This random simplicity bit comes from 30 Days to a Simpler Life (aff).
I laughed when I pulled this out out, for two reasons: first, I had just completed a review of a new “simple cooking book” for my sister blog over at LauraEarnest.com — Solutions for Working Moms (Click here to read the review). Second, because I am actually trying out these recipes this week, with success.
Pulling this topic made me think about my struggle with fixing meals. I have been disillusioned with my old system. I have several criteria for what I want out of a meal system:
- Easy recipes
- Use few ingredients
- Use easily found ingredients
- Healthy meals
- Detailed instructions
- Complete shopping lists, including side dishes
- Recipes have to taste good
I also don’t want to spend more than a total of 4 hours cooking dinners per week.
The Old Way – And A Good Way
I have used Saving Dinner the Low-Carb Way: Healthy Menus, Recipes, and the Shopping Lists That Will Keep the Whole Family at the Dinner Table (aff) for years. The recipes are put together by a nutritionist, have built in shopping lists, and detailed instructions. The food is pretty good, too. I’ve only had a couple recipes that have turned out as non-starters. However, to make this work within my time guidelines, I would cook Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and we would eat leftovers the rest of the week. There’s the rub: we don’t particularly like leftovers. So we would be either eating out, or doing not-so-healthy things for the rest of the week.
The New Way: The Weeknight Survival Cookbook
Looking to pad out an Amazon order, I bought The Weeknight Survival Cookbook: How to Make Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes (aff). It was written by another nutritionist, and featured what I was used to with Saving Dinner. The new aspect is it instructs me to do the majority of cooking on Sundays, and prepare really simple meals the rest of the week. I’m assembling food every night, but it hasn’t taken me more than 10 minutes for any dish. And the recipes have been excellent.
It is really easy to simplify meals, if you have everything handed to you. Some people enjoy cooking. I do, but not under pressure, and not every day. These two books have allowed me to get past the meals and on with the rest of my life!