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How to manage your weight mindfully by cooking at home.


Cooking can be a fun and enjoyable activity that supports healthy management for life. Preparing meals at home allows you to control the ingredients and portions, which can lead to healthier eating habits. In this blog post, we will explore how to make cooking fun and enjoyable by incorporating variety, curiosity, and playfulness into your cooking routine.


Variety

One way to make cooking more fun is to experiment with different ingredients and cuisines. Trying new recipes can be exciting and can help you discover new flavors and textures. You can start by exploring different cuisines, such as Italian, Mexican, or Thai, and trying out their signature dishes. You can also experiment with different ingredients, such as seasonal vegetables or exotic fruits, to add variety to your meals.


Curiosity

Another way to make cooking more fun is to approach it with curiosity. Instead of following a recipe step-by-step, try to understand the science behind cooking and experiment with different techniques. For example, you can try different cooking methods, such as grilling, roasting, or sautéing, to see how they affect the flavor and texture of your food. You can also try different seasoning combinations to see how they enhance the flavor of your dishes.


Playfulness

Finally, adding playfulness to your cooking routine can make it more enjoyable. You can turn cooking into a game by challenging yourself to cook a meal with limited ingredients or by timing yourself to see how fast you can prepare a dish. You can also involve your family or friends in the cooking process and make it a social activity. Cooking together can be a fun way to bond and create memories.


Now that we have explored how to make cooking more fun and enjoyable, let's try out an easy and nutritious fall recipe that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.


Fall Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna

This zucchini lasagna recipe is a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional lasagna. It is packed with vegetables and protein and can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.


Ingredients:

- 2 1/2–3 lbs zucchini (3-4 large, 9-inch long- see notes) 16-18 slices, cut to 1/3 inch thick.

- Olive oil, or spray olive oil

- Salt and pepper

"Meat" Sauce:

- 1 lb ground meat (or vegan meat)

- 1 onion, diced

- 3 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)

- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

- 1 tsp dried basil

- 1 tsp dried oregano

- Salt and pepper

Filling:

- 1 cup ricotta cheese (or vegan ricotta)

- 1 egg (or flax egg)

- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan)

- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

- Salt and pepper


Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Slice the zucchini into 1/3 inch thick slices.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat (or vegan meat), onion, garlic, and fennel seeds (if using). Cook until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, about 8-10 minutes.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese (or vegan ricotta), egg (or flax egg), Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan), basil, salt, and pepper.

6. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil or spray olive oil.

7. Arrange a layer of zucchini slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of the meat sauce, followed by a layer of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up.

8. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

9. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

10. Let the lasagna cool for a few minutes before serving.

Give it a go! Put your apron on and ask your family members or friends to join in. Cooking can be a fun and enjoyable activity that supports healthy management for life. By incorporating variety, curiosity, and playfulness into your cooking routine, you can make it a more enjoyable experience. Try out the zucchini lasagna recipe and let me know how it turned out! Bon appétit.


I am here to support you on your weight management journey! CONTACT ME to book a call.


With kindness,

Petra

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