If you are looking for new, healthy, and easy meal ideas to start your year off with and try living a healthy lifestyle, you are in the right place. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everybody and it has affected every area of our lives. During the lockdown, you probably had to cook at home more than usual and maybe you have exhausted your go-to recipes. Luckily for you, there are plenty of simple recipes and ways to pack nutritious ingredients into delicious meals.
The pandemic has also taught us to care about our health and well-being and you already know that eating habits are especially important. There isn’t a better way to boost your immune system and nourish your body than to eat clean and healthy.
Eating healthy isn’t just eating raw vegetables, fruits, and greens, because this pattern isn’t sustainable for a majority of people in the long run. Choosing the right food preparation and cooking methods is something everyone can do and experience long-term benefits.
When you are cooking healthy, the most important thing is to preserve all the vital nutrients that are present in your ingredients. Also, don’t forget to pick your ingredients carefully and research the methods of preserving the food, so that it can be consumed for a longer period.
Whether you are cooking for a big family or enjoying a meal by yourself, here are some ideas.
Air-fryers are becoming more and more popular every year. They are user-friendly, fast, and the food is delicious, despite the fact that you can cook everything without adding any oil.
Air-fryer is an amped-up countertop oven. However, the air-fried food doesn’t taste the same as baked food. This small appliance essentially mimics the results of deep-frying with hot air only and no oil.
Research has shown that 40% of families in the U.S. own this useful gadget. There are many meals you can air-fry – from homemade french fries to frozen chicken wings, or roasted vegetables. Numerous guides at www.airfryermarket.com explain how the air-fryer works. Basically, the top section of this appliance holds a fan and a heating mechanism. The food should be put in a basket and the hot air rushes down when you turn it on. The circulation of hot air is rapid and that is what makes your food crisp as if it was deep-fried.
Depending on the size of your air-fryer, the basket can usually hold from 2 to 10 quarts. Cooking temperatures typically range from 350° to 400°F and cooking time is between 5 and 25 minutes. Remember that in some cases you may want to open it halfway through to flip your food. Clean your air-fryer as soon as it cools down and be careful not to use rough sponges and harsh materials, as you don’t want to scratch it.
So, what can you cook in your air-fryer? Many people think that air-fryer is great for foods that are typically deep-fried, only. What they don’t know is that you can use it to cook meat, roast vegetables, and even bake cookies.
Frozen Finger Foods
When it comes to preparing frozen foods the air-fryer is a champion. The food really tastes deep-fried. Try making mozzarella sticks, frozen french fries, or chicken nuggets.
Homemade Finger Foods
For those who love preparing their food from scratch, especially homemade snacks and sides, an air fryer is a great option (e.g. papas rellenas, pickles, sweet potato fries, etc.)
Chicken, Fish, and Meat
Air-fryer is amazing when it comes to preparing foods packed with protein. There are countless chicken recipes out there but if you want to be creative try making meatballs or fish.
If you are cooking for one or two people, roasting your vegetables in the air-fryer is more convenient than doing it in your oven. It will be quicker and the end result will be the same, even better. Make sure you skip leafy greens and roast peppers, zucchini, eggplants, broccoli, or cauliflower instead.
Medical experts often claim that steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook your meals. It’s very simple and natural and it allows you to taste unique flavors. There are many benefits in this method of cooking – you will be avoiding hidden calories and fats from oil and butter and it keeps valuable nutrients inside, unlike any other cooking method. It’s also pretty quick, so make sure you don’t overcook your food, especially veggies. You don’t want mushy food on your plate, do you?
What Kind Of Foods Can You Steam?
This method is ideal for ingredients that need moisture and that taste better when soft than crunchy.
- Vegetables: Many vegetables benefit from being steamed. Cauliflower, broccoli, or beats tend to become soggy when simmered, so you should always rather steam them. You can use steaming as a step before cooking a veggie another way. For example, you can steam potatoes before you pan-fry them, or steam broccoli before you add it to a stir-fry.
- Meat: When you think about preparing meat, steaming may not be your first idea. Nevertheless, it gets the job done in a healthy way.
- Eggs: Steaming your eggs is becoming more and more popular. It’s easy, quick, and convenient. You can buy a small counter electric appliance to steam eggs and you can adjust the level of doneness easily.
- Fish and shellfish: Seafood is amazing for steaming. Try using a broth or wine and add a lot of aromatic herbs for extra flavor.
- Souffles, pastries, and custards: If you try steaming these desserts you will discover that it gives them a silky and moist texture.
- Tamales: Tamales are traditionally steamed and you can do it on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the oven.
- Steamed buns: Chinese steamed buns, also known as baozi, are fluffy and chewy, and filled with delicious ingredients. They can be sweet or savory. Baozi is gently cooked in special bamboo steamers.
- Rice: If you prepare rice on a regular basis, think about investing in a rice cooker. It’s very useful, easy, and it can do a couple of things at once.
Following a healthy diet has many benefits. It’s good for your heart, reduces the risk of cancer, improves your gut health, and not to mention that it affects your mood and mental state a lot. Try following this simple guide and include some suggestions into your daily routine.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”