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Do you cook from scratch every day? - Page 2

post #21 of 43

Sometimes I make oatmeal in a jar, which has rolled oats to halfway, dried fruit, cinnamon, flax, and honey in a canning jar. When you're ready to make it you pour boiling water into the jar and turn the jar upside down and leave it for 15 minutes (handle with gloves). It's pretty good, especially if shared - very filling!

 

Shepherd's Pie is from scratch except for the spaghetti sauce. Same with Ground Beef Spiral Bake (which is like pasta and meat with sauce except you do everything on the stove and then put it in the oven).

 

Freezer meals are great. Usually when I make those two meals I just mentioned I make them two at a time and put one in the freezer until the night we're going to eat it.

 

So to answer your question Cynthia, no I don't cook from scratch every day, but sometimes - at least twice a week or so.

post #22 of 43
Thanks for all the great ideas, ladies!
I am a SAHM homeschooling our oldest 5 children, with 2 toddlers and a new blessing on the way, due in Nov. The only way to keep things running smoothly and give everyone healthy meals in our house is to plan ahead! This summer I've not been too successful in that area, but I'm gearing up for the school year & getting back on track.
We have one son on a low carb diet due to Juvenile DiAbetes, so we try to stay away from too much bread, rice, pasta.
I do usually cook breakfast about 5 days per week...eggs, quiche, veggie pancakes, etc.
Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner, smoothies, yogurt/fruit. Sometimes we have sandwiches or homemade pizza. Dinner is from the crockpot at least once per week. I try to chop a bunch of veggies in advance to reduce the prep work at dinner time. I often cook large portions, but I don't freeze them. I just serve them 2or 3 nights later, for example spaghetti and meatballs on Monday and then raviolis with meatballs on Wednesday (my one son will just eat the meat with melted cheese and a big salad). I also like to roast 2 or even 3 chickens at once. There is so much you can do with them!! Our favorite is roast chicken and mashed potatoes on Sunday, then chicken pot pie a few nights later, followed by homemade chicken soup the next day. Another thing I like to do is prepare a good sauce and use it one night this week, and save the rest for next week. For example, a Thai peanut satay sauce (my kids' FAVORITE) is great over chicken, or my hubby's favorite Spanish Romesco sauce (basically tomatoes, roasted peppers, garlic, paprika all puréed together) which I may put over fish this week and chicken next week.
The only things I buy premade are occasionally a jar of sauce, rotisserie chicken from Costco, or frozen chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks for the kids to eat for lunch.
Buying enough premade food for all of us is cost prohibitive!
For anyone interested, there is a similar thread about meal planning/cooking on the Moms of Many forum that you might enjoy reading.
post #23 of 43

thanks for the great ideas!!  also, check the site: 100 days of real food!  weelicious.com has been helpful too.

post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post

Sometimes I make oatmeal in a jar, which has rolled oats to halfway, dried fruit, cinnamon, flax, and honey in a canning jar. When you're ready to make it you pour boiling water into the jar and turn the jar upside down and leave it for 15 minutes (handle with gloves). It's pretty good, especially if shared - very filling!

Shepherd's Pie is from scratch except for the spaghetti sauce. Same with Ground Beef Spiral Bake (which is like pasta and meat with sauce except you do everything on the stove and then put it in the oven).

Freezer meals are great. Usually when I make those two meals I just mentioned I make them two at a time and put one in the freezer until the night we're going to eat it.

So to answer your question Cynthia, no I don't cook from scratch every day, but sometimes - at least twice a week or so.
Catholic mama- is the canning jar qt or pt? I would think pt, but wanted to make sure before trying. It's a great idea!!
post #25 of 43

sierramtngirl, I'm not sure because my in-laws loaned me the jar, I didn't buy it. It holds a little more than 3 cups so I'm guessing 1 pint.

