Starting today’s write up with a simple question, does home made meals have to be very elaborate and time consuming? Do we always need our meal with one side dish and one sauce ? Can we enjoy a simple freshly cooked salad or meal with family without wishing it to be 3 course meal ?
As you might know I am an Indian by birth and I spent my childhood in India. For us food was always freshly cooked home made meal. My mum used to cook 3 times a day fresh meal, and snacks like biscuits or savories can be store bought. Button lunch which was not eaten, discarded or finished in dinner at the most. There was no concept of canned or pre cooked meals. We were lucky that there was vegetation around us, so most of the veggies and fruits were hand picked from farms around and delivered to us. The taste of that freshly picked and cooked food was used to be heavenly.
Slowly as we grew up, the same food all the years started feeling bored. We craved for junk food like pizza and burger and mom then started included that in our diet too. But it was once a week and slowly we started relishing food in cafes and restaurants. When I moved to Dubai after my marriage, work kept us both busy. Cooking 3 fresh meals seemed to look like a lot of work and we relied on store bought canned food along with occasional home cooked meal( mostly on weekends).
Of course these store bought canned foods made cooking much easier and less time consuming. We prided ourselves in finishing cooking in minutes and that too without much hassle. 20s and 30s this life style suited us. But with a family and growing health issues, we started thinking of going back to roots of fresh food.
I started looking for easy to cook recipes which are filling and healthy and realized that it is very easy to serve freshly cooked meal to your family. With little adjustments and help, food can be cooked and served fresh. You don’t need to have a fancy meal with family, a basic one dish or one pot meal should be sufficient to keep you going.
I invested in some reliable delivery service of fresh fruits and veggies, started cooking non traditional dishes like oats, quinoa and Soya granules and salads became a perfect companion and sometimes a meal itself. Then slowly kids started to get involved and now 95 % of the food we have in a week is freshly cooked from raw ingredients. Only weekends we do eat out or order cooked food.
So the magic lies in finding what your family likes and work around that. We all love rice dishes at home and we make different kind of pulavs and biryanis for lunch with lots of veggies and proteins like cottage cheese and soya granules. It can be eaten with Greek yoghurt or home made curds. Some days I replace rice with pasta or spaghetti but veggies are a part of it. Breakfast is mostly cooked oats or veg r vegan omelete https://thehealthblogwriter.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/veg-and-vegan-omelet-best-breakfast/
Dinner we all are at home and like to explore different recipes. Mostly kids help around this time and we go for lentil soups with crackers or humus and Falafel with bread . A simple salad served with quinoa and paneer can be a dinner. Saute veg and lentil soup are perfect to satisfy us. Some days veg soups with garlic bread, other days it’s our traditional home cooked chapati ( not store bought) accompanied with curries is a great change.
So cooking can be a stress buster and great way to bond with your family. I know everyday home cooked good can be too boring, but we can always add a bit of variety and the same food seems different, Home made cookies and cakes made using organic ingredients can be great snacks too. It is just a mindset to think that cooking takes a long time and can be a hassle. Once you start whipping up some easy recipes, every meal time becomes fun with family.