Hear that? That’s the sound of your rumbling tummy—a reminder that dinnertime is right around the corner. Unfortunately, that dreaded end-of-day fatigue is settling in, and the thought of making a meal is just too much to bear. You do a quick mental check and the list of excuses for not cooking is suddenly longer than an average wait at the DMV: you didn’t go food shopping, you got stuck at work, the kids’ homework will take too much time, extracurricular activities will get you home too late, the family wants different things . . . and probably won’t like what you make anyway. Still, you’re hungry and you have to eat something. You want a meal that’s healthy and filling, but quick and easy.
Sound familiar? It’s a scenario most of us can relate to. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way—cooking doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be something you look forward to, even something that helps you unwind. No need to chuckle, smirk, or eyeroll . . . I’m serious! If you view cooking as a ritual instead of a routine, you can actually shift your mindset and turn this daily to-do into a positive form of self-care.
That might seem like a far-fetched goal, but it’s not all that difficult to achieve in an era where convenience is king. We’re all looking to simplify and optimize our daily lives, and manufacturers are more than happy to assist. Shortcuts abound, from pre-cut fresh veggies and frozen produce to smart cooking gadgets (some even controlled remotely by your smart phone . . . brilliant!). You can tell Alexa to add ingredients to your shopping list and have them dropped off at your front door courtesy of grocery delivery services. There is certainly a movement to make cooking quick, simple, and healthy. I, personally, couldn’t be more thrilled. In fact, I’m beyond excited to join in by writing this book, which is loaded with totally manageable and absolutely delicious recipes that are sure to please the entire family. When I was brainstorming topics for this cookbook, I polled my Facebook community and the top three requests on your list were meal prep ideas, easy freezer recipes, and make-ahead recipes. Easy is the name of the game, so I combined all three into one book. Let’s take a look at how these time-saving strategies fit into your busy life and make it possible to say farewell to frozen boxed lasagna, pass on the processed pizza, and ditch the drivethrough for good!
Copyright © 2020 by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones, R.D.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.