Cooking easy meals for the entire family can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to ensure that they’re healthy.
But it is possible if you focus on simple recipes and don’t put pressure on yourself to make everything perfect, says Daphne Oz, a cookbook author and MasterChef Junior judge.
“The kitchen, to me, is actually a place to relax, I think it’s because I keep it easy on myself… I don’t try to make it too fancy,” said Oz, who is a mom of four and daughter of TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz. “I just want something filling and healthy whenever possible, but delicious first and foremost.”
It’s easier to stay healthy and make good choices if the meal options are actually flavourful and not boring, she told hosts on Global News’ The Morning Show.
One of her favourite easy meals to make is a vegan zucchini soup that works well for leftovers as well.
The recipe includes one zucchini, roughly chopped, onions, tarragon, vegetable broth and a small amount of white wine. It won’t take more than 30 minutes, said Oz.
“This is one of those recipes… that brings the family together, which is always how I approach the kitchen,” she said. “You can make a big batch of this and it freezes really beautifully.”
How to introduce more healthy eating at home
Many of us are dependent on processed or take-out meals, which can contain high fat or salt content, said registered dietitian Andrea D’Ambrosio in a previous Global News report.
Cooking at home more often should improve the dietary quality of your meals and save you money as well, said D’Ambrosio.
Learn what you can and can’t give up, she explained. Cutting everything out and replacing it with healthier foods isn’t sustainable, she said.
“Remember that any valiant effort to lose weight that involves deprivation and/or extreme exercise is unsustainable — you will eventually default to your old habits,” D’Ambrosio said.
“Therefore, make a commitment to focus on life-long behaviour change using strategies that are healthy, enjoyable and therefore sustainable.”
Watch Daphne Oz in the video above for all the steps to make her zucchini soup.
— With files from Leslie Young