ST. LOUIS — Shelter in place orders have allowed many families to sit down together and have dinner again.
Meal prepping, incorporating the kids in dinner preparation, all of these positives have made Food Network chef Alton Brown teach others how to be creative in the kitchen.
"If you get kids in the kitchen and get them involved in meal prepping, letting them make and cook whatever they want and then eat all of it, they will get excited and eat anything in the world," explained Brown.
Another tip the celebrity chef stressed is to be diligent in reading labels and keep calories down by cooking with dressings or sauces made from purees instead of heavy creams or sugar-based sauces.
"Look at the actual ingredient labels and look for simple whole foods and not a laundry list of things you can't pronounce,” Brown explained. “Try to keep sodium and sugar down."
Many sauces are now using cauliflower, tomatillo and other purees to replace sugar.
He also recommended opening your mind to trying new things, like eating breakfast for dinner and vice versa.
He and his wife have started "quarantine quitchen” — a play on kitchen — on YouTube Tuesday nights. They don't have an agenda, they just start throwing things together and make up a new dish with no recipe. He is trying to get people to get away from recipes and just create!
Don't be afraid to fail. He stressed he fails all the time but eats everything to appreciate the work.
Also, he recommends keeping a balanced pantry with canned fish — including tuna, anchovies and salmon — brown rice and fresh vegetables. He suggested blanching the veggies and then freezing them.
If you are wanting to plant a garden, he suggested starting with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and mint.
Alton Brown will be on with Monica Adams on Show Me St. Louis Wednesday, Aug. 12 with more in depth tips. You can watch Show Me St. Louis on 5 On Your Side at 10:30 a.m. and on the free 5 On Your Side app.
You can also watch our full, unedited interview with Alton Brown right here on 5 On Your Side's YouTube page.