Going back to work full time after being part time fir a few years with young kids. But my family is used to healthy home cooked everything. How am I supposed to manage everything?????
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For breakfast: Avocado on bread with salt,quick,simple,delicious.
Lunch: Tomato and basil soup http://www.eatgood4life... you could even top it with cheese to make it more kid-friendly
Dinner: Penne alla vodka http://www.foodnetwork...
The penne alla vodka is kinda heavy,but you can modify it so it's lighter and serve it in small portions. It is quite delicious and simple to make,so I recommend it.
We make egg muffins....fill muffin tins halfway with your fillings (we use diced sweet potato, chorizo, and onion or spinach, etc. all sautéed). Add beaten eggs (10-12 for 12 muffins) plus or minus shredded cheese. Bake at 350 until puffed and golden. They keep beautifully in the refrigerator and reheat easily for a healthy to go breakfast. We make a batch or two weekly, changing up the veggies.
For dinners, I use my slowcooker a lot (do all prep the night before then throw it in and start it in the morning so the timing works out), or marinate my protein overnight. Whoever is home first starts the oven and puts in the meat. I won't lie, we do a lot of late night food prep so we all can eat healthy homemade meals, but it's worth it.
Don't forget your freezer is your friend. Homemade doesn't necessarily mean cooked immediately before serving. Take a look at the Cooking Once a Month Web sites. You might find suggestions out there to make dinner easier. A stash of tomato sauce, pasta dishes, shredded pork or chicken in gravy (or plain), rice, grains or buttered noodles, soups and stews, meatballs or loaf is helpful to put together dinner.
Do you pack lunches for more than one person?
Overnight oatmeal, or muffins that have thawed overnight in the fridge with perhaps a slice of cheese while being microwaved, or the egg muffins posted by nashama, or smoothies when it's warmer.
I'm in the same boat, myself and all of these are wonderful answers. The most important thing about all of these ideas and recipe suggestions is that they are 1% ingredient, 99% PLANNING.
I'm a little obsessive, so I've created four different week-long meal plans that I can rotate until the farmers markets open back up. I won't bore you with the finite details, but there's lots of slow-cooker meals, soups and stews, things that can be prepared the weekend before and then frozen and reheated quickly. I eat a lot of rice and lately I have settled into making my "rice for the day" in the mornings when I wake. That little ritual will get moved to evenings, instead, so I can just grab my rice from the fridge and go the following morning. I will add that I'm only cooking for myself, and breakfast consists of a little oatmeal and honey or some yoghurt, if anything at all. So, the amount of prep-time is without comparison, but there is still a time I intend to devote on the weekends and after work each night to making sure I don't break my diet or the bank with temptations to eat lunch at a restaurant more than one or two times a month.
Best of luck, and congratulations!!
Michael, do you mind sharing your meal plans?
Nancy is a food writer, historian, and author of many books, her most recent being Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin.
Don't panic! Just remember that millions of moms all over the world are in the same boat. It takes good management and you'll need to structure time for marketing as well as for cooking. But if you have a mate who's willing to do their share (and your generation seems to be luckier that way than mine was), you can do it. There are loads of cookbooks out there but it sounds like you're a pretty competent cook already. Rather than trying to compile recipes, I'd say, plan strategically instead. Think ahead, shop ahead, use your freezer and your microwave, introduce your children to the joys of cooking (if you haven't already), and after the first three weeks I'm willing to bet you'll find you're sailing. Good luck!
Thank you everyone. I think it's going to just take lots of planning and prep on the weekends.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
As much as people hate 'ready made' stuff. Use ready made things. A rotisserie chicken is a good starting point. To shread and use for tacos, or with hosin sauce and tortilla wraps for a fake peking duck thing, or just as is...and use the leftover bits for chicken salad for lunches.
Look into a 'food saver' you can freeze breakfast things like "mcmuffins" or soups and stews in 'ingots' (use a loaf pan...freeze it remove the ingot and vac pack it).
Another quick option is steaks. Lightly grill steaks on searing hot. Then freeze and vac pack. Bring to room temp in a warm water bath and then boil for a couple of mins to finish cooking---think of it as reverse sous vide.
You can do the same with veggies in packs sized for household.
These are all great threads with lots of excellent meal planning and prep tips for busy families who still want to enjoy homecooked meals: http://food52.com/blog... and http://food52.com/blog...
I would research a few recipes for pantry meals for backup, and stock multiple cans and jars when you find ones your family likes.
No cook pasta sauce with tuna
No cook tomato, basil, garlic, fresh mozzarealla pasta sauce in season.
And here is one that uses a jarred alfredo parmesan sauce (I know, I know, use a better brand like Bertoli/Barilla):
Combine 1/2 lb cooked penne pasta, diced cooked chicken, cooked mixed veg mix fresh or frozen (I use a sleeve of mixed broccoli, snap peas, baby carrots), jar of sauce and heat. Top with Parmesan.
Fish cooks fast. Pair with some kind of pilaf.
I always recommend my daughter's favorite from childhood to adulthood, make in 30 min. Serve with some pea pods.
Sauteed beef, chicken cubes or tofu add 2 tbsp mirin plus 2 tbsp soy to glaze, serve over rice with steamed broccoli, green beans or spinach with a simple peanut sauce you can buzz in the blender and let sit and flavors develop while you prepare the rest. The sauce will keep a few days.
1 garlic clove
½ cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
hot garlic chile sauce like Sriacha, or chile oil, to taste (start with ½ tsp)
Whirl the garlic clove in a blender or food processor until minced. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Let sit ½ hour for flavors to develop. Thin with water as desired.
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