A Case for Cooking

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]M[/mk_dropcaps]aybe you have said, or least hear someone else say "Why should I cook when eating out is so much more convenient?" At certain stages in my life I've said and thought this very thing.  Now that I'm a bit older and keeping up with a  healthy lifestyle is even more important I want to share the top 4 reasons why I cook.  I'm not asking you to switch over right away, if you are someone who's kitchen so happens to be at your favorite restaurant.  My goal in writing this is to get you to take a step closer to doing this.  Not all meals have to be cooked at home, but I have found so many more benefits to this change in lifestyle than I thought would come. Because I love alliteration all of these reasons start with C...

  1. Capitol- With the average commercially prepared meal costing $12.75 and the average meal in home costing around $5 there is a significant financial benefit to taking the extra time to shop, meal plan and cook for the week.
  2. Caliber- When you control the menu, you also have the most control of the quality of ingredients you use.  That is why that cliche "There is nothing like a home cooked meal" rings true.  When you get fresh, locally grown, organic ingredients you may be amazed at just how much better they taste.  Bonus... they are healthier for you too.
  3. Character- Closely tied to be able to raise the caliber of the food you eat when cooking, you're also able to have more control over the flavor profile when you cook.  I tend to like things more savory and spicy than a lot of restaurants like to cook.  When restaurants use too many sweet sauces a meal can be ruined for me.  The benefit of cooking at home, these adjustments don't have to come at the cost of feeling like that high maintenance orderer who modifies every order.  (I wouldn't say I'm that bad, but I do have my moments.)
  4. Community-  This one is one of my favorite reasons to cook.  I notice that my relationship with food got a lot healthier when I made room for others to join me in the process.  One of my favorite things to do is to cook with my husband, cook for my friends and to have people hang around the dinner table.  My Dad used this expression that describes it best "At the dinner table no one grows old."

Now, don't just take my word for it.  I challenge you step out and cook at least one more meal from home for the next 3 weeks.  I'd love to hear how it goes!