Sunday, March 5, 2017

Healthy Eating

For most of the past fifteen years, I have made a concentrated effort to cook healthy meals for my family most nights of the week.  I buy lots of fresh produce and lean meats.  I cook from scratch.  My knife skills are pretty good for an amateur.

Most nights our meals look like this:

I spend time on Friday evenings going through cookbooks and Pinterest pins to plan my meals for the week, then head to the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday.  I find that if I invest this time over the weekend, I'm more likely to cook throughout the week.

I won't lie; there are still nights when I throw frozen chicken Kievs in the oven and call it a night.  Or I'll make Polish sausage and pierogi and maybe a veg.  There are nights when we call for Thai delivery.

But most of the time I find myself in the kitchen at 6pm, wielding my knives and my skillets, making dinner for my family.

I don't mind it, really.  I find cooking relaxing most of the time, especially if I know I have all of the ingredients on hand.  Chopping vegetables for sauteeing or steaming is kind of like meditating for me.  I sometimes have music on or the news in the background (no TV in my kitchen), but this is time when I let my mind wander and think about my day.  Sometimes the recipes bring back memories of family dinners past, when my girls were little and they ate pretty much anything I cooked because they wanted dessert later. Sometimes the memories are even older, when I was little and my grandfather would make ribs or a beef tenderloin on his giant Weber kettle while my grandma made salad and twice-baked potatoes in the kitchen.

I think about her, too, when I make meatloaf WITH ketchup on it.  But I don't burn the bottom.

For me, food is wrapped up in emotion and memories, as I suspect it is for many people.  So many traditions have food at their center, and ours are no different:  cinnamon rolls on Easter morning; coffee cake on Christmas morning; a chocolate-frosted lamb cake for Easter dinner at my in-laws.  I look forward to seeing what traditions my girls carry on with them when they have families of their own.

But the best part of making dinner?  If I cook, the other three clean up!


  1. It sounds like you are quite the chef! I'm lucky to put together something edible most days, but when I'm on my own for dinner, I do a better job. Maybe because it's less pressure?

  2. I enjoy cooking as well, but it's hardly meditative for me. I'm not very organized, so I'm constantly reaching for something that I should have reached for much earlier. That said, it's great to eat at home with the family. Thanks for sharing your slice!

  3. I love to cook as well, but have found that my meals these days have to be timely or I miss my window with such little ones. I try to find quick, delicious recipes that will appeal to everyone, and I can definitely relate to your traditions around meals. Makes me think a lot about my childhood and how I've tried to keep those traditions alive with my own family now. Thanks for sharing!