Hi, everyone! I grew up with non-cooking parents who either took me out to eat or fed me meals from a box. I had no complaints at the time, but I learned some pretty unhealthy eating habits. After college, I left home and went off to live on my own. I ate frozen dinners, takeout, and fast food. My husband is a great cook, so we eat at home occasionally, but we both love to eat out so most of our meals come from restaurants. The last time I saw the inside of a grocery store was probably late fall. (Yikes! That sounds insane.)
I've been wanting to get healthy for a while now but I wasn't sure how to get started. I saw a Facebook post about The Kind Diet book and immediately ordered it. I started reading it yesterday and I'm halfway through already. My mouth was hanging open in disbelief for most of it. "What have been DOING to myself?!"
I know I want to get started, and I'll probably use the Flirting method first since it would be such an extreme change for me. I feel scared about all these new foods I've never heard of and about the cooking I'll have to start doing. (My husband will certainly help me but I need to learn to do this myself!)
Does anyone have any tips for the non-cook getting started? (Boiling water is about all I know how to do.) Any super easy recipes to try or foods that I really shouldn't be scared of?
Couscous is very fast and easy (much easier than rice, I think). Just pick up a box and follow the directions! I have a recipe I got from the 6 o'clock Scramble that I like - heat a can of diced tomatoes (get the kind that are pre-seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano), 1 cup of tomato (or pasta) sauce, and a can of chick peas. I believe the recipe suggests serving over rice, but I serve over couscous. Cheap, fast, easy and delicious!
I would say first off just start gradually switching some standard stuff like your butter (Earth Balance is good) and bread (I really like Ezekiel bread but it is also really easy to make your own I suggest this recipehttp://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=5707.0 ). Try just buying a pizza crust at your local grocery store (the ones that come with the marinara packets) and whatever veggies catch your eye. Then chop up the veggies, put them on top of the marinara and pizza crust and let them cook a little bit.
I also really suggest just taking some time and looking up different recipes; you can do this by going to the library and checking out their vegan cookbooks or looking up different ones online. I really suggest looking through this sites forums or going to these websites www.fatfreevegan.com or www.vegweb.com or even www.vegnews.com. If you don't already have a food processor I suggest investing in one if I were you. My twenty dollar one was definitely worth the purchase since it seems like every recipe I come across requires using it! Take your time and read through the recipes a couple of times before going and putting it all together. I've also found it really helpful to lay out the ingredients in the order that they are to be used. As far as foods to try, when I first started I was really scared of not cooking beans properly! But I found that if I start with dry ones giving them the proper soak time makes a big difference! Since you like going out try going to a sushi place and ordering their veggie roles and spring roles (they can be pretty addicting). Also there is www.gobblegreen.com where you can have meals delivered to you. I have not tried this but it looks pretty good if you can afford it! Hope this all helps!
I forgot something! For foods or ingredients that you have no idea what the heck they are talking about , look them up online on sites that will show you a picture of what the product generally looks like (amazon or veganessentials.com are what I use). I've found that this really helps and saves me from going up and down an aisle ten times when it is right in front of me, or in a spot you wouldn't even think of such as the Ezekiel bread being in the freezer section!
Most important is have fun and just think of it as a new adventure in life!
I don't know where you live but most places these days have vegetarian or vegan cooking courses.
I don't believe that there is such a thing that people are unable to cook, I do believe that it is just a matter of not overdoing it initially. Make a tomato sauce with some pasta. Make a nice big salad with homemade garlic bread. Enjoy buying good ingredients and as an added incentive the money you save from eating at home, can be saved towards a holiday or weekend getaway.