How to Pick a Recipe

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If you use gps on your smart phone or have ever read a map, feel confident this means you can cook.  Recipes are your culinary road map and help guide the process so you end up where you meant to be – with a complete, delicious dish.  Still nervous?  Here are some tips to help you navigate your way to culinary success.

  1. Google is your friend.  Search for recipes using a favorite ingredient or ingredients.  Search by favorite product, or even search by time allotted (meals in under 20 minutes, for example).
  2. Read the ingredients before you decide to make it. If there are a few things that are in the recipe that you like, say chicken, lemon, and/or rosemary, paired with a bunch of other things, chances are greater that you’ll like it because you are confident you already like some components of the dish.
  3. Select more than one recipe using similar ingredients. Did you know that 1/3 of the calories produced are thrown away?  Would you ever throw away money?    So find some recipes that will use up the food you have on hand.  Bonus?  You’ll be more budget wise and also have more meals for the week planned.
  4. When it comes to eating, don’t “should” yourself. If you visit choosemyplate.gov, you’ll notice that within each of the five food groups, there are many choices.  You’re not going to like them all, but if you like some, you are likely to be able to meet your nutrient needs.  For example, if you are not jumping on the kale bandwagon, but you love spinach, guess what?  Within produce, items of similar colors have similar nutritional benefits.  So you’re good.
  5. Don’t be the food police, and don’t let your family and friends “food police’ you. Well intentioned, unsolicited advice is rampant when it comes to food.  Accept it with a smile, and then make the choices you know are best for you.  Food is fun to talk about but that doesn’t mean you have to listen, especially to someone who has no training in the field of nutrition.