I like to cook meals at home for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s healthier. Home cooked meals are way less expensive, don’t need preservatives, they usually taste better, and when I take the time to cook, my meals are balanced, tasty, and filling. When I’m eating on the go, I find myself reaching snack foods, which aren’t as satisfying — and I”m all about satisfaction in life.
Like Michael Pollan says, “real food” comes from plants; it isn’t made in a plant. While items from the snack food aisle definitely have a place in a healthy diet (I love Oreos!) it’s generally healthier to make our own cookies, meat loaf, and potato salad. Reading the ingredient list on frozen lasagna is a little frightening in terms of the number of non-food additives. It also doesn’t taste nearly as good, and I get to add as much cheese as I want if I just make it myself.
Cooking at home also gives us the opportunity to engage with the farm-to-table process. While chopping and simmering might not be everyone’s favorite hobby, I would argue that it’s important for everyone to know where their food comes from and what goes into it. This helps develop a certain level of respect for the amount of work that goes into growing the things we eat, and fosters an attitude of gratefulness. Research shows that when we engage with our food instead of mindlessly chewing, it completely transforms the eating experience.
To finally get to the point… (I could talk about this subject forever…) I don’t always have the time to chop and simmer on weeknights. Like most people, I’m very busy. But that doesn’t mean I feel good physically when I’m constantly eating on the go. So, I wanted to share a bit of my meal-prep for this week:
- Chopped celery, stored in cold water to keep it crisp
- Sliced butternut squash, onions, and garlic for a quick sautee
- Meatloaf (uncooked, for the freezer)
- [Unpictured] crockpot lasagna: a smorgasbord of pasta, italian sausage, and cheese
What are your favorite make-ahead recipes?