How Commercial Television Cooking Shows Are Ruining Our Confidence

Do you like to watch cooking shows?

So, you have had a busy day at work and you have run the children around to their various after-school activities. You skid in the door and everybody is clambering to be fed – if its anything like my household, there are probably also a couple of pets in the bedlam.

And then you think- those 2 blondes on MKR made this amazing concoction last night – and if they can make it, surely, I can too? Or the paleo guy is virtually telling you that some terrible health calamity will happen to you and your family if you so much as look at a grain of rice.

But you are tired and all you want to do is feed your family a nutritious meal that no one will complain about and be out of the kitchen at a reasonable hour. So, you make chops and veggies.

roast dinner

Now you are feeling tired, deflated and a failure because it is boring food, right?


Those amazing creations on those cooking shows, or the foodies that you follow on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter are blogging about them because they are OUT OF THE ORDINARY.

“Every time we look at food shows, they show us this exquisite produce and beautifully prepared plates,” (Ronni Kahn, CEO of OzHarvest). Our chops and veggies on our beloved Kmart plates and knives and forks are going to look like a poor substitute.

Even when I tried to search for free images of a normal dinner” all these fabulous out-of-this-world pics flashed up. No wonder we all think that we are failures… Don’t be despondent – good honest, fresh and minimally-processed food is still the perfect choice for your family.

It wasn’t that long ago that we actually had a night out to experience that type of food and catering. And of course, there is nothing wrong with it either – I call it “high heels” food. You go and eat it when you are all dressed up! Not sitting at the family dining table.

So many people now think that they have to “gussy” up their meals that they resort to flavouring sachets or opening a jar. You don’t have to.

There is nothing wrong with simple food – in fact there is everything right about it.

Certainly adding a few spices like garlic, salt and pepper are going to make life a little tastier.

You don’t have to have every collection of blemish-free vegetable from your supermarket and edible flowers on your family’s plates every night. Or night for that matter.

Did you know that the blemishes on your fruits and vegetables actually contain phytochemicals called salvesterols – cancer fighting agents! How about that? Mother Nature at her finest.

So here are a few tips to make your very busy life a little easier.

  • When you get all your veggies home from the market/store, cut them all up, grate carrots and onions etc. and anything that needs to be grated, dice cucumbers, chop broccoli cauliflower etc, slice tomatoes etc. Store them in air-tight containers or even snap-lock bags in the fridge. You can even wash lettuce and greens and store them in those little net lingerie wash bags. Then it’s just a simple matter of steaming what you want, or tossing together a salad.
  • If this still requires more energy than you have right now, buy frozen veggies. You can even buy frozen grated onion etc. and minced garlic in a jar.
  • Don’t stress about learning to stir fry or make anything fancy for now. Buy a steamer insert (most chain stores have them) and steam them. There is no law preventing you from even steaming the frozen stir-fried variety. I just probably wouldn’t make salad with them. But you can buy pre-grated cabbage etc to help with the salad prep.
  • If you find all that a bit boring – add some lovely butter or olive oil or make a simple salad dressing with olive oil & vinegar – add some Himalayan salt, pepper and some of that minced garlic that you bought (shake together in an old jar) and BOOM, a healthy side dish to any meat you choose to cook. No jars, no fattening dressings, no nasties.

When I suggest this, I often get “But frozen/pre-chopped veggies aren’t as good for you..”

ABSOLUTELY but they are still a whole lot better than none at all and resorting to chips, deep fried or take out.

And keep watching those cooking shows – they are very entertaining and it may give you some idea on where you would like to go and eat on your next night out.

nigella lawson

Oh and bring back the likes of “the 2 fat ladies” or Nigella – who cook simple but good foods.

Don’t let food be your stress – it is truly your most powerful medicine.

Be well.