Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get Me To The Church On Time

I won't lie.  Cooking from scratch and feeding your family whole foods can be difficult.  It's time consuming.  It takes planning and work and discipline.  In the end, it is so worth it.

Sunday mornings have proved to be especially challenging for my family because we need to make and serve both breakfast and lunch with very little prep time. 

These days can bring out the worst in us.  We wake up, race around the house trying to make everyone clean, well-dressed, and well-fed so we can get out the door in time for church. 

We pray, feel good, and love each other...until we get home. 

Then we rush around, changing clothes, making lunch, fighting off naps and tired kids, snapping at each other out of stress.  Crazy stuff.  Something had to give. 

Planning our breakfast and lunch for Sunday has been a big stress-reliever.  I'm sharing some tips here with the hope they can help you with some healthy food in the midst of chaos, whether you are heading to church on a Sunday morning, story time on Wednesday, or basketball practice on Saturday. 

If you have some tips, please leave them in the comments so we can all benefit!

Use Your Kitchen Wisely
  • Oven: After 3+ years, I just figured out that my oven has a "Delay Start" option.  I can set the time I want it to turn on so it is pre-heated when I walk in the door from church or wake up in the morning. 
  • Slow Cooker: Crock Pots are for more than just roasts!  You can make oatmeal, egg casserole, and even pancakes in your slow cooker.  Search the internet for recipe options or check out A Year of Slow Cooking for some tried and true recipes.
  • Toaster: Make large batches of homemade waffles or pancakes and freeze them.  When you need a quick breakfast, pop one in the toaster.  You have all the convenience of a packaged, frozen meal from the grocery store without all of the yucky stuff in it.
  • Freezer: When you bake muffins, make quiche, or generally have any leftovers around, freeze them.  There will be a morning when you can pull out two slices of frozen quiche and feel that it saves your entire day.

Cook Now, Eat Later
  • Waffles & Fruit: My husband makes a big batch of homemade waffles on Saturday nights after the kids go to bed.  I like to make a warm compote or puree using fruit from the freezer.  In the morning, we toast the waffles and top them with fruit.  Our whole family LOVES these waffles; they are healthy but taste like a fabulous treat. 
  • Something in a Casserole Dish: Last I made Vegetarian Brunch Taquitos using scrambled eggs and leftover veggies.  You can enjoy the same flavors using my recipe for enchiladas.  If you have other leftovers hanging around, put them in a 9x13 glass baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  Pop the entire dish in the oven to reheat.  This takes less hands-on time than using the microwave to heat several dishes and usually produces a nicer result. 
  • Muffin Tin Breakfast: Use the muffin tin idea and apply it to breakfast!  Fill up the tins the night before with fresh fruit, yogurt, or cottage cheese.  In the morning, toast a piece of wheat bread, spread peanut butter on it, and cut the toast into sticks for easy eating.

Let Go
  • Cold Cereal/Granola: Allow one of the meals to be something easy that can be thrown on the table in one minute or less.  In our house, this is usually my homemade granola on top of yogurt or Cheerios with bananas. 
  • Restaurant: Sometimes I surrender and we head to a favorite local restaurant for brunch.  Andrew eats pancakes (surely made without whole wheat flour *gasp*) and Mike drinks Pepsi.  Yet we find ourselves with full tummies and more time with people we love.  Totally worth it.
  • PB&J: Do you agree that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great around the clock?  I love them with coffee.

No comments:

Post a Comment