Emancipate Yourself From Cliched Dinners

Author: Christy Dean | 23 Oct 2011

Tagged: Sports Nutrition

The grocery store can be a daunting place even for cooking veterans. Everything seems to jump at you like a flamboyant broadway show. If you’re not confident enough to handle the grocery store, heading to the freezer aisle and grabbing a HungryMan or Lean Cuisine may be the only solace. The angel in the back of your subconscious is not happy with your decision and chances are if you have family at home, they won’t be either.

Having confidence in your dinner will help separate you from the pack. Before heading to the store, it’s always helpful to institute a plan. When watching television, reading a magazine, or browsing the web, it’s always good to have a pen and paper or virtual notepad (on a mobile device) nearby. For instance, I was browsing a magazine and found an easy 4-ingredient dinner that took approximately 25 minutes from preparation to table. I immediately jotted it down so I had a defense arsenal against those frozen dinner confidence ruiners.

If you’re strapped for time but still aim to create a dinner palate to please, there are always some quick and easy recipe tips on the back of food packaging. So, while you’re checking to see if the nutritional value is worth it, you’re able to kill two birds with one stone.

The last piece of confidence boosting advice I have is to: try, try again and eventually you’ll succeed. On a trip to the grocery store recently, I found that I was not only strapped for time, but on a budget. I wanted to “create dinner”, not just make dinner from a box. What ended up in my cart: pears, lettuce, tofu, and honey mustard. I only had 40 minutes to make it home, cook and serve this meal. By the time I reached home, I only had 30 minutes left. Time was slowly slipping away, dinner guests were on their way, and it appeared that all I could do was stare. I had experience a “confidence block”, similar to “stagefright”. Kitchen appliances seemed to have been my daunting audience and I had nothing to bring to the table.

It was just then that I thanked Steve Jobs for the iphone and also a store here in the US called, Whole Foods. They have an app on the iphone that let’s you list up to 6 ingredients and come up with recipes for you. As I quickly plugged in my 4 ingredients, I noticed I only had 15 minutes left. Much to my surprise, I found listed: Asian Pear Salad with Sauteed Tofu. The table had already been set and the tofu was just about ready to be placed into the salad I had prepared when my dinner guests arrived.

Confidence can be found in the most pressured of times…