Sure, you have the perfect little kitchen help to get you going, but, a proper dietary lifestyle is essential, and sticking to a strict regimen is sometimes even harder.
See, finding the right balance of food and exercise, coupled with a regular schedule is crucial to the success of such regimens, but trying to do so while keeping everyone at home happy is quite a tall order.
Sadly, this is what mothers face daily – what to cook! While some dishes would please one, it would prove unfavorable to another. Throw in a grumpy and fussy husband, and dinner time could prove quite unsavory.
Even then pleasing everyone is not that difficult; just split the menu and good to go!. But trying to preserve smiles while keeping to a healthy dietary plan is another story.
So, what’s the secret? Simply put, I call it “Marinade magic”. Each day, my menu reads like the International House of Meats. You have your red meats, white meats, and even a selection of crustaceans. And that’s complemented by yet another variety of rice and bread; there are white and brown rice, white and wholemeal loaves, and even pita bread.
The magic comes in the preparations. Patrons can choose the meats and carbs of their choice, but the flavor-of-the-day would run through them all. I prepare a single marinade, dashed with all that’s near and dear to my heart, healthy to a T, and lovingly prepare all the meats the same. But that’s not all. There’s still more trickery at play.
While it’s sometimes helpful to have a greasy, deep-fried treat, it’s a small trade-off to have them grilled, or even stewed. And with some marinades, even a steamed dish could prove quite savory.
Hiding the Greens
Over the years, your cookbook may grow considerably, with unique footnotes indicating each person’s likes and dislikes, and ultimate favs. Another vital aspect of balancing the family’s diet is the leafy greens, which assuredly aren’t always favorites.
Here, I have yet another secret, which I like to call delicious disguise. Among the simplest of these disguises is the chop-n-change, where I chop the vegetables finely and prepare it with a hearty garnishing of minced meats.
With these simple Copperfield-like feats, I relish my role as cook and nutritionist to my family. It gives me great pleasure to see them enjoy my fares each day, and I’m happier still in the knowledge that I’m feeding them healthily.
Even though my book of gastronomic “spells” is quite comprehensive, I enjoy continuously challenging myself by adding newer and more exciting methods of concocting healthy dishes. I could even start my specialty restaurant.
Satisfying your Family – And Yourself
Meeting the demands of the family is truly a juggling act that has a timer attached to it. Getting these feasts ready and on the table to meet the hungry hordes is a challenge that every mother knows just too well.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that grocery-shopping is no walk in the park. Budgeting for such a varied menu daily is worse than rocket science. So, it really pays to be resourceful. One quick money-saving tip should include buying frozen over fresh; the price difference is quite substantial, and with today’s food processing practices, they taste just as good. Plus, I don’t believe that any nutritional value gets lost with them.
Another unusual but straightforward tip is to use dried anchovies and shrimp. These are staples in any Chinese restaurant, and make good, fast, and relatively economical garnishing for vegetables. I spend quite a lot of time at the market, choosing the meats of the day, deciding on the greens to get, and planning the menu on the go, depending on the offerings of the day. It should also go without saying that there’s always bound to be leftovers. But I’ll save those rabbit holes for another day.
Let me close by saying that I’m no angel. After slaving away all week long and sticking to my healthy guns, I’d always succumb when my husband offers dinner on the town. You will always melt like butter when someone serves me for a change.