It’s tempting to buy ready meals when you’re cooking for yourself, especially when you can get soup for £1 from Tesco that will do for two meals. But I was starting to feel lazy and vaguely guilty about not being able to cook for myself. So a few weeks ago I made a resolution to cook everything from scratch.
- There’s no use trying to meal plan and buy everything you’ll need in advance. I tried this for one week, but it’s impossible to judge on Sunday what you’ll feel like eating on Thursday. Instead, I’ve taken to wandering around the shops every few days to buy things that I fancy eating. It’s much less stressful than one big supermarket shop and you end up only buying what you plan to eat so there’s less waste.
- Putting food together is about confidence. I thought I couldn’t cook but it turns out that I can. Trust your instincts about what flavours go together: if you imagine how it will taste you’ll usually be right. And if in doubt, there’s no shame in following a recipe (though I haven’t so far because I never have all of the ingredients).
- It’s also about practice. I’ve cooked a few things that haven’t turned that out well. But I’ve learnt from that, and moved on. Once you take the pressure off yourself it’s fun to experiment, and I’ve found myself starting to enjoy cooking. Something that I didn’t think could be possible.
- Make things in bulk and put the spare in Tupperware (or old takeaway) boxes. You’ll then have portions of home made food to take to the office for lunch.
- It doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve discovered that almost anything can be stir-fried. Some days for lunch I’ve taken a sweet potato to work, microwaved it for five minutes and had with cheese and salad: feels like a hot meal but for minimal effort. You could also do this with a standard potato (although it might need more like 10 minutes).