Following a diet is not your thing. Trying to keep into a dietary plan gives you anxiety, and you end up eating more than you want.
Eating a certain type of food in specific portions and hours gives you extra work. This situation was not in your plan, and the results are not as expected. So, quitting is the only solution you have left.
It is like a never-ending process ─ you want to eat healthier foods, you go on a diet, dieting becomes a nightmare, you quit the diet, and then you feel like you need nutritious food, you try a new diet, and you start all over again.
Key Ingredients in Your Pantry
Diets do not work for everybody. There are other ways to improve your nutrition. You can learn how to combine some ingredients and use healthier cooking methods.
If you want to eat better to feel healthier, stop going on diets that do not work for you. Instead of doing that, learn more about the ingredients you usually eat and how to cook them properly. Enjoy the process of creating new dishes adapted to your taste and needs.
You can prepare more nutritious meals with the ingredients you have in your pantry. Some of them provide you with nutrients and increase the energy your body needs.
Besides vegetables, fruits, legumes, plant-based products, and lean meats, you have an arsenal of ingredients that will help you to eat better.
It is one of the most consumed grains in the world. Rice is versatile, affordable, and easy to cook. It pairs with almost any ingredient, you can prepare thousands of dishes with this humble staple.
The most interesting characteristic for you is its nutritious value. This grain contains essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, selenium, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and iron. A cup of white rice includes 213 calories, 1.69 grams of fat, 43.67 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.17 grams of protein. Rice will help you to recover your nutrition, boost your energy levels, lose weight, and keep you fuller for a longer time.
Orzo is another of people’s favorite staples. This tiny pasta is also versatile and can be included in traditional pasta dishes, soups, and salads. It has a high content of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
There are different types of orzo, and their nutritional values vary accordingly. The most nutritious kind of orzo is whole wheat orzo because it still has the bran, germ, and endosperm that maintain all nutrients intact. The calories in cooked orzo are low, with 210 in a half cup. It also has 7 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber, and 0.7 micrograms of iron.
This seed is the best way of having a whole protein. They are simple to prepare and extremely healthy. Beans have plenty of minerals and vitamins such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, B vitamins, selenium, folate, and vitamin K.
There is a wide range of beans. More common are soybean, kidney, broad, lima, garbanzo, black, navy, fava, and pinto bean. The nutritional values of each type of bean are the same with slight differences. A cup of pinto beans has 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fiber, and 245 calories.
Just remember, in this process of preparing healthy meals, you need to avoid processed foods. They include excess calories, fats, sugars, additives, and preservatives harmful to your body.
Tips and Tricks on How to Take Advantage of Your Pantry Ingredients
To benefit from all the advantages of these nutritive staples, you need to combine them with fresh vegetables and lean meats and use healthy cooking techniques.
Steaming, baking, and boiling are good healthy cooking options. You can also use instant pots, rice cookers, or rice steamers to cook healthy and perfect preparations.
Try to use healthy oils for cooking. Olive oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil are your best alternatives.
Preparing meals in advance is a great way to save time and money while ensuring that you have healthy and nutritious dishes ready at all times. It involves cooking a large batch of food and then dividing it into individual servings that can be eaten throughout the week. This can help you save time by not having to spend time cooking every single day. It could also help you save money since you can perhaps buy ingredients in bulk and reduce food waste.
When it comes to meal prepping, it is helpful to cook for many days at a time and store the dishes in the freezer. This will help to keep your meals fresh and prevent spoilage. You can then reheat any of the meals later in the week. Additionally, it is beneficial to include a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in your meals.
Is Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice?
Yes. Brown rice has the bran, germ, and endosperm intact. This helps to maintain all nutrients intact. White rice has the bran and germ removed.
On the downside, brown rice usually takes longer to cook: up to 30-35 minutes.
Are Rice and Orzo the Same?
No. Rice is a grain. Orzo is a wheat-based small pasta with a rice grain shape. Another big difference is that orzo is not gluten-free, so people who suffer from coeliac disease should not eat it.
However, in recent years, some pasta manufacturers have started to sell a gluten-free version of orzo made with rice and corn flour on the market.
How About Pearl Couscous?
Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, is a type of small, round pasta made from semolina flour and wheat flour. Unlike traditional couscous, which is made by rolling semolina flour and water into tiny pellets, pearl couscous is formed by rolling the dough into small balls and toasting them until they are golden brown.
Coeliacs advice: Pearl couscous is not gluten-free either.