What's For Dinner?
What's For Dinner? Healthy and Quick Family Dinner Ideas, Recipes and Tips.
I had come to dread that question. I’m the last one home in the evenings, so waiting there, hungry, is my husband and son…..and Rudy the dog. I haven’t even had time to put down my purse and as I do, three pairs of eyes follow me.…..What’s for dinner? Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I know they need to eat, but that question…..every. single. night? Well, I think you get where I’m headed. Crazy making….as if I need help in that department.
I have never really considered myself a great cook, but I loved finding recipes and trying them out. When I was younger and experimenting, I would spend a Saturday running around to numerous specialty stores for the perfect meats, vegetables, breads, desserts and wines. I had a few recipes down pat and felt smugly sophisticated……probably a little too much so.
I eventually started dating my husband and doubled my efforts to impress with my culinary skills, which in reality were probably marginal at best. Fast forward in time to our married life complete with a son and the precursor to Rudy dog, Moxie girl. Our family lifestyle, as most these days, was incredibly hectic and long gone were the days of searching out fresh made pasta or freshly picked vegetables. I had entered the phase of being a Vons gal, but was trying to cook as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, everything going in our lives took its toll on my attempt at healthy cooking. Too often, I’m ashamed to admit, dinner turned into whatever looked good at the hot counter at Vons or the drive through (at best) El Pollo Loco (at worst), MacDonald’s. Oh the guilt in admitting that last one!
My son graduated from high school, no more commuting! I decided it was time to get serious about cooking healthier for my family. I researched healthy cookbooks and started shopping at the Farmer’s Market, Mother’s and Whole Foods. I chopped, diced, sautéed, blended, puréed and cooked my little heart out. The amount of dirty dishes was staggering, the kitchen was always a mess afterwards and only prolonged the time when I could finally get to bed. Since I was still the last one home, and there was so much prep time involved with the recipes, dinner sometimes wasn’t served till 8:30.
Enter the next phase (and probably my last!) in which I search for healthier “short cuts”. We eat red meat rarely now, so that means lots of chicken (I’m trying to improve on our fish intake). Eating chicken a lot can get old, so I started searching for some healthier ways to jazz it up. After combing through Bristol Farms, Whole Foods, Mother’s and online gourmet shops, I found a quite a few companies that have made it their mission to produce all natural, healthier foods. Yay for them….yay for me! Roasted Garlic, Soy Cilantro Marinades, a healthier Caesar Salad dressing are all examples of some of the products I’ve found and used. They are healthier and they are delicious!
I’m still the last one to come home in the evenings, so waiting there, hungry, is my husband, son and Rudy the dog. They still ask what’s for dinner and those three pairs of eyes still follow me as put my purse away. The difference now is I’ve planned easier meals that are mostly healthy, very tasty and much quicker to get on the table. It’s been a great compromise and I no longer feel that I might have to resort to prescription medication therapy. I am very happy to share some of these wonderful, as I call them, “short cut” products and recipes with you.
written by Sheri Metzler, Local Fare
for Saige Nicole's baby and toddler boutique
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