The kitchen is a scary place for people who don’t like to cook. Sort of like looking under the hood of a car is for me! But the more you know, right? So just like I was scared to check the oil, but learned how to and now it’s not scary, you can learn a few tricks in the kitchen to make cooking for diabetes less scary and more fun.
Here are a few tips for beginner cooks:
- How to chop veggies and basic knife skills: start with this quick 6-minute video from Tasty.com to learn the basics. This is an important step in order to add more fresh vegetables to your cooking. The important part is the safety and proper holding and motion of the knife. For most home cooks, the size of the dice or type of cut really doesn’t matter. It takes practice to get comfortable. As for the onion part, I prefer this method from Rachael Ray. Try chopping fresh garlic; it’s kitchen therapy!
- Foil is your friend. If the thought of cleaning up the kitchen is what stops you from cooking, try simple sheet pan meals with foil lined baking sheets. These are so versatile, easy to prepare and easier to clean. Be sure to cover all of the bottom and up the sides of your sheet pan to keep the pan totally clean during cooking. Here are sheet pan meal ideas from Eating Well. Foil packets are a great option for first-timers cooking fish, too. Try this Lemon Butter Baked Cod in foil packets.
- Use seasoning blends to shorten ingredient lists. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried thyme and dried rosemary, just use 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning instead. It might have a few more herbs in there, but your end product will be good, maybe even better. If the recipe calls for spices like garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, a blend like Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub combines these and more. It’s excellent on vegetables, chicken, fish, pasta and potatoes. Side note: their Top Gun rub is the best, single item I’ve found for baking, grilling or smoking chicken breast you’ll actually crave.
Still scared in the kitchen? Try these simple diabetes friendly dinners.
Ready to learn more? Work with a registered dietitian from the comfort of your home.