Creating a healthy food preparation system in your kitchen, one that works well for you and your family, is key to eating home cooked meals all day long. If you need a list – make one, and if you prefer life “on the fly,” this system will work well for you, too.
Plan weekly “staples” and buy the beginning of the week.
Every trip to grocery store (even if you are just getting a gallon of milk), buy at least two vegetables.Pin It
Prep vegetables within 24 hours of purchase. Clean, cut, and store in snack sizes (even vegetables you will use for cooking).
If you use dried beans for snacks or meals throughout the week, do one step each day. Almost out of bean salad or hummus? Soak your beans one day. Cook, drain and store them the next. Assemble your dish the next time you have a few minutes to spare. This way you always have time to prepare your bean dish.
1. Cook When You Have Time: Cook Once, Eat Twice
No time to cook at night? Cook during the day. Is your family on a crazy schedule? By creating dishes and storing them for later, everyone can eat well on the run.
2. Prep (Clean, Cut, Store) Vegetables
– – – No Shopping Trip is Complete Until Then
For years we “tried” to eat more vegetables. With each renewed round of enthusiasm we would buy a cart full of gorgeous veggies. Inevidibly each week we threw out rotten vegetables because they weren’t eaten in time. Often they were pushed to the back of the fridge, still in their plastic bag from the grocery, by non-vegetable goodies.
The more food that was wasted, the less willing we were to buy vegetables. After a while, if we bought two types of fresh vegetables per week, it was a big deal. We stuck to frozen and canned produce (which isn’t really “produce” to us at all any more).
About a year ago I made a rule: When we go to the store, part of putting the food away is to wash, trim, and store vegetables in grab-and-go bags or containers.
It works like a charm!
3. Recipes Up Your Sleeve: “Build Your Repertoire”
Whether today is your first day in the kitchen, or you are a seasoned chef, we all can be inspired by something new. Challenge yourself to become familiar with two new recipes or cooking methods this week to stretch and empower you to create dishes that may become great.
Do new healthy recipes make you nervous? You may need to adopt one of the most common phrases I say to my family, “Will you still love me if this tastes terrible?” They always smile, say “yes”, then eat as much as they can. By using tip #4 below, they usually like it.
Giving yourself room to fail will empower you with limitless opportunity for success.
4. Taste and Trust: Taste As You Cook
– – – –Trust Your Intuition
As much of a “foodie” as I am, I can’t believe this isn’t something I’ve always done. It wasn’t until Chef Gordon Ramsey and Anne Burrell continually urged their students to taste their food. “Taste, taste, taste!!”
A light bulb came on and the angels began to sing, and it came to me, “So, when I use a recipe, the recipe could be off a bit?” I began to taste everything I made – as I went along preparing each dish. Then I began to better learn how flavors reacted when cooked, when something needed more citrus, the power salt has over every other flavor (in a good way).
The best advice I ever got: Taste as you go. Adjust according to your taste. The recipe is not the boss of you. (And your family will still love you if you mess up – and if you ask them that, they’ll probably still eat what you’ve made, even if they don’t love it).
Please tell me your experiences as you create a system that encourages everyone to eat fast food IN instead of eating fast food OUT.
What Healthy Food Preparation Tips do you like?
Please share below!