Healthy Food Choices: Is it OK to be Normal?
Healthy Urban Cooking is all about making healthy food choices, shopping for the right food, and cooking with fresher ingredients. However, the question always remains – Is it OK to open a can of soup or cook a box of Hamburger Helper?
Our Cooking Philosophy
We shoot for a balance between taste, health and budget. Of course, we focus on “health” but we never forget the other two elements. The only exception to this rule is fast food restaurants. We absolutely refuse to eat fast food. Past that exception, we do not object to using canned goods and pre-packaged meals. We do read nutritional and ingredient labels. We learn to shop for better quality food like “No-salt” beans or organic pasta. Simple math can show that you are paying mere pennies more for better quality food. Don’t be afraid of a slightly higher price tag.
What is On Sale?
Budget-wise, we look for sales. However, do not shop “sale” items only. For instance, frozen pizza is unhealthy no matter how you slice it. (pun intended) You do not need to buy something just because it is on sale. On the other hand, “on sale” items like fresh salmon fillets, ripe strawberries or organic spinach are excellent purchases. Personally, I am amazed by the amount of energy and flashy appeal devoted to items like potato chips when just 50 feet away is a small sign showing fresh cut peppered bacon is forty percent off the regular price. Imagine what you can make with a pound of fresh cut peppered bacon!
Hidden Savings: Discontinued Items
Discontinued items are an excellent source of savings. As we walk through the grocery store, we keep a keen eye for discontinued items. These are products that are not selling well. Think about it. Grocery stores are a business. Their shelf space is precious. Again, though, stores love to “dump” processed unhealthy items such as snack crackers. Look for deals on specialty sauces or ingredients like Asian and barbecue sauces, as well as lesser known brands of oils, flour, and vinegar. Beyond the grocery stores are places like TJ Maxx™ and Marshalls™. You will find small sections of food items at substantially reduced prices.
When you approach the cashier with your shopping cart, it will not be filled with healthy food choices. Our basket always contains “compromises”. We give these bad choices a lovely name, so we do not feel as guilty. However, let’s face it, we are not perfect. We will sacrifice “healthy” for price and convenience. Is it OK to be Normal? The answer is YES. Our goal is to get you to read nutritional labels, gently push you towards fresh ingredients, and help you make better choices.