 

I had a much larger glass jar around her somewhere (not sure how much it held) and when I made oatmeal in that one it was enough for 4 nuns, if that tells you anything. When I make it for myself in the possibly pint size jar, it lasts me for breakfast and lunch and sometimes an afternoon or later snack too.

 

Here is the recipe my mother-in-law gave me last year:

dry rolled oats halfway

Add nuts, flax, dried fruits

Add brown sugar, honey or syrup

Sprinkle cinnamon

(This can sit for days until you're ready to use it)

Pour boiling water to the bottom of jar threads. Invert jar a few times. Let sit 15 minutes and add milk.

post #26 of 43
Thank you ladies for the great ideas!!! We are making tons of salads around my house right now- honestly tho, I'm looking forward to cooler weather so I can break out the slow cooker for soups/stews & lots of baked casseroles which are so much easier to cook ahead (talk to me come February and I'll be ready for fresh stuff- but anyhow...). I think I'm in that mode since I canned 60# of tomatoes for the year yesterday!!
post #27 of 43
And thx catholic mama for the details- we just started back on oatmeal here with cooler mornings so I'll try this and make for DH to take to work!
post #28 of 43

Didn't get a chance to read through everything yet, but I'm definitely coming back to read more, as I have the same struggle.  I find that when take shortcuts or make quick foods like sandwiches or muffins, our fruit and veggie intake suffers.  I feel like I particularly spend a lot of time working fruits and veggies into our day in what I consider healthful proportions (I'm shooting for about half the volume of the meal).  My DD is still little and texturally picky, so I have to do things like cut the peel and pith from oranges, slice and core apple slices, peeling and chunking up mango takes forever, etc.  It all adds up, so even a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and fruit seems like it takes a long time.  Prepping veggies, to me, is even worse as far as time commitment, especially when I get farmstand greens that need to be washed multiple times.  Unfortunately, those are the parts of the meal that I would feel I needed to add even if I did use prepared foods/freezer foods for the main portion of the meal, so I don't really feel like it's worth it.  I will confess to falling back on microwave Annie's in many a pinch, though.

post #29 of 43

We cook from scratch every day.  Many of our meals are simple, consisting of stir-fried or steamed veggies and turkey burgers or bean burgers.  I make extra bean burgers to freeze.   We do purchase some curry sauces to make quick meals.  Most processed and prepared foods contain questionable ingredients.  Since we avoid GMO's and have a child with food sensitivities, we have to be extra careful.  Recently we started juicing and making more smoothies.  I thought that I'd be a slave to the kitchen, but I've developed a routine of washing and juicing veggies that takes about twenty minutes including cleaning the juicer.  I make enough juice for the day.  I work at home most of the week, which allows me to sprout grains and beans and simmer chicken stock during the day.  This summer I was able to save enough money through scratch cooking and keeping my daughter home with me that I only had to work at my job about twenty hours a week.

 

We don't eat out very often.  We live in a small city where most restaurants only have low quality food from the Sysco truck.  Instead, we use our money for organic and local foods, mostly pastured meats and eggs and fresh produce.  We make our own yogurt and large batches of healthy granola for easy breakfasts.  We try to keep some quicker foods on hand, such as home-made frozen veggie burgers and salmon burgers along with the above-mentioned curry sauces.  There are some days when I wish that I didn't have to cook because I'd like to put my energy into other things.

post #30 of 43

We eat whole foods with recognizable ingredients, but sometimes I do rely on canned beans, canned red sauce for homemade pizzas, a jar of curry sauce from Trader Joe's, etc.  I also buy tortillas and bread, and I buy raw pizza dough for our pizzas. I just have no desire to get into that level of prep and baking. I would like to learn how to make my own yogurt and get an ice cream machine. .

