No One Told Me About Making Dinner Every Night!
Well, it should have seemed obvious, but I had no idea how much work it would be day in and day out to keep my hungry family in 3 squares a day! Ha! Oh, and make it healthy, economical, good and fast! Sigh… Got all that?
Anywho, I am no food expert but time and experience have made me a cook. Over the years I have become a healthier cook as well. I think this sort of naturally happens when you start cooking for a family and hit an age where you just plain feel run down and tired and you need real fuel in your food choices. Am I right? I feel that even if I was very thin just by my genetics I would still feel this way because:
- I need to teach my kids to eat and cook.
- I need to keep up my energy to keep up with my kids.
- Healthy life styles are becoming more and more important in this age where our food supply is full of processed junk packed with fat, sugar, chemicals, food dyes and questionable meat, egg and dairy sources.
- Healthy life styles are easier than ever to adopt because there are tons of ideas on social media and blogs and books, etc.
- It’s expensive to go out to dinner all the time and sometimes the quality of the food is disappointing for the price!
It’s never too late to get started on healthy eating! Even if you just do it a few times a week and build your way up to most of the time, it is progress! Some of the tools I really love and utilize and have helped me the most are:
Cook Books – I collect cook books for some reason and I only use a few of them. These are my absolute favorites. They’ve really helped me with cooking real, whole food and less canned, boxed, pre-made stuff. A few of my other inspirations are web sites. So many great ideas! I also regularly just add the words Instant Pot in front of recipes I’m searching on Google and I pick the ones that show up with good reviews. Works like a charm usually. 🙂
- Mom 100 Cook Book by Katie Workman #affiliate
- 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake #affiliate
- CleanFoodCrush by Rachel Maser
- rachaelsgoodeats by Rachael Devaux
- Two Peas and Their Pod by husband and wife, Josh & Maria
- My personal Pinterest Boards where I pin, pin, pin good stuff.
Instant Pot – Let’s start with my IP. I own a 6 quart Cuisinart Instant Pot with a teflon coated interior. It works great for my family of four. I would consider more than one if I had the room in my kitchen for another. So what do I do with my Instant Pot? The main thing I use it for is food prepping for the week. (Which I’m on again, off again on, but I try) I will make up a batch of black beans or pinto beans from uncooked beans in 28 minutes with only water, onion, garlic and beans. It’s so easy and it makes so much! So if you are still buying beans at $1 plus a can, this is a healthy and less expensive alternative. I also make pots of quinoa, broth, brown rice, hard boiled eggs, chicken and pork and soups, chilis and pastas. It is great for puddings and other desserts as well. When I’m feeling nice I will make a pot of macaroni and cheese for the family and they eat it right up. I encourage you to get into the Instant Pot action if food prepping is something you want to do. It’s not for everyone and there’s a little learning curve, but it’s a time saver for sure. One of the best features is that you can saute in your IP before you start cooking your recipes, so less dirty pots and pans!
BlendTec Blender – I have a BlendTec and that girl is a beast. Great for making smoothies and salad dressings. What I love about it is that it will blend fruits and veggies and I can still get the good fiber from them since it’s a blender and not a juicer. Fiber=good. I actually don’t use it nearly enough, but when I do I love it!
Crock Pot – I think my crock pot is a little jealous of my new found love for my Instant Pot. Maybe in the winter I will get back to using it all the time to fill my house with the amazing aromas of delicious soup or pork roasts. I believe my crock pot came from Costco and it’s pretty good. At first it cooked a little hot compared to the old crock pot I had, so I was overcooking things. I eventually figured that out though. I thought it was a great price at Costco (I love you Costco) and it also came with a little mini crock pot for appetizers. Who doesn’t need a mini crock pot?! Thanks for checking out my kitchen favorites.
For more info on cooking with essential oils, please visit my page, Essential Oils in the Kitchen.