Tip 5: Find cookbooks that are aligned to your tastes and skills

Eating. We all need to eat and as a dear friend once said to me “you spend a lot of your time eating so you might as well learn to enjoy cooking”. 

The three types of treat food I enjoy most are dark chocolate, ice-cream and hot chips. Unfortunately I can’t live on these three foods alone and nor can I indulge my sweet tooth from dawn to dusk. 

A couple of years ago I read the food guidelines from a number of different countries, and checked out a number of observational studies and the message seemed pretty clear, eat a lot of vegetables, some fruit and some carbs, dairy and meat (or plant based proteins). However, this leaves wide open the styles, flavours and complexity of the meals prepared. 

I tried a few tricks to encourage myself to have more vegetable & fruits and the one that has stuck is green smoothies. I know its a bit of a fad at the moment but I genuinely enjoy the taste of the smoothes I make. I choose to have my smoothies at breakfast and I have a mix of fruits (usually two of green apples, pears and grapes) and vegetables (usually two of kale, spinach and celery) as well as coconut water or aloe vera. Sometimes I add lime or mint for extra flavour.  

Looking back, when I first left home I knew how to bake and prepare very simple meals. One of the things I’ve learnt over the years is I like simple food, platters with cheeses, vegetables and dips, pasta dishes and stir fry dishes. 

One thing that I really found helpful in my culinary journey was finding a couple of cookbooks that use familiar ingredients and have many dishes I want to make. My two favourite books are Jamie Oliver with Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours and Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 which cover off mains and desserts respectively. For both of these books I once set myself a challenge to make either 12 or 24 dishes that I’d not previously made in a year. In both cases I really enjoyed the experience and learnt a few things along the way. 

So my tastes may be simple, but I’m happy that way.


Note this is not intended as medical advice.