While socializing with friends over a meal at a restaurant is alluring to some, health and money concerns are at an all-time high.
There’s never been a better time to focus on learning how to prepare easy, healthy meals at home.
“I think the most important thing when you’re trying to learn how to cook is to have the right resources,” said Carol Duncan, chef and owner of Savory Solutions, a personal chef service.
Duncan said when learning to cook, it’s not just about learning a recipe, it’s about learning a technique like braising or sautéing that can be transferred easily to other recipes.
“Once you learn the basics you can do everything,” said Christine Healey, chef and owner of Christine’s Gourmet Steak & Wine.
Knowledge is the best resource when learning to cook.
“With anything, if you don’t know why you’re doing it, or know what you’re doing, it’s hard to make it completely and have it finished to what it should be,” Healey said.
For girls who are concerned with staying healthy, Healey said to stay away from using heavy oils or too much breading.
Grilling is always a great option, and it is easy to get flavors using herbs and spices. The point is to have a well-balanced meal.
Even though many people favor fast food or eating out at restaurants, understanding the benefits of eating meals at home can change a person’s view of food altogether.
“You never know what you’re going to get when eating out,” Healey said. “If you’re a picky eater, it’s very hard. As a chef myself, I have a hard time going out for dinner because I kind of pick the meal apart because it’s not what I would expect.”
There’s also a degree of enjoyment from cooking and eating at home.
“I think that when eating at home you form really good relationships with the people that you eat with, whether it’s your family or friends,” Duncan said. “Once you really get used to your own cooking and cooking at home, the food you eat when eating out almost makes you mad. It doesn’t taste good.”
Duncan said it’s important to stick to tried and true cookbooks, such as the “Joy of Cooking,” because it teaches the beginning chef as well as provides recipes.
“I think people get too caught up in ‘quick and easy,’” Duncan said. “If you put ‘quick and easy’ on it, people jump on it.”
Duncan also said people think that cooking at home means cooking every single day, but if you sit down and plan out your meals for the week, you can freeze leftovers or use them to create a different meal.
“The more you taste, the more you know how things should taste and you kind of educate your pallet that way,” Duncan said.