So anyone that know's me knows that I am, I mean I was, a terrible cook. I wouldn't go as far to say I am the next Delia Smith. My speciality has evolved though, from its first stages of hot Weetabix and tinned tuna onto chicken over cooked so much that it could be used as a hammer, to meals such as paella and yummy protein cookies.
I would say its three things that has brought on my culinary skills;
1. Me moving house to a better kitchen, which has made me want to spend more time in there.
2. Improving my collection of cooking utensils. I used to use a hand held slicer device, it ended up taking ten times longer as it had broken, from me slicing sweet potatoes as the box told me it sliced ANY vegetable. The price and quality of utensil suggested otherwise.
3. Getting my sh*t together and planning my meals properly- even though I ate the same lunch for 2 years running. One over cooked sweet potato with either smoked salmon or a tin of tuna on a bed of raw spinach. Finally I would add a generous dollop of cottage cheese. Yummy. I know you turn your nose up but I actually liked it, I liked it so much I ate it Mon-Fri for about 2 years.
I once over cooked a sweet potato so much I set my microwave alight, this is how bad at cooking I was. I am not joking when I say this, flames where actually coming out of the microwave.
So here are some suggestions to help you along on your journey to culinary delights.
A. Invest in decent equipment. I would start your collection with knives, if you want to eat well you are going have to start chopping vegetables and meat. This takes twice as long if you are using a knife as sharp as your nieces toy kitchen set. Or like me, you buy the gimmicky 'time saving devices that wouldn't even slice cucumber but will happily slice my finger (notice in this photo that is on the world wide web advertising my classes at the studio I work for, I have a plaster around my finger).
B. Buy a sieve or another one if you already have one. Most days I have rice with a meal and I need to wash the rice to rinse the starch once its cooked. No I don't use the microwavable rice, as number 1 its lazy. Number 2 I don't need to eat that much rice in one sitting (this might be where you are going wrong with the whole trying to lose a few kilos) and number 3 it costs more money buying rice this way.
C. Purchase a decent set of pots and pans. I have these cool Tefal pans that store away easily as you can unclip the handle. They come with plastic lids that convert the saucepans into storage containers. I simply put the lid onto the saucepan to store leftovers in the fridge, and take the pan straight onto the hob or the oven the next day to reheat the food.
Don't do what I have done and make one of your pans redundant. The pan isn't completely circular now as I dropped it from height making it a delightful square shape. Now lid keeps popping off!
D. Scales, make sure they are digital. You can measure your sh*t out to the gram when you sort your macros.
Once you have your equipment it is time to get to work. Now I can't say I am going to save you time, if anything you should probably invest a little more time in the kitchen.
Plan on a Sunday morning what food you are going to need for the week, make time to cook in bulk, it saves you time in the long run. Whilst you are cooking put a TV show on to watch or listen to a podcast so it doesn't feel like too much of a chore.
I used to hate being in the kitchen and spent the least amount of time in it, this would result in meals that were never filling enough or with the right amount of nutrients. So I would be back in the kitchen half an hour later looking for something else I could munch on. I would then make the wrong choice in food when I had made a 'healthy' meal for dinner.
Now you have the tools, you have made the time to plan what you are going to eat. Spend the time in the kitchen, don't take the easy or the quick way out. Otherwise you will end up back in the kitchen an hour later, staring at the open fridge thinking what can I eat?