Very, very rarely does our food come out of a box from the freezer. 

post #31 of 43
I just went to a wellness lecture at our chiropractors office, and learned that microwaving food kills all the nutrients and changes the molecular structure of the food. It becomes unrecognizable to our bodies. Did you know that?? Another great reason to cook from scratch whenever possible!
post #32 of 43

I have heard about microwaving changing the food, but I'm not sure if it's hype mixed with fact or not.  We don't currently have a microwave, and I'm in no hurry to get one.  They seem to have extremely short livespans in our home, lol, and I have very little counter space so I don't really want another.  However my husband does use it to reheat made from scratch food when he's on lunch break.  I think they have their place, and really a bigger issue for me is the type of food you'd typically be microwaving in the first place (highly processed stuff).

post #33 of 43

Based on the research I've done, I believe the dangers of microwaving thing is pretty much a myth.  If you google you'll find articles from both sides of the issue, but IMHO the ones saying bad stuff about microwaves are from less believable sources.  There's a good article from Scientific American (which I consider to be a reputable source) that explains why it's a myth.

post #34 of 43

Because I eat mostly raw and vegetarian, I also tend to cook from scratch every day. And also because I'm "boycotting" the Downtown San Francisco overpriced lunch food options. They are all amazing, organic and delicious, but also oh so expensive!! So I'm making boxed lunches for myself every day... as for cooking time, since most everything is raw (salads), there's not much cooking, but a lot of chopping and peeling. I do my groceries once a week at a farmers' market and then have a marathon with myself every week to go through all the veggies and fruit I purchased that week before they go bad. I usually make big experimental salads with a million ingredients in them, or big quinoa/farro/couscous/some other grain salads that can last in the fridge for a few days. 

 

For example: 

 

 

One boiled beet, one avocado, 2 green onions, a bunch of baby heirloom tomatoes, a handful of alfalfa sprouts, a handful of parsley, half a cucumber, a jalapeño, hemp seeds, some shredded parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest, pepper and salt.

post #35 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaika View Post

Based on the research I've done, I believe the dangers of microwaving thing is pretty much a myth.  If you google you'll find articles from both sides of the issue, but IMHO the ones saying bad stuff about microwaves are from less believable sources.  There's a good article from Scientific American (which I consider to be a reputable source) that explains why it's a myth.

 

If it is a myth that would be really good news for me. I try to avoid it as much as possible but would love to be able to take advantage of quick heating more often. Got a link to the article?

 

Has anyone tried salad jars? Can you really make them in advance for the week and quality not be compromised?

 

post #36 of 43

Cynthia, I trust Natural News and this is what it says (about the same as what Dr. Mercola says on mercola.com with a little more detail):

http://www.naturalnews.com/021966_microwaves_microwave_ovens.html

 

and more articles
http://www.naturalnews.com/microwaves.html

 

I'm interested in hearing about salad jars, too.

post #37 of 43

Here's the link to that Scientific American article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-there-any-evidence-tha

 

And here's a link to Snopes, where they tested out that commonly spread idea that microwaved water kills plants: http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp
 

post #38 of 43

I cook everything from scratch except we buy bread (gluten free vegan food for life brand millet/rice bread) and salsa/hummus premade. I make hummus occasionally but I really do like this one local organic brand better and it comes out to be about the same price as if I made it. Maybe once a month we'll get something like vegan ice cream (coconut bliss) that is a little more expensive... I really want to invest in an ice cream maker though so I can make my own healthy sugar-free vegan sorbets, frozen yogurt and ice cream!! I've been making big batches of stuff and freezing it too and that really helps cut down my food prep time. 

post #39 of 43

I make vegan ice cream in my ice cream maker (with coconut milk).  It is SO good!  And much cheaper than Coconut Bliss (which is also delicious). 
 

post #40 of 43

I cook almost everything from "scratch", but often it is as simple as a packaged or frozen meal would be. I put 3 or 4 ingredients in a pan, put it in the oven, and take it out a while later. Or I stir-fry some veggies, and cook a pot of rice. Even freshly made salad dressing can be simple (olive oil, soy sauce, and chopped garlic - 2 minutes, and SOOOOO good!) I detest the taste of most prepared foods, but I don't feel especially noble or virtuous about avoiding them. 

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