When you see the words “Make It from Scratch”, you probably are thinking NO WAY, not enough time. Well, I know how you feel I felt the same way until I tried it. It is just my opinion, but I think you will be doing yourself an injustice not to try it.

Actually, most likely you will be pleasantly surprised to find out all the health benefits not to mention the enhanced flavors you will experience from cooking from scratch. It really is not as time consuming, as it might sound. With a little planning and prep work ahead of time, your kitchen experience will be more enjoyable and less stressful.

One of the first things I started making from scratch is the marinade for boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cut chicken breast in 1-inch strips and marinate in a zip-lock bag with ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 4-5 cloves minced fresh garlic and 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning; let marinate for at least 1 hour, leaving it overnight is better. This marinate could also be used for boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork chops.

If you want to get away from some preservatives if not all in salad dressings, it is quite easy and quick to whip up your own and in some cases: you can end up with a very versatile dressing. Not only will you have created a homemade salad dressing you will also be able to use the same dressing for other dishes. For instance: whipping together 1 cup of salsa, 1 cup light sour cream, ¼ teaspoon chili powder and ¼ teaspoon ground cumin creates a great southwest salad dressing and an awesome complement for tacos or fajitas.

In addition, homemade condiments are also quick, easy and healthier. You can do a southern style BBQ sauce. Just add all the ingredients in a saucepan and let it simmer for an hour. Take a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups ketchup, 1 cup water, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup sugar substitute (Stevia), ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper, ½ tablespoon onion powder, ½ tablespoon ground mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.

I would encourage you to use fresh foods as much as possible in your diet. Just a reminder when you are working with fresh vegetables it helps to cut them in uniform pieces. In addition, you will quickly find using fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch enhances the flavor of all your dishes. The mindset I would like to pass on to you, “Making It from Scratch” really is not that scary.