“What’s for dinner?” Oh the dread this one question can carry, but only if you let it. I know first hand that we have the power to choose to live whatever life we want. I for one want to choose one that is full of joy and abundance, not dread.
So how do you want to tackle nightly dinner? As a chore or something you are excited to prepare and enjoy?
What is a healthy meal?
Growing up my parents always cooked delicious meals but always nutrient dense. That means no foods with sugar, always whole wheat, fresh vegetables and healthy proteins, starches and plenty of olive oil.
Now as a mother myself, I embody the same cooking ethos. While I may serve certain foods for special occasions, nothing is off limits. Jack, our son, has been raised to eat that way and now he actually insists on tasting whatever veggie I’m chopping - broccoli, mushroom, carrots - he’ll even eat raw onion!
What toddler does that?!
With my husband working at a startup and me working as an executive event producer for a top brand, our days are jam-packed. Here are some tips I use to make dinner a time to connect without the overwhelm.
How to Make Healthy Taste Good
1. Buy Fresh, Organic, High Quality Produce
When you buy really great produce it actually tastes better. If you have access to garden fresh produce, even better! My Mom used to send me home from her house with bushels of fresh produce from her garden and I would use that as the basis for which I planned menus around. Have you ever noticed why a farmer’s market vegetable is so much sweeter and crunchier than store-bought? There really is something to eating foods that were only recently alive vs. those that have been in and out of trucks and warehouses for a few weeks.
2. Use High Quality Oils and Spices
High quality oils and seasoning bring out the natural flavors of food. AKA they make things taste really good. I use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil and my all time favorite is pumpkin seed oil! It’s hard to find, but it takes nutty and is a rich green color! I use spice blends on veggies, fish and meats to inspire flavors from other regions. And by simply like letting veggies roast with really good oil, gourmet sea salt, fresh ground pepper and maybe some thyme or garlic, you’ll have a restaurant worthy dish once the oven caramelizes the flavors.
3. Prep Ahead Of Time
Think ahead! Chop the veggies during nap time (or ask your nanny to do the same), chop a huge batch all at once on the weekend that you can cook during the week so that you have less work to do at dinner time. And I like cooking food that can roast in the oven so dinner is cooking away for me while I’m giving my son his bath. By the time I finish reading him his books and tucking him in, dinner’s ready!