David Lebovitz, a famous chef and author, tells a wonderful story of being interviewed for a job:
Since I’m not exactly convincing when lying, I told her.
“I eat popcorn, mostly.” And continued, “I’m a restaurant cook. I don’t have time to eat at home.”
(Although I did conveniently omit the fact that it was microwave popcorn…)”
I laughed out loud at that one! During the past two years of building startcooking.com, I often found it very difficult to prepare a dinner after cooking and filming all day long! My husband David and I tend to feast on whatever I have prepared and filmed for this web site!
Some dishes, such as Crispy Chicken, Beef with Bow Ties, and Beef Stew were perfect to reheat for dinner. On the other hand, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Bark, Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Fudge, although delicious, did not quite add up to a well balanced meal!
On occasion, we all need a bit of outside help in preparing meals! For me, that starts at a salad bar. I love my grocery store’s salad bar! Without too much effort, you can assemble a tasty, healthy and visually appealing dish made up of the ingredients you love.
A tip: I always build it backwards, by ending with the lettuce instead of starting with the lettuce. When I get home and flip it onto a dinner plate the salad greens are on the bottom of the plate and not wilted!
There are several “make your own meal for you and your family” bars popping up all over the place. I’ve never tried any of these as they are mostly in suburban locations, and I live in downtown Boston and don’t own a car. It is my understanding that Dream Dinner leans more to the healthier side of cooking. Super Suppers and Let’s Dish are two more worth checking out as well. The concept is generally the same; you go in and put together (with the help of the staff) full meals that can be cooked immediately or frozen for future use. These are time savers for sure!
There are personal chefs all over the country that do this as well, only much more customized. Some prep the meal and you cook it or they just bring the whole meal to you already cooked and you just re-heat it. Others come to your home once a week and do all the cooking for the week.
Clearly there are lots of options, depending on your budget, work schedule and ability to cook.
Here in Boston I’ve actually tried using Nutrition DeliveRD. Once a week (or however frequently you choose) Cristin preps seriously healthy, well balanced meals, and delivers them “ready to be cooked”. The vegetable soup recipe is my favorite!
It includes nine fresh vegetable all chopped and ready to go!
The stir fry Spicy Chicken and Snow Peas took about 10 minutes to prepare, and dinner was ready!
Preparing your own nutritionally balanced meals every night of the week does take effort and advanced planning. Naturally making your own is the preferred, but in a pinch, thankfully, there are helping hands out there for all of us!
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