Healthy Eating in 2012: Be Your Own Chef

There are so many excuses for not learning how to cook: small kitchen, broken stove, not enough time, you work late, too many business dinners, etc. Think about the number of times you eat out each week, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three. Multiply that number by at least 20. This is what you are spending PER WEEK on food, which you could easily make at home for a quarter of the cost.

Dollar signs aside, chefs don’t care about your dietary restrictions or daily caloric intake, all they care about is if their food tastes good! So my questions to you is: Why are you eating out so much when you’re trying to make healthy changes in 2012?

Well, this can be the year of no excuses. To get you started, I’ve listed out 5 easy tips on how to get yourself on track.

Say hello to your kitchen, because it’s going to be your new best friend!

  1. Throw away the garbage. I know it’s hard to think of throwing food away – especially after you just spent your hard-earned money on it – but those cookies are going to do nothing good for you if they are in your pantry. If it’s not healthy, toss it!
  1. Go grocery shopping on the weekend to have fresh food in your fridge for the week ahead. Once Monday hits, it’s harder to find time to grocery shop, which is why you end up ordering your food instead of making it. You don’t need to buy meals out when you can make them fresh from home.
  1. Sign up for cooking classes. This is a fun way to get your loved one or friend on the same healthy page as you and it will keep you accountable since most classes are prepaid! Think of it as a new restaurant where you can’t cancel your reservations.
  1. Learn from others. Buy healthy cookbooks or download recipes from food blogs. There are so many health-nuts out there and we all love to share our recipes!
  1. Find a place with a working kitchen. It’s hard to cook in a kitchen with a stove that doesn’t turn on or from the 1950s. Buy or refurbish utilities in your kitchen that are necessary to cook with. If this is impossible, look into renting a new place for the New Year!

Here is an easy recipe for you to make at home that is healthy, delicious and full of flavor. My Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts have been a big hit with family and friends over the years, and I make it regularly as a side dish for my husband and myself with dinner.

Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit; coat baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray and set aside.

2. Wash 1 lb (16 oz) bag of Brussels sprouts and slice in half on cutting board; transfer to large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper and a few pinches of sea salt (no more than ¼ teaspoon); toss well to combine.

3. Place sprouts on baking sheet and cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and squeeze the juice of ½ fresh lemon over the cooked sprouts.

5. Using a spatula, transfer to serving dish and serve immediately with side of Parmesan cheese (optional).

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