Coming home to a quiet apartment after a full day of work, the last thing I want to do is tap into my culinary creativity, search online and spend an hour over a hot stove. Too much mental and physical energy.
What is a busy, career-oriented woman to do in order to live a life where she thrive in her career while also being able to cook healthy, balanced meals without relying on mixes, commercial frozen food or takeout?
* Crockpot cooking: find a recipe online, dice up some veggies, and perhaps a few slices of bacon, give it 8 hours and you’ve cooked yourself a great stew. Crockpots are amazing, and you can make so much more than stews. Check out some of these recipes for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, cheese fondue, amazing apple butter…
* Freezing food: when you do have time on a weekend, take a few hours to cook food in batches… and then freeze it. Things that I typically freeze: soups, quiches and root vegetables we aren’t able to eat in time.
* Planning & shopping the weekend prior: planning your meals for the week on a Saturday morning, then shopping on Saturday afternoon or Sunday, is one of the great ways to increase the chance you’ll cook complete meals, remember everything you need for these meals at the grocery store and avoid coming upon Monday night with no real ingredients or real idea of what you want to make.
* Find a partner who will cook for/with you: although some guys are hesitant in the kitchen, my boyfriend is a scientist at heart: he loves to experiment and so he’s a good cook. If your guy isn’t as enthusiastic, encourage him to cook anything he might know (steak? chicken? rockin’ green smoothies?) and have that be part of your next meal.
Though I still have those weeknights where it just is easier to call for a pizza, I remind myself that making an effort to eat home cooked meals most of the time means I have a pretty good track record. It’s important not to be too hard on yourself when first getting to the swing of meal planning and cooking.
What tricks do you use to save time and create healthy meals when juggling a busy schedule?