Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I'll take my personal chef now...
Tired of hearing that, huh? You and me both. After a long day at work, then an hour commute, those are the last words I want to hear.
It can be tough trying to feed your family healthy meals that you can whip up in 20 minutes. Sure there are websites, books, even shows dedicated to showing us how to make magnificent meals in 30 minutes or less. It sounds easy and can be easy, but requires some planning.
Our planning usually starts on Sunday mornings, on the drive to church (making the most of our time). Conversation goes something like this:
Me: "What meals would you like next week?"
MonkeyMan: "Ah, I really liked the chicken enchiladas you did a few weeks ago, let's add that."
Me: "Ok, that's one. What about spaghetti? Can you do that on Thursday?"
You get the point. MonkeyMan is an excellent cook and knows that I desire to one day have a personal chef. But until then, we split the cooking duties. A side effect of us working different shifts is that we can each take 2 days of cooking and wing it the other days.
Another tactic we use is our crock pot. The crock pot is awesome because it slow cooks food without you having to stand over it. You would be amazed at the types of foods that can be prepared in the crockpot. Would you believe that I made chicken parmesan in the crockpot? It makes meats so tender, yum, yum! Meats, usually, consume the most cooking time. The crockpot allows you to get that part out of the way so that you only have to get some vegetables together, maybe a starch (trying to cut down on those). For example, the chicken parm cooking in the crockpot, the starch will be the spaghetti tossed with spaghetti sauce and then broccoli florets. Get the steam in the bag broccoli florets, takes about 5 minutes zapped in the microwave. Not a fan of the microwave? You can use fresh broccoli, just steam it on the stove top.
Ok, so before you crank up the crock pot, you gotta head to the grocery store to pick up your items. DON'T GO TO THIS PLACE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! Pick a day when you have time, would be great to not have to bring the kiddies. And you need a list. I use the app Cozi to make our shopping list. Our list has each meal listed along with the ingredients needed for each meal. Plenty of times I've made a list, to only struggle remembering what the heck I was gonna use rice wine vinegar for.
One more tactic, Pinterest. Yeah, I know, it can be exasperating to use at times. Before you know it, hours have passed and you've got a ton of ideas on how to organize your linen closet but no meal ideas, which was your original intent for logging on anyway. I've found some really delicious meals on Pinterest, here are a few that I remembered to pin.
So, yes, Mom, it is possible to feed your family some good food during the work week. It's just gonna take some planning and maybe some earplugs to block out the constant cries of "what's for dinner?" This will work in the meantime, until I get my personal chef. Bon appetit!