Fast Food

I am not a fan of the traditional fast food spots. As much as possible I try to cook our meals with healthy, organic ingredients. No frozen fish sticks! With that said, I am a big fan of short cuts. I sometimes prepare in advance for the week but not if it makes me resentful to spend an entire Sunday in the kitchen instead of enjoying that time with my family. Being a working mother does not mean my child's nutrition is negotiable. I want his childhood to be filled with the scents and taste of really good food.

Just like all moms, I compromise when the need arises and time is short. Thank goodness for Trader Joe turkey meat balls and Rao's sauce on a busy Monday evening. Throw on a pot of pasta and it's a meal within 12 minutes. Woo hoo! Having bowls of cleaned and chopped veggies on hand also helps for fast steaming.

I am always open to good ideas and am shameless about begging for new recipes from my foodie mom friends. As an example, my friend A.F. is a phenomenal cook and is always open to sharing some new culinary trick (so generous!) but I also pick up ideas from wherever I can. Fresh fish is so easy and fast to prepare. I serve it at least once a week and sometimes much more. Monkey loves wild salmon. Soups and salads are also frequently on the menu. Spouse is a great breakfast cook and also enjoys taking his turn in the kitchen (thank goodness!)

Pilaf (rice) is a friend in nearly all varieties. My son loves mac and cheese. I sometimes make it from scratch yet a decent shortcut meal for him is Annie's mac and cheese with organic frozen peas and sweet corn tossed in at the final stage. Add baked chicken from the night before and a healthy dinner is served within 20 minutes from walking in the door. That's my goal. This often means that I am marinating salmon at 6AM or roasting chicken at 9PM but the rewards are (usually) worth it. I rebel once in a while from my own standards and we eat out. After a long day it makes the guys happy and me a bit saner. I just refuse to give up the fight on mostly serving healthy, homemade food to my family because of time and I don't think I am alone in this battle.

Quick Tip:

If you like fresh, homemade bread but hate spending 5 hours in the kitchen you might like this:

If you like delicious buttermilk pancakes you might like: