One of the biggest challenges for busy women today is finding the time and knowing how to cook a meal at home. It can seem impossible, but I truly believe that every woman, whether preparing for one, two or four, can discover a plan for having a meal at home at least most nights of the week. We don’t have to try and be perfect 100% of the time.
Why Am I So Intent on Meals At Home?
1. Its Healthier
A study posted by the Medical Express revealed that “those who cooked were more likely” to live longer. The possibility of other factors, besides cooking, was also extensively investigated, but the cooking at home still remained an important factor.
2. It Gives You More Control
When you prepare your meals at home, you can choose how much butter, oil, sauce, sodium, etc. there will be in your food as well as your portion size. According to a study with the Economic Research Service, each meal or snack eaten away from home adds an average of 134 calories, compared with the same meal or snacks prepared at home. If eating out every day, that alone could contribute to over 1/2lb of weight gain a week, if not doing anything to counter balance the calories.
3. It Gives You An Opportunity to Spend Time with Family
A must in our house, even before children, is that all meals are eaten at the table with one meal together as a family at least 4-5 nights a week. That may mean that dinner is at different times each night to accommodate our schedule, but it is a goal we work to maintain. Cooking can actually be an opportunity to spend time together. With a new summer schedule, we now have some time for my 8 year old daughter, Hannah, to begin her first basic lessons in the kitchen.
There is no doubt that eating home does not just save you calories, but it will save you money. Let’s take for example, fast food, not even a nice sit down restaurant. For a family of four, you are going to spend, on average, $25 for one meal. Last week, I was able to feed my family, oven fried chicken with two vegetables and homemade macaroni and cheese for $15. That went a long way considering there were left over’s for lunch the next day. Another savings.
What Should You Do?
1. Plan according to your schedule
What is the easiest method and time of the day for you to put your meal together? Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week to get a plan. Remember your plan may vary from time to time or season in your life.
2. Be realistic
Noticed I did not say, attempt 7 days a week to cook. Pick the number of days that will work and be realistic with what and how you will prepare your meals.
Oven Fried Chicken (adapted from Calorie King)
- 1 cup corn flakes, crushed
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into even strips
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray cookie sheet with butter flavored cooking spray.
Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix egg whites and milk in small bowl. Dip chicken into egg mixture and coat with corn flakes. Place on cookie sheet, and spray with more cooking spray.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then flip pieces and spray with more cooking spray. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Protein – 14
With the right motivation and a little preparation, you can save calories, save money and have more quality time with your family with a simple meal at home.