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Cooking For Two

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
Eating right and staying healthy is a challenge at every age but especially for those of us at this stage of life. With just two people at home it’s tempting to eat out a lot. There are several reasons not to succumb to the temptation.

First, it is hard to make healthy choices at most restaurants; fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and unless you are visiting the salad bar regularly, you probably won’t find those in abundance on most menus.

Second, we tend to over eat because of the portions served at restaurants; to stop eating when we are full rather than when the food is gone requires discipline.

Third, we can usually make the same meal for much less money at home; when you compare the price of fresh ingredients to a restaurant meal, on average you will come out ahead by cooking the food yourself.

Eating at home requires planning ahead, so for us it helps to have a collection of simple recipes that can be prepared quickly. I review my Pinterest - "What's for Dinner" board almost daily and add new items when I find something I think we will like. My husband enjoys cooking and collecting recipes also and sends me his favorites via e-mail to store in my collection. We are especially fond of Cooking Light recipes and favor their simplicity and use of fresh ingredients.

We shop frequently, but we don't always have a specific recipe in mind to prepare, so we choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and then search our recipes for a good fit. We grow a few herbs - cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme which make it inexpensive and convenient to add fresh flavors to our dishes.

There are a few things we almost always have in the fridge including cheese (cheddar, feta, and goat), eggs, milk and a couple of Asian sauces like chili and soy. Oils are a must also - we always have vegetable oil, sesame, peanut and of course olive oil in the pantry. We try to limit our carbohydrates, but always have rice and pasta on hand for when we just can't resist.

With a few basic items and something fresh from the market we can usually concoct a pretty healthy, good tasting meal at a reasonable price. And, because we have developed cooking as a shared hobby we reap benefits beyond good health and decreasing the food budget. Eat healthy – life is good.
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