Do you want to serve home cooked meals to your family instead of relying on packaged foods? Is your schedule so full that you don’t know how to fit that in? These suggestions will help you to serve the meals you want with the time you have.
The first step is to decide what kind of meals you want to serve. From vegan to paleo, you have tremendous options. While most folks fall somewhere between these two extremes, you might want to establish some guidelines. For example, two vegetarian meals per week or three nights with a fatty fish like salmon on your dinner plates.
Now, start making a casual list of meals that your family likes. Don’t forget to include salads, desserts and side dishes in this brainstorming session. Later you can put them together to form full meals.
How many home cooked meals do you serve each week now? How many would you like to serve? If you aren’t very experienced with home cooking, you should begin with one or two meals per week. As you become more adept in the kitchen you can add nights until you are happy.
If you don’t have much knowledge about cooking, breakfast meals are an excellent place to begin. From a single boiled egg to a multi-ingredient omelette, the egg dishes alone will give you plenty of learning opportunities. You can use this experience to serve eggs for lunch and dinner as well.
Likewise, baking skills can transform well from breakfast to other times of the day. To make your efforts easier, use a whole wheat or whole grain baking mix. Learn how to measure dry and wet ingredients correctly to ensure your muffins, pancakes and waffles turn out well. Get comfortable with the basic recipes before adding fruits, nuts and other ingredients.
Home cooked dinners are much easier if you plan ahead. While whipping up some eggs in a pinch is fine for dinner, you can serve healthy and tasty meals that will satisfy everyone in the house. The trick is to do a lot of the prep work on the weekend, or whenever it is that you do your grocery shopping and have time off.
Invest in a slow cooker sized correctly for your family and use it frequently. Look for recipes that use your favorite foods or that are similar to baked dishes that you don’t have time to prepare traditionally. Wake up to hot oatmeal or come home from work to a pot of delicious, tender beef stew. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Keep a journal of your cooking efforts, noting which recipes worked well, changes you think might help in the future and anything else of importance. This can be an invaluable reference as you are learning how to cook.
No matter what your current skill level, you can learn how to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family. Continue to build on existing skills until you are able to serve a wide range of dishes without relying on a lot of guidance.