“How do you do it all?” I feel like I get this question every other day. I seriously want to answer “all what?!” Maybe it’s because I mysteriously get asked this question on the days where I have done none of the things but for real, all what? The most recent question though was about cooking of all things. You guys already know, I’m no Chef Curry–did you know Ayesha has a blog? I love her more everyday–but I can whip up a meal or two that tastes pretty legit. I posted my salmon salad on instagram and snapchat and got all of these “Girl how do you eat healthy like that being so busy?” That’s when I realized, I should share my some of cooking hacks because let me tell you something. The answer to that is simple: I chose my battles.
Aside from being a pretty okay cook, when it comes to feeding my family I have a few non-negotiables and a few I could care lesses (lesses? Yea um okay). I really do try to do the whole organic thing as much as I possibly can when it comes to meats, fruits, and vegetables. It doesn’t always work but that’s why you shoot for the stars. For us, that means they’ll have something organic a couple times a day. Since organic meat is not cheap we always have a meatless day which brings me to COOKING HACK #1: Meatless Mondays. They’re easy. Super fast to cook. And probably our healthiest meal of the week. The best part, everyone knows it’s coming so need to look at me crazy when it’s dinner time :).
I feel like somebody somewhere is going to gasp at this but onto to COOKING HACK #2: I buy all the pre-chopped things. Listen, one of the biggest obstacles as a busy WAHM of three is time. I don’t have much of it. When I say I chose my battles I mean it. Sure I could get the unchopped whole onion for .59 cents. Or, I can pay $1.29 for the pre-chopped onion. Saving me like a good 15 minutes of meal prep. To me, it’s worth it. So yes, I buy all the pre-chopped things. Onions, peppers, watermelon, pineapple, there is no shame over here. Buy the pre-chopped thing.
This. Is. The Remix. I sincerely hope you said that in Diddy’s voice in your head. Or nah, suit yourself. Anyway COOKING HACK #3: Remix the good meals. Whenever I stumble upon those really good meals that everyone likes, I just make them over and over again swapping out ingredients to make it a “new meal”. For example, everyone is a fan of chicken alfredo. So I just mix up the veggies each time we have it. Another one is how I’ve perfected this “salsbury steak” recipe (quotes because I don’t really think it qualifies as salsbury steak…maybe hamburger steak? I don’t know) and I know they love it so I just mix up the sides.
Pre-packaged foods get a bad rap. They do man. And I get it, I understand. But what you gotta understand is we’re talking about choosing our battles here. And not all pre-packaged foods are created equal. COOKING HACK #4: Even though I don’t always make it to the fresh produce aisle in my local grocery, I am typically in a place where I can pick up some pre-packaged food (read that as Target) and so, I do. You’ll typically find a few frozen salmon filets in the freezer (wild caught of course, Simply Balanced for the win). Or a pre-mixed rice side that only takes a few minutes to reheat (Archer Farms because what else?). Along with that, I’m not opposed to grabbing the pre-cooked variety of stuff (Archer Farms again!) as long as I’m giving the ingredient list a good look over.
When it comes to cooking and my pursuits to give my family healthier meals and better eating habits, I’m just determined not to let it drive me crazy. I can get really particular about things but keeping the WHY at the front of my mind helps me make those “fine line” decisions. At the end of the day, we just want to eat better and eat good. So if a pre-chopped veggie, remixed meatless monday meal is the way we get there, that’s the way we do it.
Do you have any cooking hacks to share? Drop them in the comments so we can take notes!