How did I go from a milk machine to a short order cook prepping meals over night?
My little girl is a savage with food, she 100% takes after her daddy.
Crumbs will not exist in my house because my two food monsters won’t allow it. I vaguely remember my single non-cooking days and then I met Mark and was stoked that he lived off mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets (oh yes his fave) and pretty much any boxed frozen food. We were the typical bachelor and bachelorette perfectly united.
Funny how pregnancy can make women do crazy things…I became a cook and far beyond my salad creations. It was goodbye boxed food and labels and hello real eats. I’m talking food that literally came from the land and the sea. My old roommate really missed out because this mama can cook.
So how does one make healthy homemade meals for their family and still have time? Advance meal prep is key! It really does work. You may have heard about this for years but let me tell you, if you have tried it, you will sing the praise and spread the tip. It really is a time-saver when you know what you’re going to cook but that’s only one part, the real trick is knowing what you have in your fridge and pantry. You must make sure you have the ingredients in the kitchen and prepped (ok maybe you can skip some meal prep but make sure you at least have the goods.) Once I started to get a bit more into cooking I would find healthy, yummy recipes online, get excited on my way home to impress my family only to find out that a) I was missing key ingredients and b) I was missing key ingredients. My saddest day came when I was ready to make a herb an onion roasted chicken to discover I only had the chicken.
After that experience, I became a bit more organized with my new chef role and I started my farm to table meal prep routine. I live in LA, so let’s be real, I’m not exactly going to the farm each week but I am buying the freshest ingredients from a certified farmers’ market. Once I added a chef hat to my daily routine, I figured I should stick to fresh ingredients to bring nature directly to my baby’s body.
Get to know your local farmers’ market. I’m blessed to live walking distance from my neighborhood’s farmers market that delivers a weekly assortment of fruit, veggies, flowers, olive oils and more. For those new to the farmer’s market world, start exploring through this website: www.cafarmersmarkets.com.
You may be surprised to discover that you can cook using fresh organic ingredients for less money than your weekly grocery visit. I avoided farmers’ markets for years assuming they were overpriced fancy markets and boy was I wrong. After cost comparison shopping the real savings for my family is proof with a weekly visit to the farmers’ market. I buy less and therefore I spend less. The real reward is knowing I am providing my little one with nutrition packed goodies from the land and sea. I always spend a few minutes chatting with the farmers, asking for cooking tips and recipes and learning more about their farm. I love hearing their stories and often times I walk away with a new veggie to try (and sometimes for free thanks to their samples) and I’m ready for meal prep with the finest ingredients.
I’ve been inspired by all the amazing food bloggers out there and would love to share meal prep and nutrition tips during my own blogging journey. So check out your neighborhood farmers’ market and see if you can excite your kid’s tastebuds using healthy ingredients for less money.
For all the true chefs out there and mamas who love love love to cook, my apron’s off to you. I’ll admit I love to see the satisfied smiles from my fam but I’m not trying to turn the kitchen into my next oasis, unless it’s a kitchen by the sea!
– Liz at Urban Beach Baby