Tag Archive: eating

  1. A Return to Home Cooking

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    Our lives are getting busier and our diaries are getting fuller. We are now contactable at all hours, information is being thrown at us on an increasing number of platforms and there never seems to be enough hours in a day. But as people are become less willing to set aside what little free time they do have to the pursuit of cooking, perhaps that is exactly what they need.

    Research suggests that those who regularly eat home cooked meals tend to be happier and healthier. They consume less sugar and processed foods and as a result have higher energy levels and better mental health[1]. Children also stand to benefit from cooking at home with a link emerging between regularly eating home-cooked food as a family and healthier, happier kids who are less likely to use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes later in life[2].

    ProWare The Virtues of Home Cooking

    Our recipe for pan-roasted bream with fennel is a simple but impressive dinner.

    They may be quick, convenient and (let’s be frank) tasty but takeaways have their issues. Perhaps the most significant of these is expense. Ordering a meal for two from your local Chinese, Indian or pizzeria is unlikely to leave you much change out of £20. There are also several health concerns surrounding takeaway food, with it being generally much less nutritious than home cooked food. It is also typically higher in energy, fat and salt. This disparity is amplified further by reduced likelihood of exercising portion control when eating out or ordering in.

    How to Get Back in the Habit

    If you find yourself tempted by takeaways but are struggling to motivate yourself, we have put together some great tips to not only help get back to cooking but to enjoy it as well!

    Get Your Kitchen Sorted

    You are far more likely to want to cook at home if your kitchen is a nice place to be. Keep it clean, organise it in a way that works for you and (if you aren’t blessed with a dishwasher) don’t leave the washing until tomorrow, it will put you off going back in.

    Keep it Simple

    Home cooking doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate, leave that to the professionals. The simple things are often the quickest and most delicious. Cook what you like to eat but don’t be afraid to try something new.

    Stay Stocked

    You are more likely to give a recipe a whirl if you already have most, if not all, the ingredients already in. Make sure you always have stock of those ingredients you find yourself using regularly. If it is something with a long shelf life and you have the space, consider buying in bulk as you can often save quite a few quid. Find out some of our favourite cupboard staples here.

    Plan Ahead

    Write. A. List. Decide what you are going to make on each day in advance and write a shopping list accordingly. Remember to take stock of what you already have in to make sure you are using things up before buying more. If you stick to your plan you will find yourself not only spending less on impulse buys but also throwing less away at the end of the week.

    One-Pot Wonders

    Sometimes it isn’t the cooking that has you reaching for a takeaway menu, it’s the thought of washing up. A great way to keep clean-up to a minimum is going for a one pot recipe. Don’t think this just mean things like soups and stews. Instead think pasta, risotto or even a pilaf. Find loads of great one-pot recipes here.

    Make Extra

    Things like chilli, casseroles and curry are easy to make in batches. Cook more than you need and freeze leftovers for an other day. It is much easier to get in and just do a bit of rice than it is to start from scratch everyday.

    Slow Down

    If you can, invest in a slow cooker. You can get one large enough to feed the whole family and have left overs for around £20 (find out more here). Honestly, you will use it all the time. Just throw everything in before leaving the house and by the time you get home dinner will be ready. The internet is full of great recipes if you’re unsure about what to make. Slow cookers are also excellent for cooking joints of meat. Simply plonk a joint of beef on a bed of onions and carrots, add 750ml of water and cook on low for about 8 hours. An absolute fail-safe Sunday roast (be sure to use the cooking juices to make a top notch gravy).

    Home Cooking Rhubarb Crumble

    It is always nice to get back to the classics like rhubarb crumble.

    Get in Touch

    If you have any comments, tips or questions we would love to hear from you! You can contact us here. Alternatively you can tweet us or email us at info@proware-kitchen.co.uk

  2. Growing Your Own – Why Everyone Should Try It

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    Accessing fresh fruit and vegetables has never been easier; by popping out to your local supermarket, you can buy almost everything the year round. We are no longer required to move with the seasons and to select ingredients according to the time of year.

    A consequence of this highly consistent availability is a huge increase in food mileage – the distance your food travels from field to shelf. In a society becoming increasingly aware of its carbon footprint, it makes sense to try and reduce our reliance on imported produce and to utilise the space we have in our own gardens.

    Why do it?

    The aim is not to start a farm, live off the land and become fully self sufficient. Even if we can reduce the amount of produce being imported, just slightly, it would be start in decreasing the amount of fossil fuels used in the transport of food. This especially applies over the summer months when most of what we buy in the supermarkets can be grown here without specialist equipment. In addition to this, there are plenty of reasons to start home growing, aside from the environmental factors.

    There are few pleasures that can be likened to the sense of achievement one feels when you have grown a tangible, edible thing from a seed the size of a grain of sand. The hours spent planting, watering, pruning and weeding can also prove highly therapeutic. The time provides a chance to get out in the fresh air, away from computer screens and beeping gadgets, to de-stress and re-calibrate your mind. This is before you consider the money you can save and quality of the food you can produce as a result of your efforts.

    Growing Your Own Cucumber

    First cucumber of the 2017 season (variety Telepathy).

    Some varieties can produce high yields with very little input (courgettes being the classic example). If properly positioned, fed and watered you can also expect a great return from tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers and peppers. Perhaps the easiest things to grow in our climate are potatoes. You can plant them in the ground (be careful as they can easily spread) or just about any deep container, build up the soil around the growing stems and leave them be. They will thrive in our climate and can be planted from late winter and harvested right through to mid autumn. Find out more about growing potatoes here.

    Anyone Can Do It

    It is a common misconception that you need a huge garden and a greenhouse to grow your own fruit and veg. It’s true that these things certainly won’t hurt but they are by no means essential. Whether you have a 50-acre estate or a sunny windowsill at your disposal there is nothing stopping you from getting stuck in.

    If you are low on space, growing things in containers is a great place to start with many fruits and vegetables growing perfectly well in pots or grow-bags (more info here). You can also buy small portable greenhouses for things like tomatoes and cucumbers that benefit from warmer temperatures than we can typically expect in the UK.

    Even with no outside space at all you can grow the likes of salad greens, herbs and chillies on a windowsill. There are a huge number of products available for you to create a kitchen garden actually inside your kitchen, some of which remove the need for sunshine (find out more here).

    Growing Your Own2

    Now is the Time to Get Started

    March is typically considered the start of the growing season and is a perfect time to get cracking. It is still a bit cold to plant some things outside but you can start sowing indoors. Once seeds germinate you can think about transferring seedlings outside when temperatures increase in late April or May. You will find specific instructions on when and where to sow on the back of seed packets.

    What are you waiting for?

    Get In Touch

    If you grow your own, we would love to hear from you. Email or tweet us and let us know what you love about it, if you have any tips and tricks, or if you just want to share some photos of your produce.