Home Cooked V Convenience

Is it easier

By Jacky Farbrace

We all stand divided on the Home cooked V Convenient meal. Life styles have changed over the last 30yrs and how we prepare our meals has changed significantly. As more and more women continue to work after having children, through choice or necessity, cooking a family meal from scratch has become less important. The choice for convenience food has become so vast now that we wonder if there is a reason to cook a meal from scratch anymore.

However, as we become more informed about our ready meals and what goes into them, the trend to Home Cook is increasing again. We are starting to feel uncomfortable about the amount of salt, sugar and fat that is in the ready meal. Then there are the preservatives, which are necessary to allow the food to stay on the shelves for a period of time but not always good for us. All this adds up to us being concerned about what we are feeding our families and wanting to do better for them.

The trap we have fallen into though is that we have become so reliant on convenience food that we have forgotten the basics of cooking and feel that we can’t cook that delicious wholesome meal that we really want to do. What doesn’t help is all the cooking programs that we see on the telly. They show us how to create these amazing family meals in minutes and tell us how cheap it is to do it. Yet when we come to do it, it takes twice as long and doesn’t quite turn out the same.

Ready meals are quick, you say. Are they? If you are cooking 4 ready meals for a family at about 6mins per meal, that is 24mins in total and each meal is ready at a different time. You can make a meal in under 30mins for a family of 4 easily. You can, I do it frequently.

It’s cheaper to buy ready meals? Yes, you can get meal deals. 3 for £6 etc. But if there are 4 of you that could become £9 as you have to buy the additional one. A pack of chicken breasts, some rice and vegetables can easily be brought for under £9 and the chances are you will have bigger portions too. Not only this but it will be healthier and tastier too. If you have some left over, which you may do, you have a ready made lunch the next day or you can freeze it down for your own ready meal another day.

But, the sticking point to all this as I said earlier, is knowing how. In my group Cook, Chat & Share,  I have step by step cooking photos and videos to show you how to cook really easy tasty family meals. There is also the support of the other members, a safe place to ask questions without being judged and to show off your successes.

Why not try this recipe Chicken Stew. 

It’s the perfect comfort food for this time of the year. Give it a go. It isn’t an under 30min recipe, but it isn’t time consuming and you will be surprised at how easy it is to do and how delicious it is too.

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