A Conscious Guide to an Easy, Healthy and Delicious Home Cooked Dinner on Your Busiest Day
Sunday, February 12, 2012 • 2:52pm
Over the years of being working parent who loves to eat a good nourishing meal at the end of a busy day, I've developed a system for doing that regularly. There are 6 essential steps to being able to easily make quick, healthy and delicious meals at home on a regular basis. If you master these steps, you will really be able to change the way you eat forever.
Today I want to quickly review the steps and then show you how it works in practice by using an example from my life. So let’s get right to it, here are the steps:
1.Mindset…being confident in the kitchen and willing to make a mistake
2.Having a well equipped “kitchen tool box” and knowing how to use the tools to work efficiently
3.Using the right ingredients; as close to the way nature created them as possible
4.A well stocked pantry
5.Knowing how to make a few things well and how to vary them
6.Building on what you know to make entirely new dishes One night, last year, I came home at the end of a particularly busy week and I hadn’t been to the store in a while. On first glance, it seemed as though we had nothing in the house for dinner and I really wanted to stay home and didn’t want take out food. I went to my pantry basics and relying entirely on things that I keep in my house regularly, I made a great meal in about 15 minutes.
There was only one item that I added that I had in the house that day which wasn’t from my pantry basics list. That was uncured duck bacon and it is now a staple in my freezer. Everything else in the recipe is in my house at all times and gets replaced as I start to run low on it so it never runs out. I’ve been doing this for years and can’t stress enough how essential this is for eating well at home.
If you stock your pantry with items that you enjoy that work well together, you will always be able to make something good. I pulled together the following items, onions, duck bacon, frozen organic peas, good quality extra virgin olive oil, a big splash of marinara sauce (yes, a prepared sauce from a jar that tastes good to me, made with olive oil and without sugar or chemical additives). I could have just as easily used some tomato puree and maybe added a clove of garlic. I also used Parmigiano Reggiano and whole wheat spaghetti.
As I began to cook the onions and the bacon, I was really unsure of the finished product. I just kept going, relying on what I know and adding ingredient after ingredient without being attached to the outcome. I was not afraid to make a mistake and the more often you cook, the less important individual mistakes will seem to you. So what was the result? Spaghetti with Onions and Peas in a Light Tomato Sauce; a delicious meal that was so good, I’ve made it often since that night. So I encourage you to practice what I preach and practice. Stock your pantry, have the right equipment, learn what flavors you enjoy together and get in the kitchen and just cook. Master these skills and you will always be able to eat well in your own home.
If you’d like some support in making this possible for you send me an email at Randy@TheConsciousPlate.com and we can set up a time to talk about it.
Randy Rabney is the founder of TheConsciousPlate.com and the author of “Delicious For Life: Your Everyday Guide to Making Quick & Healthy Meals. Drawing on her experience as a board certified health counselor, trained chef, food lover and parent, she offers a variety of signature programs, both virtually and in person, where participants learn the key secrets to finally changing their relationship with food so they can easily and enjoyably shop, cook, eat and maintain a healthy weight! She is a firm believer that healthy eating does not mean deprivation.
Following a personal health crisis, Randy became aware of the impact of what we eat on our health and the importance of choosing wholesome ingredients. She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health as well as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, both in NYC, has cooked in the kitchen of the Golden Door Spa in CA and has taught classes at Whole Foods Market.
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