Over the past few decades the world has gradually moved towards a lifestyle based on instant gratification, this includes changing eating habits like consuming more fast, processed food items and foods that are generally rich in sugar, fats and carbohydrates.
This has led to an upsurge of various problems like childhood obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
Why are home cooked meals a healthy option?
Social eating has become a part of the fabric of many cultures around the world, especially in more developed nations like the United States, Great Britain and France.
People now opt to go to restaurants rather than enjoying a nice home cooked meal with friends, and in many cases food becomes the side note of the evening while everyone enjoys watching sports or some other form of entertainment
However people miss out on the rich flavours and exciting nutritious contributions that home cooked food has to offer. Some of these benefits include:
(i) Savouring one’s food: it is a known fact that preparing one’s own food leads to an added appreciation for the flavours, taste and ingredients that one uses during the course of the preparation.
(ii) Increased food knowledge: Cooking one’s meals leads to an increased awareness about the various benefits and side effects of the various ingredients being used. It allows us to know which ingredients contain what minerals, vitamins and also what ingredients could potentially be coupled with others to create good dishes.
(iii) Fosters healthy relationships: studies have shown that growing children benefit greatly from watching the ritual of food preparation and eating meals together. It is even considered holy in many cultures like Hinduism, Judaism where families make it a point to sit together for daily meals to promote a sense of family unity.
(iv) Food Safety: According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) food poisoning affects 1/6 Americans annually. Home cooked meals give the user peace of mind and the satisfaction of knowing that the meal has been cooked using the best ingredients and in hygienic conditions.
(v) Monetary savings: As one starts to cook at home they realise the amount of money that they are saving on a near weekly basis. Grocery shopping and home cooking leads to decreased expenditure on things like frozen meals, take away’s and fast food.
(vi) Nutritional benefits: Restaurants and fast food joints have been found time and again to add large amounts of fats and sugars to their food items to enhance their flavour and overall taste. This practice however leads to a large increase in calorie consumption and over long durations can have adverse effects upon users.
What is the Accidental Chef Blog?
The Accidental Chef Blog is a platform for users to discover recipes that have been devised as a result of homespun experimentation and the desire to recreate traditional recipes but with a healthier and calorie conscious outlook.
The recipes are designed to be paleo oriented, vegan friendly, low on carbs and gluten free allowing users to not compromise on taste and still enjoy the benefits of consuming their favourite foods.
Lastly, the mission of the program as displayed on the official website is to ” bring back the taste into healthy recipes and to create food that caters to all palates while adhering to any dietary restrictions that one might have”.
Who is behind this project?
The project was the brainchild of Kara, a native of Seattle, Washington who from a young age had been exposed to various cuisines and food types by her mother who she calls her primary influence.
Her own journey as a ‘chef’ started when she began living on her own, she soon discovered that lean cuisines, take outs and restaurant food were just not doing it for her anymore and she decided to start cooking by seeking recipes online.
Fast forward to a couple of years later and Kara was recreating traditional recipes, foods she had eaten in restaurants with a more healthy and calorie oriented goal.
Her primary objective is to change people's perception that healthy food is not tasty, and she tries to do this by not sacrificing the texture or flavour of the food just in order to make it healthier.
It is also important to note that Kara does not claim to be an expert chef, or is even formally trained as a cook, but all her inspiration comes from the love of cooking itself and all of the compliments she has received over the years from her family, friends and patrons.
Recipes Offered In The Blog
The Accidental Chef Blog has been designed in a unique way which opts to go for new modern day categories like ‘Football Game Day Recipes’ rather than traditional ones like lunch, dinner and so on. The various options that users can choose from include:
(i) Meat lovers recipes: this category contains recipes made using healthy red and white meat choices. They cover a wider variety of flavour stylings including:
- Ancho espresso rubbed pot roast
- Baked dried Chicken with tomato and leek
- Creamy Chicken and broccoli quinoa casserole
- Roasted Chicken thighs with caramelised onions.
(ii) Fall inspired Recipes: these recipes were created by the author keeping the Seattle fall weather in mind. These dishes are hearty, filling and are designed to keep one warm and filled. Some of them include:
- Chicken Teriyaki Quinoa Bake
- Mediterranean Spiced Chicken a la crock pot
- Sage roasted turkey.
(iii) Hearty and Healthy Soups: the recipes in this category include a mix of different vegetables and spices. They are made to serve as appetizers or even a complete meal depending on the preference of the user. Some of these recipes include:
- Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
- Creamy Basil and Cucumber Soup with a kick
- Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup
- The Feel Good Tomato Soup
(iv) Paleo Friendly Recipes: these items have been prepared using paleo friendly ingredients. Some of these dishes include:
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Cauliflower and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash.
- Roasted Shredded Brussel Sprouts
(v) Crockpot and Slow Cooker Recipes: these meals are designed to be slow cooked and contain a variety of ingredients. Some of these creations include:
- Simple Salsa Verde Chicken
- Smokey Chicken Ropa Vieja
- Slow Cooked Bayou Chicken Thighs with Artichokes
How can I connect with Kara? Where can I find these recipes?
The easiest way to make use of Kara’s recipes is to find them online at http://www.theaccidentalchefblog.com/.
All of the content posted online is available free of charge and there are new recipes that are added nearly every week (3 recipes are added on an average weekly). Alternatively, Kara also can also be reached at [email protected], where one can mail her regarding cooking queries or any other food related stuff.