Cooking at home is good for the mind and wallet, and once you get into the habit it can quickly become a fun, and healthy new obsession.
Relax – there’s no need to become the next superstar TV chef, just aim for adding new, delicious and healthy kitchen habits to your daily life.
Here are five simple steps to get you on your journey to becoming an at-home cooking champion:
1. Dust off that old recipe book, or build a new collection
In the age of cooking TV shows like My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off, we all like to consider ourselves a bit of a whiz in the kitchen.
But there’s a big difference between watching TV shows and converting it to kitchen chemistry.
An easy way to get the ball rolling is to get back to basics and work on growing your cookbook collection.
Whether it’s an old one passed down from your grandma, an un-read gift or one you bought in a fit of inspiration, now’s the time to dust them off.
Start with the easy recipes and work your way up and you’ll be nailing nan’s secret banana bread recipe in no time.
2. Watch step-by-step videos from the pros
Okay, maybe nanna’s cookbook is a bit too old and your imperial to metric conversion skills aren’t too flash – that’s okay, neither are ours!
What we do have though is the Kleenheat Kitchen, a back catalogue of quick-and-easy video tutorials for delicious meals.
We’re talking crispy-skinned snapper, teriyaki beef rice bowls, crumbed lamb miso cutlets and loads more. (Hungry yet?)
Once you’re feeling a little more adventurous why not tuck into actual MasterChef Jenny Lam’s Thai Green Chicken Curry; scroll through this list of the best cooking classes in Perth; or check @athomewithchef, where Fins Seafood and the WA Good Food Guide link up with some of WA’s most popular chefs to show you how it’s done.
3. Get the kids involved
All right so things are probably going to get a bit messy, but what better way to double up cooking with cleaning.
Cooking with kids helps them become more adventurous with what they’ll eat as they’re way more likely to try something they’ve actually made themselves.
It’ll encourage you to seek out recipes you’ll both love that are healthy, and if they get good enough eventually they can take over meals for you!
4. Look for local grocers or meal kit delivery services
If you’re looking to up your fresh ingredient game – avoid the major supermarkets and find a grocer near you. You’re likely to enjoy fruit and veg that’s bigger, fresher, and locally sourced.
If you want to stay home, a quick search online will reveal plenty of places who’ll deliver the ingredients you need to your doorstep.
Looking for more suggestions? Check our tips on improving meal time flow.
5. Cook big and save it for later
There’s going to be days where things do get a little too crazy for extra time in the kitchen, and sometimes that can’t be helped.
You may even want to give in to temptation and order some unhealthy takeaway and look, that’s okay too – you’ve got to give yourself a bit of slack sometimes.
But one way to get around it is to meal prep and cooking big!
Nice, big, warm chillies, pasta bakes and curries are perfect – they even taste better the longer you leave them.
Dive back into the Kleenheat Kitchen for a few examples, or lock down the basics with ABC’s Shortcuts To Glory: Quick Tips.