals.

Popular recipe websites include:

Allrecipes.com is a great cooking site that allows you to create a profile to keep track of your favorite recipes and share your own creations. Recipes are also rated with a gold star system by other users and are categorized by meal type so it is easy to find recipes your family will love.

Epicurious.com is a fantastic site that is organized to make it easy for you to find just the recipe you are looking for. There are categories for recipes, ingredients, expert advice and more allowing you to create healthy meals with ease.

Food.com will quickly become your go-to source for meal ideas, recipes and calorie-reduced dishes. It doesn’t matter what you are thinking about cooking, you will find it here. There are many different categories to choose from including one-dish meals, finger foods, slow cooker recipes and more. This site can help you to plan out your week’s meals easily while saving you time.

Jamieoliver.com is a website by world-class chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver. This site is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to get access to chef-inspired meals with a focus on healthy ingredients. It also has a large focus on health, allowing you to meet your personal and family’s health goals.

Tablespoon.com is a fun recipe site that has a lot to offer. You can search through the cooking and baking how-to section which offers a wealth of helpful tips to become a master in the kitchen. You will also find coupons, holiday meal ideas and weekday easy meals to make your life easier.

Other popular easy recipe sites include Readyseteat.com, Simplyrecipes.com and Delish.com. Many of these sites also have applications that you can use on your mobile phone. This gives you access to ingredient lists, recipes, nutritional information and more at the tip of your fingers while you are on the go.

Shop Smart

The first thing that you need to do when tackling a new recipe is to make sure that you have all of the ingredients you need. Instead of going out and buying things specifically for one recipe, go through and choose quite a few recipes to tackle. You may also want to stock up on common ingredients that are frequently called for such as spices, cooking oils and flour. Many recipe websites and books will list exactly what ingredients are needed before getting into measurements and mixing giving you a grocery shopping list template.

Creating a grocery list can help you to save money and time easily. It allows you to choose the grocery store(s) that have the best prices and sales, and to make one trip instead of multiple trips to the store. Once you have everything you need to get cooking or baking, it’s time to prep.

Prep Ahead

There are many options that you can do to ensure that you are getting a great variety of nutritious meals throughout your week without having to go through the whole cooking experience daily. Some options include cooking large amounts of a certain meal (chili, soup, pastas) ahead and freezing them for future use. By creating a large batch of food and freezing it, you can have a meal ready in no time by simply heating it up for an easy option. This is also a great option for future lunches as well, as you can easily bring a single serving to work or school and heat it up there.

You can also measure out your spices, flours, sugars ahead of time and put them aside until use. Another option is to get all of your ingredient prep work out of the way at the beginning of the week. This includes washing, chopping or dicing any produce beforehand, and having them measured out and stored in the fridge until use. You can also do the same thing with other ingredients including measuring out and browning meat. All you have to do is refrigerate or freeze them until you are ready to cook. Label your Tupperware with the date you prepped them and what meal they are for to stay organized. This way you can easily throw together your prepped vegetables, meat and spices in your crockpot before you go to work and come home to a delicious stew for example.

You can also prep ahead for desserts, jams and baked goods. This works the exact same way as it would for cooked goods, except you may be washing and slicing fruit, pureeing sauces and measuring out butter or sugar.

Another easy way to prep ahead include making sure that you have all of the necessary bakeware and cookware clean and ready to use when the time comes to cook you are prepared.

It doesn’t matter what your schedule looks like, taking a bit of time out of one day to prep your meals, baking needs and more will save you a lot of time throughout the week.

Creating Your Own Recipes

If you or someone in your family has a food allergy or aversion, it is really easy to swap out that ingredient for something else. You can also change up recipes that you commonly make for variety by adding different spices, fillers and sauces. If you are shy about experimenting in the kitchen, start small.  Once you become confident in your cooking and baking abilities you will be creating your own recipes with ease. When you are creating your recipes make sure to write down the ingredients you use, the quantities you use and the complete cooking/baking instructions. This way you will have the recipe on hand if it is a success or will know what you need to change if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.

Creating healthy nutritious recipes is possible and easy if you do a little bit of prep before. Creating your own meals will give you the satisfaction of knowing how your food was made and that it is a healthy choice for those you care about.

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