Part 3: Cooking healthy meals
I thought I would write a series called "Keeper of the home for busy ladies", in particular for those, like me, who work outside the house either full-time or part-time. However, we are all busy ladies and we all need as much encouragement as possible to get through the week in one piece. These are tips and ideas for creating a cosy home for our families that don't take many hours to do, but add so much to our love ones lives.
Part 3: Cooking healthy meals
She also rises while it is yet night, And proves food for her household.
|Preparing a beef casserole which we had with mashed potatoes and spinach|
Feeding your family healthy meals made from scratch requires planning. For ladies like me who are out of the home all day at work, this requires a little extra planning - but it is far from impossible. For me, this is essential, it must be one of the boxes I tick as a working mother and wife - to feed my family healthy meals that do not come out of a can or box.
As keeper of the home, I am responsible for the health of the my family and it is a responsibility we all must take seriously.
So how do I do it (we all do this differently I am sure):
- Plan ahead - write a menu for the week. Thinking healthy, meals with lots of vegetables. Your meals don't need to be elaborate - just tasty and full of goodness.
- Plan when your shopping days will be - don't waste time at the shops every night. I pick up the fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk and meat on Fridays on the way home (this should be the bulk of your shopping) and other items from the supermarket are bought on Saturday mornings (I like to go early and beat the crowds).
- Have a suite of trusted (healthy) recipes that you know how to make and know how long they take to prepare and cook. Test out new recipes on the weekends.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients needed for the coming week - this reduces the need to stop at the shops on the way home (saves time).
- Use the slow cooker for those meals that need a long cooking time, this is wonderful for working ladies. Buy a few cook books to give you ideas for slow cooking. I found some at the newsagency for under $12.00.
- Cook double the amount and freeze half for those nights when you might be too busy to cook. Sunday nights I often make a large soup and we eat the rest on Monday.
- Buy healthy pizza bases and make pizzas on Friday nights - homemade pizzas are far healthier than bought ones. Homemade hamburgers is another fun family meal and its healthy.
- Be creative with leftovers - I usually take ours to work with me.
- Have some fall back meals for emergencies - ones that can be whipped up quickly. Mine is tuna morney - I can make this in minautes and it is healthy.
- Bake your own bread - I do this on Saturdays whilst I am cleaning the house - make enough bread to last the week (freezers are wonderful inventions).
- Double the amount of biscuits (cookies) and muffins you make and freeze for the week. This avoids having to buy commerical cakes/biscuits that are full of sugar and bad fats.
- Make your own granola - at least you know what is in your breakfast cereal. I do this once a week in the evening. It makes the house smell lovely and doesn't take long to prepare. I can cook dinner whilst the granola is baking in the oven.
Have an audit of your cookbooks, get rid of any that you never use - I gave a heap to my son and to chariety. Keep only those that contain recipes that you will actually make! Keep those that you use the most near by, quick to reach when you are busy. If you need help selecting useful cookbooks, ask around! Grab some of your mothers meals that she use. The internet is a great place to search for recipes and I use Pinterest to store the ones I find.
|My ccokbook collection - I removed 1/3 of those I never used and gave them away - part of the "de-clutter" programme.|
Another way to help with the preparation of healthy meals is spending a few days of your holidays bulk cooking - making up meals for the freezer, making jams and chutneys. I did this over Christmas and now have a pantry full of food. Once again, planning is required but as stewards of our family, this is part of the job.
Do your research - read up on healthy cooking, you do not need to rely on prepared foods in most dishes - however in saying this I do use tinned tomotoes, tomote paste and stock from tins.