It worries me how much the “modern” people are too busy to find time to cook, leave alone cooking something healthy.
You see there is a food joint in my hood where I go once or twice a week to get some brown chapati or bean stew and there are always some regulars there busy using up all their WiFi with their downloads..both gents and ladies mpaka ni kama wako na reservations eish. Kwanza kuna mrembo fulani, I was eyeing but after meeting her at that place far too many times, she made me think twice.
But seriously, this trend among young people of not knowing how to cook leads to over-dependency on expensive eating-out which is almost never healthy. This is why most people have low energy, high amounts of stress which shows by their bad skin and bad tempers. Yes, your skin is a good representation of your health, bad skin and bad health go hand-in-hand. If you want great skin you will have to improve your lifestyle, skin products won’t do that for you. If you want superior ‘nguvu za kiume’, you need to cut down the fries and start cutting up some vegetables.
As a professional chef, I can honestly tell you that anyone can cook, even if you are disabled-a blind lady won season 3 of Masterchef. Many chefs will want you to think that cooking is hard and that you need to go to their restaurants to enjoy good food but us Internet and TV chefs (aspiring), we have an incentive to teach you to make great food at home and that is a beautiful thing. To prove that, I will share with you my tips that help clients cooking, healthy.
1. Pro Tools
Mainstream Media has made us believe that a good kitchen should be big and have everything from a garlic mincer to a stick blender while in essence all you need is a good knife, chopping board and a decent set of sufurias. I prefer buying everything rossetti from Nakumatt which have the best quality hence more value for money. Cheap stuff in the kitchen is a no-no because they rust and you will have to replace them over and over again.
In my kitchen, I mostly use a frying pan for my sauteed kale and two stainless steel pots for my stews. For my braises I use a ceramic pot that is oven safe and great for cooking brown rice.
2. Fridge & Pantry Items
A well stock pantry gives rise to a myriad of possibilities in regards to cooking ideas. There are some quintessentials that never miss in my kitchen such as, equatorial Ugali afya, Winnie’s chapati afya flour, Mwea pishori brown rice, buckwheat pasta, dried beans, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, butter, apple cider vinegar, fresh limes et al.
My fridge always has mirepoix (aromatics). I always use garlic, ginger, leeks, celery, fennel, cherry tomatoes, carrots, mint, parsley and cilantro/dhania to make my veggie stock for my bean stews and what not. Goat milk for thickening my sauces and soups, parmagianno-regianno cheese for my pasta dishes and burgers. In the freezer I always keep my kineyeji chicken, I know fresh is best but I can’t finish a whole chicken alone.
3. Go To The Market
Physically meeting the people who grow your food is very therapeutic and also talking a little bit with your mama mboga just makes life better. You will get better produce at better prices especially if you are friendly to them and hence save more money. Picking your own veggies will also help you identify your terere from your managu, your lettuce from your cabbage, your tarragon from your watercress.
I also get a ton of inspiration by seeing what is in season, what is fresh and what is hot. Many at time I don’t know what I will cook until I get to the market and feel the vibe.
Learn more from Chef Kahonge on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.