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So, if any of you have followed me for any time, you already know my LOVE for cooking > right?! NOT! Soon after I was married, my love for cooking didn’t flourish, and after I became a mother, I again came to realize that moms don’t have to cook.
I say this because I think many times we can’t seem to give ourselves a break when it comes to the many responsibilities fall on our shoulders.
I don’t like to cook. And I have come to terms with it. It does not bring me joy, and for me, it’s extremely cumbersome when I can eat a bowl of oatmeal and be totally satisfied. I like to eat though, so it is necessary in my life. And, yep, my kids and husband like to eat too.
Therefore, I’ve had to get creative with making this extremely daunting task manageable. It seems silly, but when I think about the prospect of having to plan, shop, and cook meals until I die > I breakout into a cold sweat and my tummy drops. NOW! I have to admit, that
luckily thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a husband who does help me with cooking. And that does take a load off, but he travels a lot and his work schedule gets insane, so I’ve got to carry most of the burden. With two small kids, a career, and a home to run > this is a hard task! Working single moms >>>> you truly are a different breed > SUPER WOMEN!
Without further ado > here are my tips, tricks, and magic acts >>>>>
MEAL TIPS FOR THE WEARY MOM COOK
- Double batch your meals > LEFTOVERS are your friend because lunch and/or dinner can double for a second meal > HOLLA! This may seem like a no brainer, but there are people out there who don’t think of leftovers as meal options (eeehhmmm, Adam, haha). It’s perfectly fine to eat leftovers and you can always dress it up or make it a little different, by adding a side or re-working the plating. Maybe the grilled chicken you had with veggies the night before, you can shred and use as a chicken salad for lunch.
- Buy quick fixes! What are “quick fixes” > think of them as quick FIXIN’S (a fixin’ in the south is a side dish). Steamables, bag lettuce, and organic sides already cooked from your favorite deli are great examples. I LOVE steamables! Green beans, cauliflower rice, carrots, corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and pease are some we always have in stock. Sometimes, I will use the microwave or a stove top steamer pot I have. Works really fast and they are usually great portion sizes.
- Buy an instant pot. I’m sorry, usually I don’t just tell you to buy something, but honestly y’all, this has been a GAMECHANGER! Wanna know why > because FROZEN MEAT CAN BE COOKED IN AN HOUR! WHAT?! YES! This has been a life saver for me many a time because I’m one of those that forgets to put out the meat to thaw. Plus, it has a slow cooker option as well. Crock pots and instant pots make cooking very streamlined because it cuts down on prep, cleaning, and time. You can do other things while an entire meal is cooking. I like to get recipes from Pinterest, you can pretty much search anything, and you’ll find what you’re in the mood to have.
- Whole chickens from you local grocery or deli, already cooked, are PERFECT quick meals, and there are always leftovers to use for soup, salad, or many other things. Often times, if I’m running short on time, I’ll swing in, grab a chicken and then grab one of my steamables as a side > VOILA! DINNER TIME!
- When I’m running really REALLY short on time, patience, or sanity > CALL IN! I often do try to steer clear from fast food, so delivery or pick-up are great options for me. We don’t have to get off track with eating bad choices. Most all places have salads, grilled over fried options, and veggies. These are the items I stick to, trust me, you can eat out in a healthy way. Y’all know I’m all about the healthy lifestyle, but don’t get it twisted, we do operate by I would say 85/15 > and sometimes pizza is how we go. There are apps like Grubhub that will deliver from your favorite spots too.
- Speaking of delivery, grocery delivery services are BOMB! I’ve recently been using Instacart, which has been SO HELPFUL! (follow that link for $10 off) I’m even such a hermit sometimes, that I leave instructions for them to just leave the groceries on my front porch so I don’t have to even go to the door until I’m ready. I use the services many times when Adam is travelling because let’s face it > I hate going to the grocery store with two ticking time bombs, NO THANK YOU! I also purchase many INCREDIBLY PRICED organic foods from Thrive Market. (use that link for 25% off your first order) I’ve loved everything I’ve purchased from Thrive. The prices are unbeatable, and the items are great quality. Recently, they expanded their groceries to include items that are cold/frozen like meats. It’s been a great service, and it’s easy to shop for the items.
- STRIKE A DEAL! If you’re fortunate enough to have a partner who will share the burden > they cook, you clean. This works well for us. I don’t mind doing the dishes. Adam cooks, and I pop my ear buds in and go to my own mind space for 30 minutes after. Many times, Adam will put the kids in the tub to occupy them while I clean. Instant gratification is very motivating to me, and I really like going to bed with a clean kitchen. WIN, WIN!!
These tricks have helped me not be so overwhelmed with the nuance (in my mind) that making dinner brings to my life. I hope some of them at least were helpful. You may have seen a pattern that several tips are putting together meals simply by heating things up! That’s easy cooking right there!
In A Nutshell
I applaud the wives and moms that are regularly able to pull off a three course meal for dinner, you are AWESOME!
I also applaud the wives and moms that don’t care all that much about food, and their families are still alive, you ROCK!
We all have different gifts, passions, priorities > and IT’S ALL GRAVY (pun intended!).
You aren’t a bad mom if you hate cooking, and you’re not a bad mom if you love it either.
Shine in you own way. You can give up the calling to be a personal chef, I give you permission. And there are plenty ways to make what is a burden for some, lighter.
Embrace your lack of desire to pour through cookbooks and make meal plans each week. I’ve never meal planned, and only the morning of, do I think to put something in the slow cooker.
Moms (dads) you don’t have to cook! Heating things up is just fine!