A woman peaking around a chefs hat

Learning How to Cook

With limitations on how often you visit the store, and plenty of restaurant closures, many are finding themselves cooking much more frequently than they once did. If you have been honing your cooking skills for years, this can be fine albeit slightly annoying. But if you didn’t know how to cook prior to these changes, you may be asking yourself “what am I supposed to eat?”

How to improve cooking skills

Instead of choosing takeout, delivery, unhealthy snacks, and microwave meals, follow these simple tips for developing cooking skills of your own. These skills will be helpful during these ever-changing times and beyond!

Don’t overcomplicate things

Especially when you are first learning to cook, try not to choose recipes that have loads of steps and ingredients. Take a look in your fridge and see what you have on hand. Then, try looking in a cookbook or at a recipe online for ideas. Many recipes can be changed or changed when all of the ingredients are not available or aren’t the right choice for someone with type 2 diabetes.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect. The more you cook, the better at it you will get. You will learn the right temperature to set the burner on, or the oven to when cooking different foods. You will also learn how to season foods. But during this learning process, things may get burned, they may be too salty or too bland, or even too chewy. Don’t give up when you hit these roadblocks. Everyone has been there! I was a chronic “under-seasoner” for fear of making something too spicy or salty. Eventually, you will figure it out and even surprise yourself in the process!

Build a complete meal

When brainstorming new recipes, try to employ the plate method to help build a complete, nutritious meal. To review, the plate method is a process encouraged for people with diabetes to help them eat appropriate portions to aid in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Half of the plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables, while the other half should be evenly split between protein and carbohydrates. This is also a wonderful way for people without diabetes to visualize portion control and healthy meal choices. Everyone can benefit from this way of eating. So when coming up with a meal ask yourself: What will be my non-starchy vegetable? What will be my carbohydrate? And what will be my protein choice?

Each time that you try a new recipe you are learning. Some may make it into your weekly rotation. Others may get a thumbs down. But all of this information is helpful on your road to becoming a more skillful chef.

Happy cooking!

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