Friday, March 2, 2012

A new toy helps achieve goals!

New toys are fun!

I love to cook. I mean, I really love it! I find it to be relaxing, creative and joyful, especially when the end product turns out as expected and everyone enjoys it.  And while most of my kitchen equipment is simple and unchanging (my knives, my non-stick cookware) I do have some gadget.  A couple weeks ago, I bought a new toy.

My new panini press! Prior to this, I used an old George Foreman grill. It worked, but it was big and bulky and awkward to store. My new press is shiny stainless steel, smaller and easier to handle and it works great!

So, where did I find my press? A nice kitchen store or a cook's specialty shop? An online vendor?  Nope.
I got it at Aldi! Yeah, my favorite inexpensive grocery store occasionally has kitchen and household appliances. I picked this up for $14.99, and it makes two paninis using ciabatta rolls or one large sandwich using a hoagie bun.

This is the end result. Here are the recipes for my Portabella Panini and Spinach Pasta Toss.

Why is this press helpful for me to stay at my goal weight (or to actively lose weight if needed?) Because if cooking becomes easy, fast and fun, we are all more likely to cook for ourselves instead of letting a restaurant cook for us. That leaves us in control of the ingredients used. We can choose to use fresh vegetables, healthy oils and lower sodium components. We are also to make the correct portion sizes. When I used to eat a lot of takeout Chinese, I thought the container was one serving. In reality this little cartons hold two or more servings!

I hope my readers begin to enjoy cooking. Try new recipes. Buy some new kitchen toys. Make cooking a meal something to anticipate, not something to dread. When you do that, you will also start seeing more personal victories, and make more progress toward your goals.

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