Thursday, March 18, 2010
People are always asking about making eating healthier, but also how to keep convenience. One thing I do religiously is to make extras and freeze. There are four of us-two adults and two small children-in our household. It is rather handy I grew up cooking for 6 full size people. In doing so, I still cook that way. That means I make far more than we need to eat, and rather than just throw half of dinner in the fridge where often it gets forgotten, I freeze what doesn't get eaten in individual portions. Take this morning's breakfast for example:
Sometime last week I made pancakes for the kids for breakfast. Rather than only make part of the recipe (which often kind of kills the recipe) or just tossed out the remaining batter, I made the whole thing. I took what we didn't eat and froze it. With pancakes, I can usually part them easily, and thus store them easily together, but with many items, I store in single serving sizes.
One biggie around here is alphabet soup. We make a big pot (the major health food grocery in the big town has rice pasta that is alphabet shaped) of basically a refrigerator stew-whatever meat and veg I have on hand, well seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, some tomato sauce sort of thing- add the pasta and freeze in yogurt cup serving sizes. One cup-one serving. I try not to use plastic in my freezer preserving, but until I have more freezer safe jars, they work better than buying any canned good! I make more calzones than we need and they make great fast lunches or dinners. I think overcooking is a major player in our having convenience food on hand for small moments, like lunches or when I need to feed just one of the kids. For full meals, we keep freezer meals on hand-full casseroles and one pot dishes that me and five other moms take one day a month to prepare.
There are so many ways to cook whole foods at home and still live a crazy life as we do...it is just retraining your habits to fit that style. We are not the first families to have a lot of kids, or a lot of work, or a farm to take care of. We just fell out of habit in doing things the "good" rather than the "easy" way. Easy is often not the best choice. That isn't to say living this way isn't easy-it really is! Just rethink what you're doing to find better ways of doing it.