Mom’s today already have so much on their plates, that the idea of cooking family meals from scratch seems almost impossible, especially with the ever-increasing availability of drive-thrus and frozen/packaged foods. But I’m here to tell you it is possible! It’s completely possible to cook delicious, healthy meals for your family even with a tight schedule and budget.
What I’ve come to call my “food philosophy” is what drove me to start this blog. I’ve always loved cooking (and eating!), but the more I learn about food, the more I realize that so much of what we eat isn’t food! And that so much of what we eat should be delicious and nourishing, and it isn’t! And that the pervasive belief that eating healthy costs too much and takes too much time isn’t necessarily true!
So here’s my food philosophy:
1. Food should taste good.
If we’re going to have to do something several times a day, every day, for our whole lives, we should enjoy it! And no, this doesn’t mean just eating brownies all the time (although I would probably enjoy that…) But it does mean that we can prepare even healthy food in such a way that our taste buds will thank us. Learning to use herbs and spices (not just salt and sugar!), and what flavors complement each other is a major key here.
2. Food should be food!
I am seriously horrified by a lot of the articles I’ve read and research I’ve done on the “food” that so many of us eat every day! Want to join in the disgust and rage? Just read this (and really basically this whole blog):
But seriously, the food we eat should, in fact, be food. So I’ve been working on recipes and cooking methods that make cooking from scratch much more manageable so we don’t have to use prepackaged food filled with chemicals and other nastiness.
Note: I’m not really focused on organic meat and produce, but more on cooking from scratch instead of a box or can, though organic is typically better for you.
(This was from my garden last year! Nothing like fresh fruit and vegies!)
3. Food should be good for you.
Don’t get me wrong – I love chocolate as much as the next person. And there will most definitely be some less-than-healthy recipes on here. But for the most part, I try to use fresh ingredients, and ingredients that actually have some nutritional value. This kind of goes with #2. And #1. Because using good, fresh ingredients also makes your food taste better!
And when it comes to defining “good for you” I basically follow the idea of “moderation in all things.” I’ve never really believed in any of the fad diets that come along, and there is so much contradictory information out there – don’t eat meat, eat lots of meat, no carbs, low-fat, eat only spinach for a year – that I just go for moderation. So no, my recipes won’t be “fat free” because I don’t believe that’s healthy (especially for kids). And they won’t all be low-calorie. But they will (mostly!) be made with good, fresh ingredients and focus on moderation, balance, and nourishment.
4. Cooking delicious, healthy food can be possible even with a tight budget, little kids, and the craziness of life!
Yes, cooking anything takes more time than just opening a can or popping something in the microwave. But it doesn’t have to take hours to prepare a meal, or cost a fortune! I’ll give lots of tips throughout my posts on this, but here’s a few to start you off:
- Plan!! Plan your meals for at least a week. Look at what’s on sale and plan based on that as much as possible. And plan meals that will use some of the same ingredients. This cuts down on cost and prep time.
- Read your recipes all the way through before even planning to make that recipe. And then read it again just before you get started. This will help you know what comes next and streamline your meal prep a bit.
- Let the kids help whenever possible! I know, it’s often less than helpful… but try to find simple tasks they can do without causing too much trouble – like putting away ingredients when you’re done with them.
Well, I could probably ramble on much more about this, but for now I’ll leave you with this to digest. (Forgive the terrible pun. I couldn’t help it.)