I’m in somewhat of a cooking rut and I need your help. Does anyone else feel like they literally spend their life preparing food and loading the dishwasher?! I swear it’s one meal after the next after the next…and I only have one child! The worst thing is that I seem to cook the same meals week in and week out.
The thing is I really enjoy cooking and feel much better about life if I’m putting healthy home cooked food on the table for Matt and Elle, but sometimes everything gets on top of me and I find myself relying on oven chips a little bit too often.
When this happens, these are the things that help…
When I’m being organised, early on in the week, I try to plan the meals for the following week. I don’t always write it down and I definitely don’t always execute it, but having 10 minutes where I actually think about what meals we’d like to eat, rather than just throwing things into a real/virtual basket really helps. I must admit this doesn’t often result in me trying out new dishes. So for 2017 I’d really like to start cooking a new dish (or even just a side dish) every other week.
Food Box Scheme
The reason I meal plan early in the week is that I order the bulk of my weekly shop through The Cornish Food Box website. It’s been a revelation in terms of the quality of ingredients we eat – the vegetables actually taste earthy, the fish is caught just days before we eat it, the meat is juicy and succulent and it’s genuinely a joy to open our boxes each weekend. The Cornish Food Box are so much more than a food box scheme, as I can adjust my order each week and select every single item we receive. So no weird and wonderful vegetables that end up rotting at the back of my fridge or a glut of carrots that I’m peeling for months. I still do a supermarket shop – for cereals, tins and family requests (Salt & Vinegar Squares, Cheerios and Nutella, obvs)…But choosing our food on a Tuesday evening and knowing what’s coming on the Saturday morning has made it much easier to be organised and on top of what we’re eating.
When possible, I do try to spend a few hours on a Sunday cooking food for the week ahead. We usually have a roast dinner, so this will create a lovely load of chicken to throw into dishes and lots of veggies and potatoes too. I also try to mash or roast some root veg too and prep some cooked onions, garlic and mushrooms, as these tend to make a base for lots of the meals we eat. I really HATE chopping, so anything that means I have to do it less frequently is great. I also try to ‘get ahead’ so if I’m cooking, I’ll always do extra to try to make the next day’s meal easier to prepare. (FYI if you’ve got the oven on, cook extra baked potatoes and keep in the fridge, they can be chopped into wedges and fried in olive oil for the yummiest skin on chips).
Internet Recipe Inspiration
I really have no excuses, as there are so many amazing recipes out there. I regularly cook the meals in the images above (although must admit my food rarely looks like that and I don’t actually follow those recipes)…
This article written by Franky at Love Audrey about cooking from scratch when you’re tired also really helped me to be more organised about cooking. I know we all know these things, but sometimes a reminder is needed.
I’d really like to improve on the variety of recipes I cook, so if anyone has any lovely recipes they’d like to share please feel free – I’m looking for healthy, hearty meals now that the winter months are here. Veggie recipes are welcome too 🙂 And if anyone has any genius tips for prepping meals more efficiently I’m all ears!
(This post isn’t sponsored, I just really love ordering fresh, local food and it genuinely helps us to eat and feel better as a family. Recipes above: Apple, Pear & Blackberry Crumble, Fish Fingers, Sweet Potato Soup).