“But I Can’t Cook!”

Chicken breastsNutritional consultations are always interesting for me because I find out how truly weird some people’s eating habits are. Busy work and life schedules are often to blame for poor eating habits, but when I hear patients say that they are completely devoid of any cooking skills, I begin to wonder if they were ever encouraged to learn how to cook. I truly believe that every adult should have basic cooking skills. It is not that difficult to cook eggs in a skillet, throw meat on a broiler, cook oatmeal or bake a potato. It’s not as if any of those items require advanced culinary skills in order to make them tasty!

You should be able to cook different types of meat without much effort. Other than meat (and this includes red meat, poultry and fish), you can simply purchase frozen or fresh vegetables and eat them with minimal prep beforehand. Get a cookie sheet and some nonstick cooking spray. Take chicken breasts, pre-formed turkey or beef patties, or fish fillets and place them on the sprayed cookie sheet. With poultry and beef, you can broil these meats for about eight minutes, then flip over, broiling for another eight to ten minutes. If the chisken breasts are very thick, slice them lengthwise so that they cook more quickly and more evenly. Make sure the centers of the chicken breasts are cooked through and not pink. With fish, you are better off baking them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for six to eight minutes, flipping over, then baking for another six to eight minutes. If you are feeling adventurous, you can add some light salt-free seasoning or salt and pepper.

It really isn’t that difficult to cook, so why not try cooking up some lean protein this week?

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