As we come to the fall where the days are shorter and there is some crispness to the evening air, to avoid instantly wanting to crawl into bed early, I find myself cooking. This past weekend was dreary and with few inside activities outside of the household to turn to during this pandemic, there is something almost meditative about making good food – roasting vegetables and making soups, breads, pies, and quiches. It is almost like I am ready to hibernate, just need to make sure all of my meals are prepared before hibernation ensues.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey states that the average adult in America spends over 37 minutes in food preparation and cleanup per day (Men averaging 22 minutes and woman averaging 51 minutes – say what?! But that is a whole other topic I’m not going down today). And although fast food can save an average of 30 minutes of meal prep, what is the impact on your health? Avoiding fast food can possibly reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
While enjoying our local restaurants is a delight and wonderful to have around, on average restaurants serve 2 to 3 times what the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend, not to mention it is 5x more expensive to eat out as one Forbes article mentions. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good southwest wrap from Stir Crazy, fish sandwich from Dot’s Back Inn, cheese quesadilla from Mi Jalisco, white bean arugula salad from The Mill, and that list goes on and on for our Northside haunts ¬¬–– 1 in 6 small businesses has closed so now more than ever our local restaurants need your support!
However, cooking at home can actually be a healthier option, and it doesn’t have to be a 51-minute time suck every night. I’ve had friends who keep an hour or so every Sunday as their food prep time and I never got onboard. After only an hour Sunday cooking extravaganza, I am hooked. We had delicious blueberry muffins for breakfast and lunch prepped ¬¬–– mmm… carrot soup… –– for the whole week. I realize sometimes when you do it in bulk, you save on time and frankly the headache of figuring out what to eat!
A few recipes we’ve been enjoying recently I wanted to share:
- Roasted Carrot Soup (add ginger!) – cookieandkatie.com
- Southern Tomato Pie – ohsweetbasil.com
- Gnocchi, Mushroom & Corn – blueapron.com
- To Die for Blueberry Muffins – allreceipe.com
As we go into gourd, light, and tree season, although some days of the week you may see me walking down the street with a Zorba’s pizza for dinner or a Billionaire Bar from Morsels, Sundays my kitchen will have aromas of stews, veggies, hearty pies, and casseroles. I’ll get to avoid the question about “what’s for dinner,” save time, and alleviate some extra stress knowing I have one less thing on my plate. If you’d like to share any of your favorite recipes with us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!