Having meals ready in the freezer can be just as convenient as a takeaway ...
AHEAD OF HER NEW TV SHOW TIME TO EAT, NADIYA HUSSAIN TALKS ABOUT BODY IMAGE AND WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE PRETENTIOUS ABOUT OUR FOOD
SHE has had a well documented battle with anxiety, and now Nadiya Hussain has revealed she no longer follows anyone on social media who talks about weight loss because she has spent a lifetime feeling bad about her body.
The former Great British Bake Off winner, 34, says her life is “all about balance” and that she exercises when she can and loves being able to eat what she wants afterwards.
She told Radio Times magazine: “I’ve recently decided not to follow anyone on social media who talks about dieting or weight loss.
“I’ve spent a lifetime feeling bad about my body and my hang-ups and what I eat.
“But I’m 35 this year and, given my family history, I won’t make it past 70 so I’m halfway there. I want to enjoy the rest of whatever I’ve got.”
Nadiya’s latest project is a television series and accompanying book aimed at simplifying things in the kitchen.
She insists there is nothing wrong with cooking cheaper ingredients or frozen and tinned foods.
“There’s nothing wrong with using frozen and canned food. There’s nothing wrong with using a microwave,” says the mum-of-three.
“What’s happened to society is we’ve become really pretentious. But there was a time in my life where I really had to choose between boiling potatoes and paying my gas bill, so I’d buy a can of potatoes.
“We need to step back, stop being
pretentious, and think about the fact some people struggle for money.
“Why not use cheaper ingredients? If something doesn’t poison us, I think we should eat it.”
Here Nadiya dishes up some of her best kitchen tips:
What are your tips for saving time in the kitchen and/or around the house?
TO START off, any curry or dish that requires cooked onions, buy frozen chopped onion or even use ready fried onions.
Don’t throw away leftover wilting herbs in the fridge. Zap them in the microwave for 10 seconds and they dry instantly. Crush in the palm of your hands and store for another day!
Next time you squeeze the juice of half a lemon into anything, keep the flesh. Fill it with baking soda or bicarbonate of soda and pop into the back of the fridge in a bowl to keep your
fridge smelling clean.
Your new show is all about saving time spent in the kitchen but also eating well. Can home-made food really be as easy as takeaways?
TAKEAWAYS are convenient and I’m not saying we shouldn’t treat ourselves to them occasionally.
I love putting my feet up and not worrying about the cooking.
If we plan ahead, I do believe that having meals prepped and ready in the freezer can be just as convenient as takeaway. It’s fresh, you know what you’ve put in it and all it needs is warming up!
How can people who might work unsociable hours find time to prepare decent, quality meals?
EVEN if you only have time to cook just two or three meals a week, I always like to think of one meal as two.
During the time that you take to cook and eat one meal, you could have also made another to cook and stick in your freezer.
Having prepared meals in the freezer can ease some of the worry of having to cook fresh every day. It can just sit there until you need it.
Speaking of sitting there – let’s talk about tinned vegetables. Why should people think again about using them?
I THINK there is a stigma attached to tinned vegetables. They are seen in a negative light and we need to just accept that they can be a part of our cooking and day-to-day lives.
Tinned vegetables take away preparation time, especially for root vegetables like potatoes and carrots.
They are so convenient to have in the cupboard and are a great way to add bulk to dishes and help them go a little further.
What do you do in the time you’ve saved in the kitchen?
I LIKE to go on bike rides and I love walking. My next challenge is to do the Three Peaks. I love reading, going to the movies with the kids and losing myself in a bucket of popcorn.
What tips can you give families with fussy eater among them?
ONE of my three kids used to be very fussy. It was frustrating and often I did all the wrong things like resorting to watching him, threatening punishment or telling him he had to finish his meal.
I soon realised that it was not working and it was encouraging an unhealthy relationship with food.
It has taken years, a lot of patience and lots of biting my tongue but I leave him to it now.
The best way for me has been to lead by example. I think sitting together to eat has made it easy for him to start to enjoy his food.
Be relaxed, it’s not the end of the world! Lead by example, eat what they eat. Sit together. Be patient, it will happen, but in its own time.
Now I can’t stop him eating!
For this programme you went behind the scenes to find out where some foods come from. What stood out for you?
I CAN’T believe that baked beans are filled into the cans raw and then pressure cooked in the cans.
That was mind blowing.
Everyone has a favourite comfort food, what is yours?
CHIPS or lava fries. Chips, covered in chilli, melted cheese and with lots of lime coriander and sour cream.
And Marmite crisps, mostly anything potato based.
Time To Eat is on BBC2 on Monday at 8pm.
Nadiya Hussain pictured with one of the recipes from her new BBC series and book, Time to Eat