So, my husband just asked me why I need to cook so much. I thought I would write the answer here so all of you can read it...
I cook 2-3 times a week. I may on other evenings, fill in the blanks, but for the most part that's all I cook. We also get takeout almost never. You might think, how is that possible?
1) I bulk cook. I almost never make only food for 1 meal. If I am in the kitchen, I might as well make MORE.
2) I repurpose things. I will grill chicken and add it to salad with techina for lunch or have it with roasted veg and a sweet potato as dinner. It can be eaten both ways, which makes changing it up easier!
3) I plate food instead of serving family style. Each kid gets their plate, includes whole grain or healthy carb, tons of veg and their protein. That way I know they are getting full balanced meals. For kids, I have a 3rd plate rule (we also use salad plates during the week as they are big enough), 1/3 carb, 1/3 veg, 1/3 protein. They rarely ask for second portions as they are satiated from having all the nutrients their bodies need. This also means I can put back the rest of the proteins for the next night.
4) I keep it simple. I like cooking, but I rarely have time to do it for hours. Like most people, I am busy. So all my meals can be made with minimal prep work. I keep bagged salads in the fridge for ease. I make things like grilled chicken, taco meat, butternut squash lasagna, roasted salmon, crustless quiche... because they are easy to make or are made mostly by the oven ;-) . I cut corners by using low sugar jarred tomato sauce or organic and non MSG vegetable based soup powder when needed. I rely on healthier convenient options to make my life easier. I like letting the oven do most of the work for me.
5) I fill in the blanks regularly. For shabbat I usually make steamed string beans and a large amount of rice. By Tuesday that's gone, so I will make some whole wheat pasta or quinoa to get us through until Thursday and cut up fresh vegetable salad every night with dinner. It takes a total of 15 minutes to make everything and it completes the meal.
Pictured: my bulk cooking from Friday. 1 hour start to finish.
Oven Baked Shnitzel
1 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
1 tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Dried Parsley
½ tsp Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 kilo Thin Chicken Breast
Preheat oven to 200°C or 400°F.
Measure out ingredients (crumbs, oil and spices) into a large bowl or ziplock bag. Rinse the chicken and pat dry, and then toss in the crumb mixture, in batches or one piece at a time. Make sure each piece is coated evenly with crumb mixture. Place chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Can also be made with chicken parts and baked 45 minutes, until browned.